The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that typically plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, and occasionally the treble. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, and chamber music literature. The bassoon is known for its distinctive tone color, wide range, variety of character and agility. Listeners often compare its warm, dark, reedy timbre to that of a baritone voice.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a small guitar-like instrument taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, many from the Macaronesian Islands. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally. The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Sometimes abbreviated to uke, it generally employs four nylon or gut strings.
The Basukes blend these two instruments in a unique way and play cover songs from various decades of top-40 music.
For me, The Basukes are on some level, a cathartic personal therapy session. Recreating the songs in such a unique way with an amazing group of talented musicians is truly an honor.
Growing up in London, I was I immersed in music. Having played piano from the age of 6, It was a high school calling that made me beg my parents for a bassoon. I later studied music in college.
I helped book The Basukes at the Middletown Senior Services Center for a performance. They provided an impressive show with an incredible array of music ranging from The Beatles to Johnny Cash to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. The music selections were all very well played, sounding at times near to the original but also unique and lively with the ukulele and bassoon combination. It was apparent from the reaction of the audience that they were adored for their flavorful numbers. Everyone sang along with their favorites, even the staff and group of friends who came to support the group. There is no doubt that this is more than an experimental arrangement and we look forward to seeing them out there for all to enjoy.
The Basukes duo offers the unlikely pairing of the ukelele of Bill Rose and the bassoon of Shona Kerr. This unique coupling makes perfect sense immediately after the first notes fill the room. The rich sound of the bassoon offers a steady classic undertone to the lighter cheery ukelele and Bill’s wonderful voice, offering new insight into covers of familiar popular songs (The Beatle’s “Eleanor Rigby” and Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” are stand outs). This duo would work well for almost all occasions – from cocktail bars to boat cruises; from weddings to corporate gatherings; from audiences young and old. Check them out!