“One of the most complete uke players in the world”
– Kamuke Magazine #2
Ukulelezaza is a firm favorite in the European ukulele community and has been at the forefront of the ukulele revival since day one. His gentle touch, right hand wizardry and tasteful arrangements have inspired, and continue to inspire, ukulele players worldwide.
Ukulelezaza (real name Remco Houtman-Janssen, born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1973) started playing ukulele at age 11. His mother actively organized George Formby fanclub meetings and sang and played ukulele and uke-banjo in several bands. Remco lost interest in the uke during his teens but rekindled that interest in 1994, after strumming a few chords on the banjolele that he had always kept. He has been playing passionately ever since.
One of Europe’s finest
From the mid-1990s onwards Remco played in Hawaiian bands and attended many ukulele events in the UK, forming the basis of his unique style of playing. In 2006 he started a YouTube channel, his first outing as Ukulelezaza, which in 2021 has close to 4200 subscribers and a total of 1.5 million views. Nowadays, when performing solo, Zaza mostly plays 1920s/30s music and original instrumentals using a variety of vintage ukuleles. His gentle touch and overall right hand mastery rank him amongst Europe’s finest ukulele players. He’s featured at ukulele festivals throughout the world. Zaza is also the co-founder and organizer of the Belgian Ukulele Festival, which had its first edition in 2007 and became the inspiration and blueprint for the major European ukulele festivals today.
Bag of tricks second to none
Zaza is an experienced ukulele teacher for all levels with a bag of tricks second to none. His workshops are a highlight for aspiring and experienced players alike. He published four tablature books with his own ukulele solo arrangements of famous and more obscure songs from the Golden Jazz Era, plus an ebook with original ukulele compositions. Hundreds of people throughout the world play Zaza’s arrangements and tunes, many of which found their way to YouTube. Each book also features information about and plenty of photographs of the vintage ukuleles he passionately collects. Zaza also released three solo albums on which he plays ukulele, plectrum banjo, tenor guitar, mandolin, double bass and lapsteel guitar.
Check Zaza’s YouTube channel for a taste of his music:
Since 2007 Ukulelezaza has performed at the following festivals (and more), in most cases more than once:
Ukulele Festival of Great Britain
Ukulele Hooley (Ireland)
Paris Festival Ukulele (France)
Melbourne Ukulele Festival (Australia)
Caldogno Ukulele Meeting (Italy)
Czech Ukulele Festival (Czech Republic)
Thailand Ukulele Festival
Grand Northern Ukulele Festival (UK)
Great Southern Ukulele Festival (UK)
Haapavesi Folk Festival (Finland)
Burning Uke (Belgium)
Berlin Ukulele Festival (Germany)
Ukulele Festival of Scotland
Japan Tour 2016
US Tour 2019