Ukulele Russ from Alaska set to entertain in Kalamunda

Members of the Kalamunda Ukes group.
Members of the Kalamunda Ukes group.

YOU may never have heard of him, but Alaskan ukulele player Russell Copelin is well known in international uke circles and in a coup for Kalamunda he is holding a workshop and concert there this week.

Kalamunda Ukes group leader Kevin Chennell said the group teamed up with the Busselton Ukulele Strummers to organise Ukulele Russ’ visit to Perth.

“It’s quite unusual for international ukulele players to visit Perth, let alone Kalamunda, so the visit is quite unique and being looked forward to by many music fans and uke players,” he said.

“He is a great live performer, chatty, he can play at least 14 instruments and creates material on the spot.

“He is a quirky guy who lives 110 miles shy of the Arctic Circle and is a subsistence hunter, with no inside bathroom or running water in his property.

“At one point he was going to become a history professor since he grew up in the antique business, but realised he had a knack for music and making people laugh.

“So he decided to dedicate his life to the more noble profession of making people happy rather than dwelling on the past.”

Mr Chennell said the ukulele was growing in popularity, with groups popping up around the city.

“Kalamunda Ukes was formed in September 2018 and we have about 40 members who meet every second Monday at the Jack Healey Centre in Kalamunda to practice their uke playing and singing and to get ready for gigs,” he said.

“The group has started playing gigs in the Hills.

“Although having a lot of fun at each session is one of the aims of the group, we are also working on musical knowledge and playing technique and singing arrangements.

“All levels of players are welcome at the group and all ages, although most members are not young.”

Ukulele Russ will perform at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre on March 10. To book, go to trybooking.com.