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The Ukulele was developed in the late 1800's and most likely based on different Portuguese instruments brought over to Hawaii by the Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. Different historical accounts point to braguinha or cavaquinho and the rajao. For more details on the ukulele history, follow one of these links:
Ukulele (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.o...
Prolegomena to a History of the Ukulele by John King: http://www.ukulelegui...
Over Centry of Ukulele History: http://www.ukes.com/u...
The Hawaiians fell in love with this instrument, as well as the guitar, and incorporated these instruments into their music lifestyle. Its size and shape has evolved over the 100 plus years, but has remain essentially small, easy to play, and a great sing along instrument. Well known musicians like George Harrison have been known to travel with an ukulele (not sure if this is just rumor but sounds nice), and everyone knows Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, or IZ.
This group's goals are to: