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Ukulele – Pronounced ew-kə-lay-lee, from Hawaiian

 

Kala Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

Kala Tenor Exotic Mahogany

So what is a Ukulele and why on Earth would I want one?  They simple answer is they’re FUN!  I didn’t get it either at first.  I kept getting images of Tiny Tim in my head, why would anyone want one of those?  Then I played one and low and behold, I get it.  I really get it.  They’re just plain fun.  It’s darn near impossible to play anything on one and not just feel happy.  I even tried playing in the key of D Minor, you know the saddest key of them all?  Nope, still happy.  Even committed a music store sin and played Stairway to Heaven.  Still happy.  So all of this got me wondering where these strange little joy producing instruments came from.  So I did what anyone else would do, I turned to our friend Wikipedia and here’s what they have to say about the subject:

 

Ukulele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The ukulele, sometimes abbreviated to uke, is a member of the guitar family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, timple, braguinha and the rajão, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, many from the Macaronesian Islands. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.

The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

History

Hawaii

The Ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea,” perhaps because of the movement of the player’s fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua’s officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).

Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the machete, the Cavaquinho and the Rajão, introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele makers. Two weeks after they disembarked from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazette reported that “Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts.”

One of the most important factors in establishing the ukulele in Hawaiian music and culture was the ardent support and promotion of the instrument by King Kalākaua. A patron of the arts, he incorporated it into performances at royal gatherings.

Canada

In the 1960s, educator J. Chalmers Doane dramatically changed school music programs across Canada, using the ukulele as an inexpensive and practical teaching instrument to foster musical literacy in the classroom. 50,000 schoolchildren and adults learned ukulele through the Doane program at its peak. Today, a revised program created by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane continues to be a staple of the music education in Canada.

Japan

The ukulele came to Japan in 1929 after Hawaiian-born Yukihiko Haida returned to the country upon his father’s death and introduced the instrument. Haida and his brother Katsuhiko formed the Moana Glee Club, enjoying rapid success in an environment of growing enthusiasm for Western popular music, particularly Hawaiian and jazz. During World War II, authorities banned most Western music, but fans and players kept it alive in secret, and it resumed popularity after the war. In 1959, Haida founded the Nihon Ukulele Association. Today, Japan is considered a second home for Hawaiian musicians and ukulele virtuosos.

United Kingdom

The singer and comedian George Formby was perhaps the UK’s most famous ukulele player, though he often played a banjolele, a hybrid instrument consisting of an extended ukulele neck with a banjo resonator body. Demand surged in the new century because of its relative simplicity and portability. Today the ukulele’s popularity in Great Britain continues to grow with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain touring globally and Paul McCartney’s 2002 tribute tour to George Harrison, a huge fan of the instrument. Note that ukulele is often spelled ukelele in British English.

United States (mainland)

Pre–World War II

The ukulele was popularized for a stateside audience during the Panama Pacific International Exposition, held from spring to fall of 1915 in San Francisco. The Hawaiian Pavilion featured a guitar and ukulele ensemble, George E. K. Awai and his Royal Hawaiian Quartet, along with ukulele maker and player Jonah Kumalae. The popularity of the ensemble with visitors launched a fad for Hawaiian-themed songs among Tin Pan Alley songwriters.[18] The ensemble also introduced both the lap steel guitar and the ukulele into U.S. mainland popular music, where it was taken up by vaudeville performers such as Roy Smeck and Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards. On April 15, 1923 at the Rivoli Theater in New York City, Smeck appeared, playing the ukulele, in Stringed Harmony, a short film made in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. On August 6, 1926, Smeck appeared playing the ukulele in a short film His Pastimes, made in the Vitaphone sound-on-disc process, shown with the feature film Don Juan starring John Barrymore.

The ukulele soon became an icon of the Jazz Age. Highly portable and relatively inexpensive, it also proved popular with amateur players throughout the 1920s, as is evidenced by the introduction of uke chord tablature into the published sheet music for popular songs of the time, a role that would eventually be supplanted by the guitar in the early years of rock and roll. A number of mainland-based instrument manufacturers, among them Regal, Harmony, and Martin, added ukulele, banjolele, and tiple lines to their production to take advantage of the demand.

The ukulele also made inroads into early country music or old-time music. It was played by Jimmie Rodgers and Ernest V. Stoneman, as well as by early string bands, including Cowan Powers and his Family Band, Da Costa Woltz’s Southern Broadcasters, Walter Smith and Friends, The Blankenship Family, The Hillbillies, and The Hilltop Singers.

Post–World War II

From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, plastics manufacturer Mario Maccaferri turned out about 9 million inexpensive ukuleles. The ukulele continued to be popular, appearing on many jazz songs throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.[25] Much of the instrument’s popularity was cultivated via The Arthur Godfrey Show on television. Singer-musician Tiny Tim became closely associated with the instrument after playing it on his 1968 hit “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.”

Post-1990 revival

After the 1960s, the ukulele declined in popularity until the late 1990s, when interest in the instrument reappeared. During the 1990s, new manufacturers began producing ukuleles and a new generation of musicians took up the instrument. Jim Beloff set out to promote the instrument in the early 1990s and created over two dozen ukulele music books featuring modern music as well as classic ukulele pieces.

Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole helped re-popularise the instrument, in particular with his 1993 medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” used in films, television programs, and commercials. The song reached #12 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).

The creation of YouTube was a large influence on the popularity of the ukulele. One of the first videos to go viral was Jake Shimabukuro’s ukulele rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on YouTube. The video quickly went viral, and has received over 12 million views and launched Jake’s career. The ready availability of thousands of instructional videos has greatly expanded the popularity of this easy to learn instrument.

So that’s it in a nutshell, there was more to the article, but who am I kidding, I’m a musician, I have the attention span of a 2 year old so I won’t bore either of us with detail of construction and such.  But the bottom line is Ukuleles are fun, everyone should own one.  We should be issued one at birth. Come in and check out one today and make your world a happier place.

 

 

This Day In Music History

1953, The Stargazers were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Broken Wings.’ The first record by any British group to reach No.1. Stargazers’ member Fred Dachtler is the father of Clark Datchler of 80′s group Johnny Hates Jazz.
1956, Elvis Presley played the first of two nights in San Diego Arena in San Diego, California. The local Police chief issued a statement saying if Elvis ever returned to the city and performed like he did, he would be arrested for disorderly conduct.
1960, RCA Victor Records announced that it would be release all Pop singles in mono and stereo simultaneously, the first record company to do so. Elvis Presley’s single, ‘Stuck on You’ was RCA’s first mono / stereo release.
1964, The Beatles held the top five places on the US singles chart, at No. 5 ‘Please Please Me’, No.4 ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, No.3, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, No.2 ‘Love Me Do’ and at No.1 ‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’ They also had another nine singles on the chart, bringing their total to fourteen singles on the Hot 100. 

This Day In Music History

1956, Elvis Presley appeared on ABC-TV’s ‘The Milton Berle Show’ live from the flight deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego, California. He performed ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ It was estimated that one out of every four Americans saw the show.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpzV_0l5ILI

 

 

The Crown Jewel is Here!

The Kenwood Gallery recently added a stunning cherry Steinway & Sons Model L (5’10.5″) It was built in 1999 in New York. As a member of the Crown Jewel Collection it features the highest grade wood veneer. This instrument has only been owned by one local family and is now available for sale. It features only authentic Steinway parts with original solid brass hardware. This model is no longer built and a rare find in this condition.

Contact Seth Parshall sethp@willismusic.com or 513.560.1353

Steinway & Sons Model LCrown Jewel Emblem Steinway LSteinway L 549961 Pedal Lyre

DEAL OF THE WEEK – March 15

It’s March Madness time! Are you excited to cheer on your favorite college basketball teams towards a championship?

Here at Willis Music in Lexington we are excited to cheer on YOU, our customers, towards a purchase of your next musical instrument!

We will announce a DEAL OF THE WEEK each and every week via this blog & our Facebook page.

This week we have lowered the price on these two guitars:

DOTW 3-14-14

One of our Lexington employees, John Renshaw, can’t contain his excitement for this DEAL OF THE WEEK!

Martin X Little Spruce Top Guitar
Was $300
NOW $150! 

Blueridge Historic Craftsmen Guitar
Was $1,579
NOW $1,200!

Open Mic Night! Tuesday, March 11th from 6-8pm

The next installment of our Open Mic Night! is TOMORROW, Tuesday March 11th from 6-8 pm.

Any performer on any instrument is welcome. Kids and teens are especially encouraged to participate.

Come on out and show off your talents or just come out and listen and encourage the others.

open mic kids

Willis Music in Lexington hosts Open Mic Night! the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

Very Special Willis Music / Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concert: March 29th 7pm (3 Ladies and the Piano)

You are cordially invited to a special evening of piano music. The Steinway Young Artist Concert Series teams with the Willis Music / Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concerts to present: 3 Ladies and the Piano: featuring Elizabeth Windau, Jill Jantzen and Holly Judd Wilson. This very special concert is March 29th at 7pm.

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Check out the new Cordoba C12 at Kenwood

cordoba C12Finally the long awaited Cordoba Guitars C12, now at the Willis Music Kenwood store. 

 

The handmade Cordoba C12 is the latest addition to a great line of classical guitars made for Cordoba Guitars.

The C12 features the vintage elegance of a hand-inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette inspired by a 1920s Domingo Esteso design and a beautiful flame maple wedge on it’s solid Indian rosewood back.

Modern design elements also include a lattice braced top and raised fingerboard for easy playability when accessing the upper frets. The lattice bracing systems have become popular, largely as a result of John Williams patronage of Greg Smallman guitars. The lattice system employs a number of crossed struts, usually joined at intersections, to form a lattice.

This form of strutting is very stiff and can be made very light, which allows the top to be made significantly thinner than a traditionally braced guitar.

This can help to improve the efficiency of the instrument in generating sound, which can give the more volume. Lattice braced guitars also tend to have a distinctive tone (which is not to everyone’s taste). This is more a result of the lightness and stiffness of the top than the system of strutting itself.

The C12 features a solid European spruce, with solid Indian rosewood sides and back, black and gold tuning machines, ebony fingerboard and adjustable truss rod.

Come check it out at the Willis Music store in Kenwood. Make an appointment with Robert Falcon. Call 513-252-0445. 

