- Sunday 5 October 2014 20.00 , Hong Kong Sha Tin Town Hall
- Tuesday 7 October 2014 20.00 , Chongqing Taindi Theatre
- Thursday 9 October 2014 20.00 , Shanghai Symphony Hall – Concert Hall
- Sunday 12 October 2014 19.30 , The Orange, Taikoo Li Sanlitun, Beijing
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is a touring musical group which has been delighting audiences, raising the roof, selling out performances, and receiving standing ovations since 1985; a group of "all-singing, all strumming" ukulele players that has been active for 29 years, using instruments bought for loose change, which holds that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation as long as they are played on the ukulele.
The orchestra is celebrated for its rapport with audiences, and eliciting a joyous feel-good reaction. A description of the concert's basis sounds astoundingly simple: eight performers, eight instruments, eight voices, (no gimmicks, no stage set, props or scenery, no fireworks, no special effects, no light show, no dancers, no laptops, no samples). And yet, as millions have enthused about over the years, the orchestra tears the house down with music, songs, catchy, emotive, stomping and toe tapping tunes, banter and wit and inexplicably draws the audience in, to a joyous world beyond the conflicts of musical genre or the difference between a serious concert and comedy. Since the first sold-out concert in 1985 "The Ukes" have released many CDs, albums and DVDs, appeared on TV and radio in many countries, and toured the world during more than 9,000 days and nights of ukulele action. The orchestra is independent, anarchic, funny, virtuosic, thought-provoking and mind blowing. It has "sixteen-handedly changed the face of the ukulele world".
The orchestra, sitting in chamber group format, and dressed in formal evening wear (regardless of the time of day or the venue, whether Glastonbury Festival or Carnegie Hall), uses the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom as it reveals unsuspected musical insights. Both the beauty and the vacuity of popular and highbrow music are highlighted, the pompous and the trivial, the moving and the amusing. Sometimes a foolish song can touch an audience more than high art; sometimes music that takes itself too seriously is revealed to be hilarious. As the orchestra's publicity states: "You may never think about music in the same way once you've been exposed to the ukes' depraved musicology", as "with instruments bought for loose change", on their "world tour with only hand luggage", they bring you "one plucking thing after another".
The Orchestra has spawned many imitators. In 1985 when the ukes began, the term "Ukulele Orchestra" could have sounded ironic, as one might hear "The Sahara Desert
Sub-Aqua Club". Over time, the term has become the default label for a group of ukulele players, and indeed the Orchestra can be seen to have popularized the trend for playing ukuleles in groups. Many clubs and ukulele societies exist in many countries now, and the conception of the ukulele as suitable for ensemble-playing, or as a 'consort' or as a social activity seems to have been derived from the Ukulele Orchestra. There are now literally thousands of ukulele groups, many of which call themselves Ukulele Orchestras. Some of these are conscious tributes to the UOGB, some have outstanding merit in their own right, while some merely aspire to pass themselves off as the original. Certainly, a large part of the energy in the current ukulele wave is derived from the oldest and best Ukulele Orchestra; The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.