Updated: Nov 19, 2020
It had to be done, my list of the current top 10 ukulele players! I spent a few days thinking this list through, writing down names, moving them around, and cutting some when I remembered other players. This list has changed through the years and these artists are my current faves. I’m not gonna lie when I say that it was tough putting this list together since there are many amazing ukulele players out there. Now this list doesn’t include social media savvy ”ukers”. So this list doesn’t include YouTubers. That list will be coming soon! And I’m sure will be a little controversial as everyone has their favorites. Let me say that this is my personal top 10 so if your gonna fire up the comment section sling your stones at me! I would love to hear who your favorites are. Also this list is not a list of singers who play the ukulele, there are many amazing singers that use the ukulele. But my current favorite list of ukulele players, emphasis on the ukulele! Some do sing though (haha)!
10. Tobias Elof
Tobias is a musical nomad. He traces his roots to Denmark, with 20+ years of performing and composing on the ukulele, and a bachelor’s degree in traditional folk music from Denmark’s prestigious folk music academy. His style is melodic and relaxing. In fact so relaxing that I can’t write this post or drive while listening or else I’d drool on my keyboard or drive off the road! I love listening to his music when I wake up in the morning and drink my coffee. I’ve personally had the pleasure of hanging out with Tobias when he was helping out at The Ukulele Site. He’s super laid back and friendly. Check out his album Settle Down. Just be sure you are not operating machinery or behind the wheel... haha!
Listen as Tobias walks you through the Nordic forest here!
9. Abe Lagrimas Jr.
I remember hearing Abe play live at the Winter NAMM a few years ago. He was jamming with a guitar player. What struck me was his ability to play jazz on the ukulele. He sounded like Joe Pass. My mind was blown. He was doing things on the ukulele that I’ve never seen before. Abe resides in LA and has studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He pretty much is a musical prodigy, even mastering the drums!
Watch him play in this jazz circle here! Can someone bring me a cigar and a Old Fashioned?
8. Kris Fuchigami
Kris is probably the nicest guy you will ever meet! Well, he is from Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii, where us ”Oahuians” go to slow down and relax. This shows in Kris‘ onstage persona as he’s always in his own little world, just him and his ukulele, smiling. Sometimes his eye’s roll back as he plays and that’s my cue that he’s transported somewhere else.
Kris made the list because he plays the best version ever of my favorite ukulele song, Santana’s Europa. Jake had that spot for decades until Kris came and stole it. Not to mention that he plays with his equally awesome mom behind the keys. A family that jams together, stays together!
Check out Kris playing Europa here! His mom on the keyboard and his eye rolls, love it!