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Tonight I saw Elisa Toffoli at Great Scott with a couple of the Italian postdocs at MIT, Paola Rebusco & Alessandra Silvestri.  For those of you who don’t know Elisa (that included me less than 5 hours ago), she is a super-star in Italy with a huge international following. Not surprising then, the packed room was resonant with Italian words (“brava!”) and the exuberance of sing-along fans.

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Slide over Jimi Hendrix; lay off Eric Clapton; because here comes….Jumping Jim? He’s just one of the 18 acts who showed off their ukulele mastery at Ukestock, held in Worcester (pronounce it “Wooster”), MA this past Saturday, September 6th.

First, a little disclosure: I love the ukulele. In June, my wife and I went to Hana for our second anniversary and took a little mini-lesson on ukulele at the Hotel Hana-Maui. We loved it so much, we refused to part with our practice ukes until we had to leave, and promptly picked up a pair of Ponos at Bounty Music in Kahului. Playing together is one of our favorite “couple-things” to do, so much so that we subject our friends to little mini-concerts (keep in mind that several of them are professional musicians, so they are incredibly patient with us). Having played guitar on and off, I find the ukulele (pronounced “oo-koo-le-le”, not “you-koo-le-le”) the perfect size for some mellow playing at home.

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