Pic 2Zoë Bestel

Our Top Three...

I often get asked "Who are your favourite ukulele players? Well, there are loads to choose from. Maybe the most amazing is Jake Shimabukuro with his amazing technical prowess. Brit Ben Rouse hits the top player list with his rock interpretations. Then there's Phil Doleman, Mike Hind, The Mersey Belles, Dead Man's Uke - all great players, singers and entertainers.

We shouldn't mention Feckless & Fuddle...

But for me, three stand out for different reasons.

Will Grove White, rhythm ukulele player for the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain takes a light-hearted approach to music. Kind of a ukulele-biased Bill Bailey, but without the beard. His energy, creativity are huge inspirations for me. He's written a great book too. Look up his "Get Clucky" and the James Bond Theme on the Nose Flute, for starters - you'll get the idea.

When you meet me you'll probably get bored with me waxing lyrical about Zoë Bestel's talents. She's a frighteningly young and talented musician, making her name on the ukulele scene. Very different from Will, also essential to see live. Her voice is incredible, nothing less.

Finally, Mike Krabbers. He's a prolific writer of light-hearted, trivial and sometimes deep, meaningful songs. He's a great bloke, very approachable, and runs a weekly acoustic jam called "unplugthewood" in the Lion Brewery, in Ash, Surrey every Tuesday night. This is how I know him. As a beginner, I went along to the jam, knowing maybe four chords. But Mike (and his wife, Caroline), provide an environment to learn, step up to the open mic (which I did in three weeks) and develop. More than an inspiration, to me they have been my teachers, and my advisors. Together, Mike & Caroline make the "Hedge Inspectors".

These three people sum up the ukulele world to me. Nice people all of them, approchable and with different approaches and styles, all happy to help. My dream is to get all three of them in the same place at the same time, and get a selfie with them!

You will have your own 'top three', I'm sure they are different and for different reasons.