 

 

 

Willis Music “Music Money” Loyalty Program

Music Money is the best Loyalty Program EVER!!

In case  you missed it, Willis Music has a loyalty program and it is FREE to sign up for! We will give you 5% back of your purchases (up to $25) after your 6th purchase. What happens then? You start a  new card, and every 6th purchase you get your gift card. It’s that easy!!

But wait, there’s more…

The best part of the program (other than Willis Money) is that we keep the card on file for you here! No more carrying around those cards, losing them and then your “points” are gone. This is the best program in the world!!

 

Uke Club Tonight Willis Music Florence

Aloha !

Tired of the Cold ? Warm up with the Uke Club Tonight

The Beatles are coming 50 Years later – ( not really ) Just Their Music

Where ? Willis Music Florence 7567 Mall Rd Florence Ky 41042 859-525-6050×5

Time – 7 PM

Hope To See You Here !

Drum Heaven at Moeller of Willis Music West Chester!

The new store is really starting to take shape here in West Chester!  If you’re a drummer and you haven’t stopped in yet please do.  We have a much larger selection than we ever have.  We have cymbals from Sabian, Zildjian, Meinl, Amedia, and Dream.  Featuring drum sets from Tama, Gretsch, Mapex, and Ddrum.  Electronic kits from Roland and Yamaha.  Percussion from LP, Toca, and Meinl.  Heads from Remo and Evans.  We have all your percussion needs covered.

Stop in and check it out and don’t forget about our “All About Drum Days” from Feb. 28 – March 2 and our Saturday “Scene” from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM sponsored by Evans.  Free Swag to the first 50 customers from Evans Drum Heads.

Drum Heaven

Our new expanded drum department.

Cymbal Wall!

West Chester Cymbal Wall

President’s Day Penny Sale-Last Day

Penny sale

There are some great examples of savings this weekend through Monday February 17th.
Sale Music 1 penny a page
25′ Rhino Mic cables-buy one get one for a penny
Buy any acoustic or electric drum set in stock get a djembe or pair of bongos for a penny
Buy any acoustic or electric guitar priced $299 and up and get a Sequoia acoustic guitar for a penny
Buy a guitar stand and get a guitar humidifier for a penny
Buy a Hercules guitar stand and get a Snark tuner for a penny
Buy the Yamaha P-155 digital piano for $999.99 and get $150.00 additional merchandise of your choice FREE
Buy any step-up band instrument and get an additional $100.00 merchandise of your choice FREE
Buy a Gator Trumpet case and get a Stoneline Mute for a penny
Buy an On-Stage boom mic stand and get a Kustom mic for a penny
Buy an On-Stage boom mic and Shure SM-58 and get a Rhino 25′ mic cord for a penny.

Don’t miss out on these deals! Open until 8:00pm this evening.

Hot off the Press: “Let it Go” fom “Frozen” now in stock!!

We have gotten more requests for the music from Disney’s movie “Frozen” than anything else I can think of in the last decade. I am glad to announce that the first single, “Let It Go” p/v/g arrangement has just arrived at the store and we have plenty in stock and only $3.99. The complete book should be arriving any day now also.

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New Product Spotlight – G&L Guitars and Basses

Willis Music is proud to be the exclusive dealer for G&L guitars and basses in the Lexington area. G&L Instruments started in the mid 1970′s by George Fullerton and Leo Fender after Leo sold sold Fender musical instruments to CBS. Leo continued to design guitars until his passing in 1991 and his wife is still honorary Chairman of the Board.

These are fantastic guitars built with the smallest details in mind. They come in set up fantastically right out of the box. Stop by and check out this great line of instruments.IMG_20140131_184424IMG_20140131_184811

New Recital Hall is back at Kenwood Willis Music

Kenwood Willis Music New Recital Hall!

We now have access to the use of our recital hall. This space is available to teachers at no fee. This recital hall seats up to 60 and features the use of a Steinway grand piano.

We would love to host your next recital. Or if you are a member of a musical club or association and need a meeting place just give us a call.

Kenwood Willis Music 513-252-0445

 

Willis Music / Woodsongs Concert: February 1st at 7pm featuring: Wilderness Trail.

Our 2nd show of the 4th season of the Willis Music / Woodsongs Concerts feature: Wilderness Trail Bluegrass Band. Hard driving traditional bluegrass music! Enjoy this band’s performance at the Willis Music Performing Arts Center February 1st at 7pm. Tickets at the door. Event sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Music Association.

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NKBMA (Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Music Association) Bluegrass Jam: Jan 24 @6pm

Do you like bluegrass music? Than join us for the NKBMA open bluegrass jam Jan. 24th at 6pm. This jam happenings every 4th Friday each month. Check out the Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Music Association’s website: www.nkbma.com

NKBMA slide-1

New Blues Jam at the Willis Music Florence Super Store. January 19th 2pm.

Join Don Jackson at the Willis Music Florence Super Store (January 19th @2pm) for the new BLUES JAM! Everyone who wants to play and sing the blues is welcome!

I am a harp player. Enjoy playing and listening to the blues and southern rock. I really enjoy singing (wife says I’m really good at singing in the shower). I am an artist by nature (like my mother). I enjoy creating sculptures with a chainsaw. – Don Jackson.

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Black Friday and Extended Holiday Hours

Willis Music, Lexington will be open the following hours for your shopping convenience throughout the holiday season.

9am-8pm Friday 11/29
10am-9pm Saturday 11/30
12pm-6pm Sunday 12/01
10am-9pm Monday-Saturday 12/02 through 12/07
12pm-6pm Sunday 12/08/13
10am-9pm Monday-Saturday 12/09 through 12/14
12pm-6pm Sunday 12/15
10am-9pm Monday-Thursday 12/16 through 12/19
9am-10pm Friday 12/20
9am-10pm Saturday 12/21
11am-7pm Sunday 12/22
9am-10pm Monday 12/23
9am-5pm Tuesday 12/24 – Christmas Eve
Closed Christmas Day
10am-9pm Thursday 12/26
Regular Hours 11am-8pm Friday 12/27
Regular Hours 10am-7pm Saturday 12/28
Regular Hours 12pm-6pm Sunday 12/29
Regular Hours 11am-8pm Monday 12/30
11am-5pm Tuesday 12/31 New Years Eve
11am-5pm Wednesday 01/01 New Years Day

Stop by and check out our specials in all departments throughout the season.

Willis Music Company
130 W. Tiverton Way
Lexington, Ky. 40503
859-273-4063
lexington@willismusic.com

FOUR (4) DAYS UNTIL BLACK FRIDAY PIANO DEALS!!!

The shopping season is upon us. We have a large inventory of used pianos. ALL used pianos will be at drastically reduced prices this day only. We open promptly a 6 AM! Come out and select your instrument before it is taken. Financing and Delivery is easily available. Used American Built Acoustic Pianos starting below $1000! Eastgate Willis Music Only! Professional Piano Consultant Available!

GRANDS, UPRIGHTS, AND DIGITALS (YAMAHA, CASIO, ROLAND, KORG)

Steinway & Sons, Baldwin (American Built), Yamaha, Petrof, Hallet, Davis & Co. Kohler & Campbell, Cable, Story & Clark.

LARGE SELECTION AND UNPRECEDENTED DEALS!!!

BLACK FRIDAY ONLY!!!

EASY FINANCING AVAILABLE!!!

CLEARLY MARKED WITH NO-HAGGLE PRICING!!!

FIVE (5) DAYS UNTIL BLACK FRIDAY PIANO DEALS!!!

The shopping season is upon us. We have a large inventory of used pianos. ALL used pianos will be at drastically reduced prices this day only. We open promptly a 6 AM! Come out and select your instrument before it is taken. Financing and Delivery is easily available. Used American Built Pianos starting below $1000! Eastgate Willis Music Only! Professional Piano Consultant Available!

GRANDS, UPRIGHTS, AND DIGITALS (YAMAHA, CASIO, ROLAND, KORG)

Steinway & Sons, Baldwin (American Built), Yamaha, Petrof, Hallet, Davis & Co. Kohler & Campbell, Cable, Story & Clark.

LARGE SELECTION AND UNPRECEDENTED DEALS!!!

BLACK FRIDAY ONLY!!!

EASY FINANCING AVAILABLE!!!

CLEARLY MARKED WITH NO-HAGGLE PRICING!!!

 

Last Minute Concert Event Tonight 6:30pm with David Gurwitz

We are glad to announce a last minute concert event in our auditorium this evening at 6:30pm. New York composer/concert pianist David Gurwitz is passing through Lexington and has graciously offered to perform in our auditorium this evening at 6:30pm. David is a self taught pianist and has a very smoothing and relaxing style of playing. A highlight of his is a tribute to the Special Olympics and he loves to do charity performances all over the country.
Check out his video of his song “Hear the Children” dedicated to the athletes of the special Olympics. Click the link below:

We hope you can join us this evening for this special event! And as always it’s FREE!

New Era- Halloween Movie Music SALUTE! (click for video)

FINALLY!  To wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween, we celebrate 1993′s Hocus Pocus!  Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker play 3 comical witches brought back after 300 years.  When confronted by the crowd at a Halloween party, they escape by doing a rendition of ‘I Put a Spell on You’.  Thankfully, the band, horn section, and back up vocalists all happen to know they exact arrangement they were performing!

Please click the link to enjoy the clip from the movie!  Also, Happy Halloween!

A Spooky Recital at Tri-County Mall!

Tom and Ellis

Many students  from our in-store lessons program came together on Thursday to showcase their skills to their families, friends and teachers.  We had several instruments represented including piano, saxophone and clarinet.

Performance opportunities are such an important aspect of the learning process.  It is great to have dedicated teachers in our store that jumped at the opportunity to invite their students to play in the recital. It is also great to see so many students eager to perform and showcase all they have learned.  It was a fun-filled and exciting evening – we hope to see you all at our next recital!

Check out more pictures on our Facebook page here.  Feel free to tag yourself!

New Era- Halloween Movie Music SALUTE! (click for video)

FINALLY!  To wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween, we celebrate 1993′s Hocus Pocus!  Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker play 3 comical witches brought back after 300 years.  When confronted by the crowd at a Halloween party, they escape by doing a rendition of ‘I Put a Spell on You’.  Thankfully, the band, horn section, and back up vocalists all happen to know they exact arrangement they were performing!

