March  01, 2013

     The dress code for an event this weekend in the Quad Cities calls for sandals and Hawaiian shirts. The Quad City Ukulele Club will hold the first "Uke-a-pa-looza." Club co-founder, Erin Mahr, says it's a way for the members to celebrate the first anniversary of the club, and to promote their favorite instrument. 

     Mahr says lots of people have ukulele's but don't know how to play them. And along with basic instruction, club meetings focus on learning new songs.

     "We've had a lot of gigs lately. We played a concert for Valentine's Day at the River Music Experience. We did a whole concert of love songs, and nothing says 'I love you' more than the ukulele."

     She works at West Music in Moline, and gives lessons, and says the ukulele is great for beginners because it's easier to learn than the guitar, has four strings instead of six, is much more portable, and has nylon strings - which are easier on the fingers than steel.

     Uke-a-pa-looza runs from 1 until 5 pm Saturday at the River Music Experience in Davenport, and it'll feature two concerts by the club, beginners and advanced classes, and a session on ukulele trivia.