Sunrise is going to offer some amazing views at Lake Chapala and its environs for the photographers willing to hit the road with Jordan at 6:30 am and still be back in time for breakfast at Casa del Sol. But today’s Palabra del Dia will be with reporter Judy King, who has lived at Lake Chapala for 25 years and will give us the inside scoop on life as a Gringo in Mexico.
Then we’re heading out with our local chef, Oscar, for a quick visit the organic farmers’ market to learn about some of the fresh produce that may be new to us, to shop for the midday meal, and sample some of the other wares. (You might also want to pick up a few snacks and drinks for yourself! It all looks so fresh and delicious.) Then it’s back to Casa del Sol for a couple more workshops with Heidi, Daniel and Oscar before we eat!
This time Oscar will be working with the more beginning ukulele students, while Heidi, and Daniel take on the rest with a choice of Finding and Freeing your Voice or Bossa Nova Training Wheels, followed by Spooky or Tuesday’s Just as Bad.
That midday siesta will be pretty welcome today, especially since we’ll be following it up with another band practice before heading out to the Plaza Band Stand, where we will be the featured performers! Heidi and Daniel have put together a Songbook of Tunes for us to play from and some of the songs will come right out of the workshops, so you’ll have a chance to practice and play before the really big sheeeeeew! If you’re serious about performing…that will come later. This event is really just about participating and letting anyone passing by see just how much fun a bunch of adults can have with an ukulele in their hands. (My teen-aged son calls us “Old People Gone Wild!”)
Then we are in for a special dinner treat as Sheila Ruoff, our boots on the ground in Ajijic, will take us to her very favorite “hole-in-the-wall” (not its official name but the only one that has stuck over the years) for an authentic, and oh-so delicious, Mexican repast of tamales, empanadas, and more, produced by three local and charming women in a rustic village dwelling. Despite its humble surroundings, this is a favorite among the gringos who live in Ajijic. But if the rusticity makes you squeamish, there are plenty of other fine dining establishments for you to try.
By the end of this day, I think we will be thoroughly pooped, and a quiet evening back at Casa del Sol will be just the thing.
Here’s the scoop on the day’s ukulele workshops:
BOSSA NOVA TRAINING WHEELS
Like champagne, the Bossa Nova goes with everything and gives it a little class. . . . .not to mention sex appeal.) And, it’s not that difficult to learn, either. For this workshop Daniel Ward has put together a series of simple, but sexy plucking patterns that will give all your uke-playing a Brazilian Wax! And you’ll be astonished at all the music it works with: jazz, folk, and tons of other songs you already know! And when you start getting all that attention when you get back home, you can just “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.” (Daniel Ward – Level 2 – 4)
FINDING AND FREEING YOUR VOICE
It turns out, that if you can speak, then you can sing and in this workshop Heidi Swedberg (who doesn’t seem to have any trouble being heard) will teach you some well-honed techniques and exercises to help you raise your voice. Come on! You know it’s in there somewhere! (Heidi Swedberg – All Levels)
SPOOKY: Playing in the Minor Leagues
Let’s get down and dark and expand our musical repertoire by pulling up some possibilities from the minor keys. In this workshop you will learn a little about the Circle of Fifths, but more importantly you will learn how those eerie minor chords not only add interest to the songs you are playing, but are (and can be) used to alter the mood and meaning, entirely. And you thought “You are my Sunshine” was a happy song……..wait until you hear it played in the minor key. (Heidi Swedberg – Level 2-4)
AND TUESDAY’S JUST AS BAD
This is a continuation of Daniel Ward’s Stormy Monday workshop where participants will have already learned the foundation of playing the blues and will now have an opportunity to expand on the lessons learned with an even more advanced set of skills so Wednesday won’t be worse and Thursday won’t be sad. Check out the video with T-Bone Walker to see what we’re talking about. (Daniel Ward – Level 3 – 4)