Please click the link to enjoy the clip from the movie!  Also, Happy Halloween!

A Spooky Recital at Tri-County Mall!

Tom and Ellis

Many students  from our in-store lessons program came together on Thursday to showcase their skills to their families, friends and teachers.  We had several instruments represented including piano, saxophone and clarinet.

Performance opportunities are such an important aspect of the learning process.  It is great to have dedicated teachers in our store that jumped at the opportunity to invite their students to play in the recital. It is also great to see so many students eager to perform and showcase all they have learned.  It was a fun-filled and exciting evening – we hope to see you all at our next recital!

Check out more pictures on our Facebook page here.  Feel free to tag yourself!

New Era- Halloween Movie Music SALUTE! (click for video)

Danny Elfman’s ‘This Is Halloween’, was written for the 1993 movie Nightmare Before Christmas.  Every year, this movie seems to gain more and more in popularity!  In 2006, shock rocker Marilyn Manson did a cover of this song both live for Jay Leno, and the album, ‘Nightmare Revisited’.  As a salute to Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, please enjoy ‘This Is Halloween’.

New Era- Halloween Movie Music SALUTE! (click for video)

Danny Elfman’s ‘This Is Halloween’, was written for the 1993 movie Nightmare Before Christmas.  Every year, this movie seems to gain more and more in popularity!  In 2006, shock rocker Marilyn Manson did a cover of this song both live for Jay Leno, and the album, ‘Nightmare Revisited’.  As a salute to Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, please enjoy ‘This Is Halloween’.

November 2013 Calendar of Events for the Willis Music Florence Super Store.

November is here and it’s getting cold outside, but the deals get hotter inside the Willis Music Florence Super Store. The Amazing Deal and Closeout sale has been extended to November 1-10. After the 10th the remaining items get shipped out, so get them while they last.

November 13-22 we celebrate the bluegrass and folk musician with extra savings. Every 4th Friday of the month the Northern Kentucky Bluegrass Music Association has a open bluegrass jam. The Jam is on November 22 at 6pm.

Stop the Press!!!! Huge announcement!!! Willis Music Florence is now your YAMAHA Band Instrument dealer. We are celebrating big! On November 29th, we are having the “Step up to Yamaha” Band Event with TRIPLE rebates on Yamaha band Instruments. WOW!

Willis Music / Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concert feature: Southland Drive. Be part of the television audience on November 9th at 7pm. Check out the Calendar for all the happenings.

CalendarNovember2013jpeg

Christmas Print Music!! Now At Tri County!!!

Please don’t yell at me for mentioning Christmas already!  But yes, we have begun the lengthy task of displaying our massive collection of Christmas music!

Something new this year: Christmas SURPRISE! Musical Bundle Packs!  We have taken close to 300 titles, and bundled similar books collection (all guitar, all piano & vocal, etc) together to offer you a stack of music for a super low price!  Most bundles fall between $8 and $15 and have at least $50-$100 of music in them!  Exclusive at Willis Music Tri County.

Teachers: Have a large amount of Christmas method books you need to get?  Email your list in to us, and we can gather it together.  We can even arrange having it shipping for free if over $25!

Christmas Print Music!! Now At Tri County!!!

Please don’t yell at me for mentioning Christmas already!  But yes, we have begun the lengthy task of displaying our massive collection of Christmas music!

Something new this year: Christmas SURPRISE! Musical Bundle Packs!  We have taken close to 300 titles, and bundled similar books collection (all guitar, all piano & vocal, etc) together to offer you a stack of music for a super low price!  Most bundles fall between $8 and $15 and have at least $50-$100 of music in them!  Exclusive at Willis Music Tri County.

Teachers: Have a large amount of Christmas method books you need to get?  Email your list in to us, and we can gather it together.  We can even arrange having it shipping for free if over $25!

11 Days Until Night of the Living Shred!

We have BC Rich guitars starting at $200, and there are 11 days until the Night of the Living Shred! We will be giving away a BC Rich Warlock guitar to the person who plays the best solo in the best costume! The contest starts at 6:00 on Thursday, Oct 31st! Call us at 752-6341 to sign up!

27 Days Until Night of the Living Shred!

We have BC Rich guitars starting at $200, and there are 27 days until the Night of the Living Shred! We will be giving away a BC Rich Warlock guitar to the person who plays the best solo in the best costume! The contest starts at 6:00 on Thursday, Oct 31st!

Willis Music Artist of the Week – Jack White

Congratulations to Jack White, who has earned the distinct pleasure of winning the first Willis Music Eastgate Artist of the Week Honorary Artist Award. (WMEAotWHAA.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkcGuZHPbKk

In this video, you can clearly see the genius it takes to not only invigorate the cliche of playing a noisy, rather unpleasant song in an old abandoned warehouse that only a select few are cool enough to enter and even fewer do so willingly, but he does it twice at the same time in a bizarre sky blue against black Spy vs. Spy takeoff. This kind of time paradox is rarely seen in videos of more sane artists. Speaking of time paradoxes, Mr. White has seen fit to popularize Eastwood, Airline, and Harmony guitars which have all fallen into blatant disregard years ago for good reasons such as inferior manufacturing, sub-par components, and overall distasteful sound.

