Here they are!!!!
The first two Maton Tenor Ukuleles and they sound amazing! Come and see me, Luke and Cassie from Maton at the Melbourne Ukulele Festival this weekend. The two tenors will be there as well….
This is very exciting! The next model of Maton Ukulele is nearly ready. These are the soundboards and backs for the new Maton Tenor Ukulele! The prototypes will be at the Melbourne Ukulele Festival to look at and hear. Come along if you are interested and say g’day. We will be at the Northcote Townhall on Saturday and Sunday (March 2 & 3) this weekend.
Join us for a wonderful concert at the Thornbury Theatre on Sat Feb 16. Special interest for uke fans will be Matthew Fagan, ukulele virtuoso, playing tunes you would have thought impossible on the uke. Joining him will be Andrea Valeri, the amazing fingerstyle guitarist from Italy for his first ever Melbourne performance and Nick Charles, the brilliant blues and roots guitarist and singer. It’s sure to be a great night so get in early and make sure you don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to see some of the world’s best up close
We can’t help ourselves!
No sooner do we create a successful instrument than we have to start trying out different woods to see how they work, especially Australian woods, and we’ve done it again! This time with ukuleles.
Once our Blackwood ukulele was established and the building methods sorted out we started trying out all sorts of woods with some amazing results. So far we have used Victorian Blackwood, Satinbox, Western Red Cedar, Bunya and Silky Oak and the ukes are all good and each has their own character.
· Victorian Blackwood – A full, rich tone that is very close to that of Hawaiian Koa, the original and most popular wood for quality ukuleles. Blackwood often comes with a degree of “fiddleback” figure and is often striking visually. In our opinion Victorian Blackwood is one of the great tonewoods of the world with its own unique character.
· Satinbox – Grows in the Otway Ranges as a companion plant to Blackwood. Satinbox has a bright “glassy” sound in the higher frequencies as well as full bass response. Satinbox is a brilliant blonde colour and appears almost translucent under a finish. The tone is brilliant and lively, particularly suited to finger picking styles.
· Western Red Cedar – A favourite with classical guitar makers for its bright, sweet tone. Cedar works well as a ukulele soundboard in combination with Blackwood back and sides and produces a brighter sound than the all Blackwood model.
· Bunya – Maton pioneered the use of this amazing timber as a tonewood and it really shines in a ukulele. Bunya provides a rich, crisp tone, particularly good for chord playing and percussive strumming. The indigenous people of the area in Queensland known as the Bunya Mountains would gather for feasts of the nut from the Bunya tree and sing and dance for days so it’s wonderful that the Bunya tree is once again involved in people gathering together and making music.
· Silky Oak – This was really one out of the box (quite literally). Silky Oak is not particularly known as a tone wood and our experiments with it in acoustic guitars were a bit disappointing. We decided to try it in a uke when a crate made from Silky Oak turned up at the factory with some other timber in it. We didn’t expect a lot but the results were stunning! This beautifully figured timber makes a very fine ukulele indeed with a tone that is warm and gentle “like a sunrise……..”. It’s the sort of sound you associate with warm summer days on the beach followed by balmy evenings under the stars……
Look out for A.J. Leonard’s CD launch on December 2nd at Montsalvat.
A.J. will be joined by his band as well as fellow Maton endorsee Matthew Fagan so the Maton ukes will be featured at their finest. I will be there too so please come up and say hello.
Australian Songbook Album Launch
Performed by Ozotica 8 piece band
Sunday December 2 4-6pm
The Barn Montsalvat
7 Hillcrest Ave Eltham $20
Bookings 9439 7712
Special Guest: Matthew Fagan
I had a brilliant weekend at Newcastle meeting heaps of ukulele fans and players. Thanks to Mark and Jane for looking after me over the weekend and to everybody involved with running this amazing event.There were so many highlights, including great performances by Bosko & Honey, A.J.Leonard’s Tropical Lounge, Mick Conway, Azo Bell, Godfrey Uke and his Orchestra, The Fleas and SQ4, but one of the most memorable events for me was the Ukastle Ukestra belting through some favouries and have the time of their lives. There were nearly 100 members up on stage!
Another highlight for me was sitting down and talking with other uke makers and sharing ideas and experiences with different woods, finishes and designs. It was a varied turn up of makers with different focuses, levels of experience and interests and was a fantastic experience. Definitely worth continuing!
The Maton Uke Jam Slam was brilliant, a really innovative idea and some of the videos posted were superb. It was a great priviledge to be able to hand over the Maton concert Uke to the winners of the Jam Slam as well as another Maton Concert uke to the lucky raffle winner.
I’ll definitely be at the next event and I’ll be bringing my family to Newcastle for a holiday as well.