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Author: Laima Haley

Famously plucky ‘Ukes’ are both foot-stomping and funny

If you were to haul out a violin and start scratching away during most classical-music concerts, you’d no doubt be tossed to the curb just as soon as ushers could lay their hands on you.

But when the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain takes the stage at Macky Auditorium on April 18, audience members will have a chance to jump in on one number, “Relentlessly in C,” using the “Rodney Dangerfield” of musical instruments.

“We think this is going to be the hit of the season and just hilarious,” says Joan McLean Braun, executive director of CU Presents, which offers the best in performing arts at the University of Colorado Boulder. “And how often do you get to play along?”

But unconventional is stock in trade for the world’s first and greatest ukulele orchestra, which manages to coax both artistry and humor out of their humble instruments while performing renditions of everything from “Ride of the Valkyries” to “Pinball Wizard” to “Shaft.”

“The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain may well turn out to be one of the turning points of 21st century art,” says legendary musician Brian Eno. “But then again…”

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll never think about music or humor in the same way once you’ve seen and heard the “Ukes.”