Mr. White has had a distinguished career full of edgy choices, which has garnered him a lot of attention, most notably from Triumph the Comic Insult Dog in his song “I Keed.” Jack also is in the running for an Oscar in the “Looks most like Johnny Depp’s rendition of Willy Wonka” category. The only thing that probably keeps Mr. White from winning this prestigious Academy Award is that he would need to tone down his wardrobe quite a bit to match Willy Wonka’s (relatively) toned down style.

BOOKS AND MUSIC COLLECTIONS- BUY 2 GET 1 FREE!!!

We are not making this up!  Stop in to Willis Music- Tri County this holiday weekend for an amazing deal on our printed material!!

All books in our sheet music department (which is incredibly large!) are Buy 2 Get 1 FREE!  This offer is for ANY in-stock book you find!

*Method books & Supplements not included in this special offer*

PIANO TEACHERS, PARENTS, & STUDENTS- BOGO Time At Willis Music Tri County! (click for pic)

af1 af2 af3

After a GREAT piano workshop with Alfred’s Dennis Alexander, we still have an AMAZING display of music sent in specifically for this event!  Piano teachers who attended the workshop got first ‘dibs’…now it’s our turn!!!

On all books being displayed from Alfred for the workshop, EVERYONE can Buy One & Get One 50% off!!!  Select from Duet books, solo books, pop music, Dan Coates new releases, method books, Christian music, seasonal collections, and TONS more!

Anything still here at the week’s end (well…maybe Sunday at closing), will be shipped promptly back to Alfred Publishing- so don’t miss out on extra discounts!!

**BOGO offer not available on Pre-Packs…everything is good to go!

Duet Books!!! Every Piano Teacher’s Favorite!! (click for pic)

duet book

FINALLY!  That student has progressed enough to be exciting!  Now, let’s have some fun with them!
Try Dennis Alexander’s Duet series books!  Lots to offer students in ALL levels!
Oh, and yes if you are a piano teacher, you NEED to be signed up for the workshop with Dennis on July 22nd!!
Extra discounts on music that day!  Bring a box, cart, or U-Haul and we will get you ready for all the students you are gaining!!

Call: 513.671.3288 to get your  seat today!

Audio and video recording is available at Willis Music Florence

Our Superstore on Mall Rd in Florence has a 180-seat Performing Arts Center in the store with a full service recording studio and an engineer/producer with 26 years experience including a Grammy-nominated CD, featuring over 30 studio-quality microphones, ProTools and Studio One recording software, hundreds of plug-ins and virtual instruments, accurate monitors in an acoustically-designed studio, Steinway Grand Piano, Hammond B3 organ, midi system, stage, sound system, lights, drum and isolation booths, 2 camera video, and whatever you need! Sounds expensive, right? Call Ric Hopkins at 513-607-9855 or email richopkins@mac to find out how inexpensive our recording studio really is!

Freshly Stocked Meinl Tambourines! (click for pic)

tamb pic

Whether you are singing and praising for the Lord in the choir, or performing solo and need a little something  extra, a tambourine is for you!

I bet you didn’t know there was so much to know about tambourines!  1 or 2 rows of jingles?  With a head or without?  Brass, steel, or aluminum jingles?  How about hammered brass jingles?  Or a mixture or brass and steel?

Come in and check them out- there is a sound for everyone!

Free DVDs This Weekend!

dvd

Not much more to say… best prices in town on the coolest instruments from Orange, Gibson, EVH, Mesa/Boogie, Fender, Yamaha, Selmer, Blackstar, Mapex, Charvel, Gretsch, Martin and so many more AND a free DVD on top! Visit June 15-17 to take advantage!

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The Big One!! Fender Day Thursday June 6th! 3:00-8!!!

Fender Day 2013

Join us Thursday at Willis Music Tri County Mall in Cincinnati, June 6th for the best Fender sale you will EVER be a part of!!

From 3:00-8, we will have our best prices on all things Fender & Squier.  After you have saved extra with Willis, you step over and see a Fender Representative who will then hand you back ANOTHER 10% in cold hard cash!!

Online and competitor pricing will be humiliated that day!

Come on in, OR call to schedule an appointment with your favorite Willis employee!  We WILL be busy this day- if you would like to come early to Lay-A-Way something until Thursday, we will allow this…but it MUST be paid in full Thursday!  See something you like but we have sold out?  Special orders this day will ALSO be counted for the cash back!

Can’t wait to see you here!!!

1st Annual Hollywood Showcase -Check out the photos!

Students of all ages and abilities gathered to showcase their skills in front of fellow students, parents, friends and teachers on Thursday, May 30th.  Everybody had a great time and the talent was simply amazing!  We had pianists, vocalists, guitarists, dancers, a trumpet player and banjo player – a great variety!    Check out the photos here on our Facebook page.  While you’re there, you can also check out the photos from our Hollywood Showcase in Lousville!

We will be having another themed recital very soon!  We are taking recommendations for what the next theme should be so if you have an idea, let us know!!!

1st Annual Hollywood Showcase – check out the photos!

Students of all ages and abilities gathered to showcase their skills in front of fellow students, parents, friends and teachers on Thursday, May 16th.  Everybody had a great time and the talent was simply amazing!  We had drummers, pianists, vocalists and guitarists – a great variety!    Check out the photos here on our Facebook page.  While you’re there, you can also check out the photos from our Hollywood Showcase in Lexington!

