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GONNA UKE THIS TOWN

fiona-crawford-2What is it about a ukulele that tickles us so?

“It’s the sound,” says Fiona Crawford (right; click to enlarge), a singer and uke player.”Even when you’re doing slow songs or sad songs, it’s kind of bright and cheery. It’s got a brightness to it.”

A Red Bank gal of sorts — she lives in Manhattan, but her parents reside on Leroy Place — Fiona is the first part of a double bill of live music at the Red Bank Public Library tomorrow afternoon, wrapping up its Acoustic Saturdays spring series.


A 28-year-old musician who never quite took to the guitar like her dad, the locally well-known player Jim Crawford, Fiona said was studying singing and kept noticing, on sheet music for tunes by Gershwin and other greats, tabulature or chords notations for the ukulele, and thought it might be interesting to hear them played on it. Then a friend gave her a uke, she tried it, and was bitten.

Her first gig, while living in Scotland, “was almost a joke,” but “it turned into this thing that people enjoyed.”

Her repertoire includes songs by New Order and Weezer, and some folk tunes “kind of sneak in there,” but mostly it’s jazzy standards, Tin Pan Alley tunes, she says.

Also performing Saturday is 15-year-old violinist Taylor Hope. A classically trained musician, she’s been at her instrument for 11 years, but whether playing solo, with a symphony orchestra, or in a country or rock band, she always delivers an enthusiastic and captivating performance, says guitarist Anton Daub, who hosts the series, which is partly funded by the New Jersey State Library.

The two one-hour performances begin at 2p at the library, which is at 84 West Front Street. For additional information, visit the library website or call 732.842.0690.

BTW, the library is nearing its summer schedule. Through June 12, hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10a to 9p, and Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10a to 5p. From June 18 through September 11, Friday hours will be 1 to 5p and Saturday hours will be 10a to 2p.

The Acoustic Saturdays resumes on Saturday, September 25, 2010.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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