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Palace of Fine Arts
3301 Lyon Street
San Francisco, CA 94123




3:00 - 4:30 PM

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Feb 21, 03:00PM – 04:30PM

Come celebrate the historic launch of the ukulele’s popularity in the United States. Uke-a-thon is part of the opening festivities for the Centennial Celebration of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. Join in and play where the ‘Uke’ craze began.

The PPIE100 Uke-A-thon will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 21, 2015 and take place in and around the beautifully restored Palace Rotunda.

Ben Ahn, (, originally from Kaua’i and now lives in San Francisco, will serve as host and emcee of the Uke-A-thon;
Hiram Kaailau Bell, (, originally from Honolulu, now lives in South San Francisco, is a master Uke instructor and performer. He will be leading the teaching and play-along portion of the event;
—  Marc Goldyne, of San Francisco, will be performing with his group, Hana Hau 100. Marc is a Uke enthusiast, performer and historian. In honor of the PPIE100, Marc has hand-crafted a special Centennial ukulele that shows the official poster of the PPIE on the back of Hercules parting the continents and the PPIE star maiden on the front;
— Numerous local ukulele clubs from the San Francisco Bay Area and around the country will send members to play Na Moku Eha and You Are My Sunshine; and,
Hawaiian dancers will perform to the music of the Ukulele’s.

In 1915 the ukulele was given a national stage on the U.S. mainland during the Panama Pacific International Exposition, which celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal, and showcased San Francisco’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake and fire. With exhibits from countries worldwide, it attracted more than 17 million people.

The territory of Hawaii hosted a Pavilion that succeeded in creating a buzz with its main attraction – Hawaiian dancers and music performed by visiting groups of accomplished Hawaiian musicians playing slide steel guitar, Spanish guitar, mandolin, and of course, the ukulele. Henry Kailimai who headed the delegation of musicians from Hawaii, led the Quintet that introduced his hapa haole song “On the Beach at Waikiki” (AKA. The Golden Hula) to millions of exposition visitors. George “Aoki” Akai was another accomplished Hawaiian composer and steel guitar player who led the Royal Hawaiian Quartet at the exposition pavilion. Jonah Kumulai, a successful Hawaiian businessman, politician and manufacturer of Hawaiian ukuleles received a PPIE gold medal for the quality of his instruments.

The PPIE100 Uke-A-thon is part of an all-day Community Day at the Palace of Fine Arts, which takes place on Saturday, February 21st beginning at 12:00 noon and lasting throughout the evening. Festivities include a day filled with fun, family events, free performances, entertainment, exhibitions, interactive innovation modules, games, art projects, displays of artifacts from the 1915 World’s Fair, food, and a historic light display of the Palace as it was in 1915, among other exciting activities.

PPIE100 Opening Weekend is made possible by the HEARST CORPORATION.


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