We will be having another themed recital very soon!  We are taking recommendations for what the next theme should be so if you have an idea, let us know!!!

The post 1st Annual Hollywood Showcase – check out the photos! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Hollywood Showcase – Thursday 5/30/13 in our Performance Hall

Our first annual “Hollywood Showcase” will be tomorrow night (Thursday 5/30) in our Performance Hall. It starts at 6:00 pm. Anyone is welcome to attend. We are going to have a huge variety of students performing and are going to have a ball.

We have students performing Hollywood based songs on piano, violin, banjo, guitar, voice, and even some dancers. These include students from multiple teachers from all over the Lexington area. There are 30+ students scheduled to perform.

The red carpet will be rolled out, the Hollywood lights going, the paparazzi running around everywhere and a great time will be had by all.

We hope you can join us for this fun event. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the store at 859-273-4063 for more information.

See you there!!

Consign Your Piano!

With the many pianos that sit in homes being unappreciated, we offer the chance to get them into homes where they will be played and loved…and make you some cash in the process. As the Steinway & Sons representative for the Cincinnati/Dayton region our abilities to find a purchaser for your piano are greatly improved over standard self-sale. Why waste the time advertising and having people you don’t know coming into your home. Let us bring your quality used piano into one of our showrooms and will do the work for you. Once it sells we send YOU a check. The process is efficient and simple. Call me today so we can get it sold! Seth Parshall 513-752-6341.

8 Week Group Guitar Class with Mike Shouse – Louisville

Mike Shouse Pic

Tired of learning tabs to other people’s songs?  Ready to become a real musician and get a full understanding of how to play the guitar?  This intensive 8 week group guitar class with instrumental recording artist Mike Shouse will teach you speed, accuracy, scales/modes, chords, arpeggios, theory and how it all ties together.  Each week, you will go home with a better understanding of how to play and Mike’s weekly handouts will help you remember your new skills!

Still not sure?  Stop in on Thursday, May 23rd at 7:00 pm to meet Mike, and stay for his FREE introductory class.  You will receive a free copy of his CD, “Alone on the Sun” just for attending!  30 minutes with Mike, and you will definitely be back for the full 8 week course!

To register, call the store at 426-1818, stop by, or email louisville@willismusic.com.  Forgot to register?  No problem, stop on by anyway!  Don’t forget:  Thursday, May 23rd at 7:00 pm.

The post 8 Week Group Guitar Class with Mike Shouse – Louisville appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Cymbal Land Cincinnati One day left!

The first day of Cymbal Land Cincinnati has come to conclusion   A ton of cymbals have found new homes.  If you couldn’t make it today, then there is one day left.  Here what some of the manufacturer representatives had to say.

Andy and Roger from Dream Cymbals

Dominic from Amedia Cymbals

Greg from Sabian

Bob from Zildjian

Come tomorrow (Saturday, May 11th starting at 10AM), select your perfect sound, and meet some of the giants in the cymbal biz.
Cymbal Land Cincinnati 2013 Picture 1
Cymbal Land Cincinnati 2013 Picture 2

Steinway Heirloom Quality Used Pianos

If it doesn’t have 12,116 genuine Steinway parts, it isn’t a Steinway.

There are 12,116 genuine Steinway parts that make up a Steinway piano, and unfortunately for those who have their Steinway pianos restored outside of the Steinway Restoration Center, there are nearly as many imitation parts that are used in the name of cutting corners and saving money. At Steinway, the love of their instruments and their guiding principle of building to a standard, not a price, means that every one of their parts must answer to the same demand of quality that comes with the Steinway name. If you are in the market for a restored Steinway piano, the only way to ensure that 100% genuine Steinway parts and methodology are being used is to purchase a Steinway Heirloom Piano restored at the Steinway Restoration Center. Some parts, such as the proprietary Steinway soundboard, simply put, are not available to other piano restoration companies or individuals. In other cases, Steinway parts are available, but restoration companies will opt for cheaper imitation parts – often claiming that they are somehow superior to the genuine Steinway parts.

A Steinway is not only a piece of stunning beauty that sounds like no other piano, it is also a sound investment. If you purchased a restored Steinway piano and don’t receive a certificate that guarantees the piano has been restored with 100% genuine Steinway parts and methodology, the value of the instrument is compromised. Each and every Steinway Heirloom piano restored at the Steinway factory receives a certificate that guarantees the piano has been restored with the uncompromising Steinway standards using 100% genuine Steinway parts. Nobody else can make that guarantee. If they tell you they can, ask them to put it in writing. If you purchase a restored Steinway piano somewhere else because of a lower cost estimate, any savings realized initially through use of cheaper, non-Steinway parts or methodology will be lost due to the diminished long-term value of the instrument.

Win Free Stuff!! Giveaway Times for Grand Re-Opening Saturday April 6th

Saturday is gonna be a great day to be here! We have all kinds of freebies.

