By Greg Olwell

Before he came by our studio to play three songs for our “Ukulele Sessions Presents” video series, I’d been hearing a lot about Azo Bell. More than just buzz on a forum or YouTube chatter, some of today’s top players had spoken of him with reverence.

After seeing the Australian play up-close during his recent short U.S. trip, it was obvious that he wasn’t being over-hyped. He has some magic inside that comes out through his ukulele and it’s worth watching every second to see how he pulls so many great sounds from what he called his “cheap Chinese” soprano ukulele.

Beyond the dazzling picking, Brazilian-style strumming, drumming, and acrobatics, the resident of Australia’s easternmost point, Cape Byron, entranced us with his heartfelt music and storytelling.

I hope you enjoy this session. It’s a fun one.

Track listing

0:00 “Delight in the Dark”

02:51 “Wake Up Sleepy John” a slow blues inspired by “Sleepy” John Estes

05:58  “3813” a rollicking number named after a homemade train

Find more of Azo’s music here.

Azo Bell carries his soprano ukulele around in a sturdy and very lightweight case, he built using skills learned from repairing boats.

Azo Bell carries his soprano ukulele around in a sturdy, and very lightweight, case he built using skills learned from repairing boats.

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