The Rubber City Ukes, an Akron-area ukulele collaborative, will take the stage at the Akron Civic Theatre for “Ukulele Explosion,” Sunday, Feb. 16. at 2:30 p.m. The concert will celebrate the small but mighty stringed instrument, whose influence spans from traditional Hawaiian music to American folk and pop, classical and country.
“Ukulele Explosion” also will feature local performer Shelby Olive, whose compositions prominently feature the ukulele. An educator and award-winning artist and songwriter, Olive traces her roots to musical theatre, classical, jazz and pop.
Ukulele Explosion takes place Sunday, Feb. 16, 2:30 p.m. at Akron Civic Theatre, located at 182 S. Main St. For tickets, $7 for children and $12 for adults, call (330) 253-2488, or visit bit.ly/rcucivic or akroncivic.com.
Comprising dozens of local ukulele players of all ages and skill levels, Rubber City Ukes performs popular songs in a fun, accessible sing-along format and is open to anyone willing to learn the ukulele and play music at area events.
The collective donates its profits to purchase ukuleles and support music education for local children in need. Proceeds from the Akron Civic Theatre performance will benefit the Himalayan Arts, Language and Cultural Academy in North Hill, which offers music, dance and civic education for refugee children and adults, among other residents.
Rubber City Ukes is an ideal group for musicians looking to gain live experience and work in a group setting, along with beginner musicians eager to build their musicianship and confidence. The group meets weekly and performs regularly at Akron-area events, like the annual Highland Square PorchRokr festival and the Akron Art Bomb Brigade’s annual Flannel Fest fundraiser (where you can find Rubber City Ukes on Saturday, Feb. 15, the evening before “Ukulele Explosion.”)
Rubber City Ukes was founded in 2016 and features members from local groups like Highland Square Ukuleles and Summit Jumping Fleas, along with area ukulele enthusiasts. To learn more about Rubber City Ukes, visit www.facebook.com/rubbercityukes. For info about Shelby Olive, visit www.shelbyolive.com.