Jeff Howard Finds His Musical Passion in the Ukulele

Interview with Diane DiMemmo

February 24, 2021

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Jeff Howard grew up loving music and spent much of his spare time during his college years hanging out in the CT music scene, especially the punk-rock and emo clubs. “I loved bands like New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day. I loved them back then and still love them to this day,” said Howard during a recent interview.

Spending time raising a family has kept Howard busy and happy for many years, but he always had an itch to embrace his passion for music, more than just attending concerts. And when the pandemic kept everyone home this past year, he decided to set a goal for himself to learn something new. And that goal was to play an instrument … the ukulele.

“I brought it home from my father’s house; it was covered in dust from all those years. I was working from home, so I decided to pick it up. I figured, let me try and learn some stuff on YouTube, and that's when it all started.”

Since then, Howard has meticulously honed his craft and has been playing regular live streams through social media. The number of followers who watch him has grown and he’s even collaborated with musicians from Nashville, Spain and London. “I decided in December to have a special guest on, halfway through my live streams, just to kind of break it up a little bit, because I don't sing. I can't sing,” he laughed. "So, having a special guest on not only attracts people who follow that artist, but it also just helps to kind of break up me playing for a half hour or 40 minutes."

During the short time he’s been playing, Howard has expanded his abilities to play not only the concert ukulele, but the baritone ukulele as well. He went on to say, “It's funny because everyone thinks of Hawaiian music when you think of the ukulele. And I feel like there's just so much more versatility to it. I know each ukulele and each ukulele type has a certain sound. I feel that you could play it really fast and upbeat, you know, like pop-punkish type music. Or you can just play a mellow/chill type music as well as some country sounding music.”

Listen to Simple Saturday!

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Howard not only shares ukulele covers of well-known bands on his YouTube channel but is now also writing original songs. His most recent release is “Simple Saturday” which can be found on all streaming platforms. When asked if he enjoys sharing his newfound musical passion with his children, he smiled as he relayed a special interaction he recently had with his 9-year-old daughter. “She listens to music on Alexa and always asks Alexa to play songs. So, now to be able to ask Alexa to play Daddy's song, well, it was a pretty cool moment for me ... and for her.”

For more of our interview tune in to episode 51 of the APV Podcast and make sure to follow Jeff Howard on social media!

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Diane DiMemmo stumbled into and fell in love with Asbury Park and photography a few short years ago. An avid concert fanatic and former musician, she recognized the need for a Jersey Shore music publication to highlight the accomplishments of local and national musicians through photos and press. Asbury Park Vibes has been her labor of love ever since, along with her Golden Retriever – Cooper – who you’ll often see walking Diane through the streets of Asbury.

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