Amy Kucharik's "Women of the Blues" workshop and mini-concert
Sunday, August 29, 2021 5-8:30pm
124 N. Chestnut St.
(Event to be held outdoors, weather permitting.)
Amy will be stopping by Funky Frets for an evening of blues featuring a two-part workshop and a mini-concert featuring some of her favorite blues covers and a selection of original songs. Sign up for any one or all three (and get a discount)! You register here in advance or pay at the door. Spaces are limited.
Women of the Blues Part 1: Vaudeville Blues - 5pm EDT
Blues -- which developed out of the struggles faced by African-Americans -- has been around as a style of music since the late 1800's, but really took shape in the early 20th century, largely due to the often-overlooked contributions of women. Learn about some of the women who shaped this enduring style of music during the 1920s, from "Mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to Victoria Spivey (who played the ukulele herself) and Ida Cox. We'll cover a few of Amy's favorite early blues songs from this period -- they sound great on the ukulele and can be played with the most basic skills. Familiarity with basic ukulele chords is recommended.
Women of the Blues Part 2: 12-Bar Blues - 6:15 pm EDT
12-bar blues is easy to learn, but you can spend a lifetime mastering it. This enduring form evolved from earlier Vaudeville blues and from "field holler" call and response. Many of the great blueswomen of the 20th century, including Memphis Minnie, Big Mama Thornton, and Tracy Chapman, have vastly different sounds and styles of playing but still built songs based on this simple form. Looking at songs written or popularized by these women, we'll cover the essential 12-bar blues form and how to play blues in any key, followed by some embellishments to make your blues songs sound even cooler on the ukulele. Facility with barre chords is recommended but not required.
About Amy Kucharik
Award-winning songwriter Amy Kucharik [/kuh-CHAR-ick/] performs as a one-woman band with ukulele, tenor guitar, foot percussion, mouth trumpet and harmonica, or with her Boston-based bands, energizing swing dance, folk festival and listening room audiences alike. Drawing from blues, folk and Vaudeville traditions and with a street-smart stagecraft honed in the subways of Boston, Amy transports her audience to a place both timeless and familiar, but nevertheless innovative.
She has played ukulele for more than a decade, teaches weekly classes and workshops, and frequently appears at regional ukulele festivals. She has taught and performed at ukulele workshops throughout New England, including Spring Into Uke and The Sounding Board's Uke U. She headlined the Flower City Ukulele Festival in 2019 and most recently was part of the Gaitherburg Ukefest's online events. A longtime blues dancer, DJ and aficionado, Amy performs blues music solo or with her band Tiger Moan, which specializes in blues songs of the early 20th Century that were written or made famous by women. She is thrilled to bring her Women of the Blues workshop to Funky Frets.
Amy is available for group classes, workshops and private lessons via Zoom.