We will have the following items to give away each hour and you will need to be present to win.
Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele, given away at 11:00 AM
Yamaha FG-700SC Acoustic Guitar, given away at 12:00 PM
Shure PGX Wireless Guitar/Bass system, given away at 1:00 PM
Yamaha YPT-230 Electronic Keyboard, Given away at 2:00pm
Ibanez GRG121DX Electric Guitar, given away at 3:00 PM
Korg Pitch Black Pedal Tuner, given away at 4:00pm
Zildjian A Series 16″ Medium Thin Cymbal, given away at 5:00pm

We also have lots of swag, (t-shirts, hats, bags, coffee cups and other goodies to give away all day long.

Pizza from Domino’s for our customers will be provided during the course of the day also.

This is going to be a super fun day that you won’t want to miss out on. Prices have been discounted on almost everything in the store for the day.

Live Music Schedule for Grand Opening Saturday April 6th

We have gathered some of the greatest musicians in the area for our Grand Opening Live Show! Our live music begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and will last until 5.pm. the Schedule is as follows:

  • Barry Stenulson and Tim Fowler 10 a.m. (Willis Guitar Instructors) Solo Guitar Performances
  • Emily Hulett 11 a.m.  (Teen Pop/Folk Artist and Leader of Willis Music Open Mic)
  • Sammy’s Left Eye  12 p.m.
     (Classic Rock)
  • King’s Ransom  1 p.m.  (Brad’s Band – Classic Rock and Soul)
  • Somethin’ Like That     (Classic Rock)  2 p.m. 
  • Whitney Ache Ache and Alan Dargavell 3 p.m. (Country Duo)
  • Ben Lacy & Alan McKenzie  4 p.m. (Local Guitar Virtuoso and Drummer)

See you Saturday, come out and enjoy the tunes!

Memphis The Musical is Coming & We’ve Got Tickets!

memphis

“Memphis” is set in the places where rock and roll was born in the 1950s: the seedy nightclubs, radio stations and recording studios of the musically-rich Tennessee city. With an original score by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, it tells the fictional story of DJ Huey Calhoun, a good ole’ local boy with a passion for R&B music and Felicia Farrell, an up-and-coming black singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. Despite the objections of their loved ones (Huey’s close-minded mama and Felicia’s club owner brother), they embark on a dangerous affair. As their careers rise, the relationship is challenged by personal ambition and the pressures of an outside world unable to accept their love.

This Tony award winning show for Best Musical comes to the Kentucky Center April 2-7 and we’ve got 4 pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, go to our Facebook page (Willis MusicSuperstore) & post a picture of you holding something saying Memphis. Winners will be chosen from those who post and notified via Facebook message on March 29th.

Click the picture for a taste of the show & good Luck!

The post Memphis The Musical is Coming & We’ve Got Tickets! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Willis Music’s Young Artist Concert

Jonathan Reed Performed Bach’s Prelude & Fugue in D Major
For the Young Artists Concert on Wednesday March 13th 2013
This is a monthly series that occurs at Willis Music Florence
Every Second Wednesday at 7PM. See video below.

SNOW! But we are open!

Hey guys, we know its cold outside and there is white stuff on the ground, but we are open for business and cold, snowy days are the best ones to get a new musical instrument. Come get the one on one experience and we will help you find the instrument of your dreams!

Kevin Celebrates 9 Years With Willis Music!!

That’s right friends, Kevin has been working with Willis Music for 9 years today!  He started out working in the Eastgate location in 2004, working part time and going to school for his business degree.

Come celebrate at the Tri County Store!  Working until 5 today, please stop in and say hello.  And, if you are looking for gift ideas- he likes white Macadamia nut cookies and vanilla ice cream!

Kevin Cranley, NAMM Chairman & Willis Music President, in Russia for new Trade Show

Inaugural NAMM Musikmesse Russia Show

NAMM [joined] Messe Frankfurt, producers of Musikmesse and Music China, to co-produce two new trade shows in Russia. Both organizations are working to grow new markets and encourage professional development and music education in the region.

The new shows, NAMM Musikmesse Russia and Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia, [took] place in Moscow’s Expo Centre May 16–19, 2012. NAMM Musikmesse Russia [focused] on the musical instrument sector, while the Prolight + Sound NAMM show concurrently [represented] pro audio, lighting and event technology.”

Kevin Cranley talks about his experience…

Kevin: “I had the opportunity to present at the NAMM Musikmesse Russia Show. Working with a translator provides a unique challenge to presenting but the translator was great and the audience was responsive.  This was the first year that the convention was in Moscow and the attendance exceeded our targets.  I look forward to attending and presenting in Moscow again next year.”

Kevin: “Here I am with some of the NAMM team (From left to right: Kevin, Dominique, Joe, Betty and Dan) on the Moskva River.  The City of Moscow was named after the river. Directly across from the river is Gorky Park, which was made famous in the US by the 1983 movie based on the novel of the same name.  As you might be able to tell from this picture, the weather was great and unusually warm for mid May; it was in the mid 80’s.  ”

Kevin: “…In front of the ‘Russian White House’, of course that’s not the real name but it is what the people we spoke to call it.  The english translation of the name of the building is, ‘House of the Government of the Russian Federation.’ It can also be the home of the Russian President, who can choose there or the Kremlin to live.  The building sits on the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment on the Moskva River.  Here I am with Joe, NAMM President and Betty, NAMM Director of International Affairs.”

For more information about this show, click HERE

For more information about NAMM, click HERE

For more information about Willis Music, click HERE