Jim Persky

I’m a ukulele player in the Boston area. I’ve been playing the ukulele since 1976. Twenty years of trying to get a little more oomph out of a Martin soprano led me to develop a personal style that on a bigger uke has a percussive sound. Now I play mostly tenor, and I often add electric effects to the uke.

When I started playing, there was no Internet and it was hard to find out about any ukulele music that was out there. I didn’t have much interest in playing ’20s music or Hawaiian music. So I wrote songs to create my own ukulele repertoire. I also wrote songs on keyboard, which tend to sound interesting on the uke because they use chord progressions I wouldn’t have thought to use on the uke. My “Original Songs” playlist
on YouTube has songs written as far back as 1978. In addition to writing new songs, I am trying to finish up several songs that have sat half-written for years (sometimes decades).

When I play covers, I have a particular love for playing ’70s progressive rock on the uke. I’ve covered a ton of Genesis and Procol Harum songs. As part of the Ukulele Underground user forum’s “Seasons of the Ukulele” weekly challenges, I have played hundreds of different covers on YouTube. Other bands I’ve covered extensively include Fairport Convention, R.E.M., and the Moody Blues.

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