Leading New York Artists Team With The Beatles Complete on Ukelele & Gregory de la Haba

In honor of Global Ukulele Day (March 11, 2011), Gregory de la Haba and The Beatles Complete On Ukulele will host an event unlike any other. The duo has recruited ten top artists to custom-paint KALA ukuleles. Each one-of-a-kind ukulele will be showcased at The Bowery Hotel in Manhattan on March 4, 2011. These ten ukuleles will also be auctioned off at Haunch of Venison with all proceeds going to Hi Art!


Hi Art! is one of the most innovative culture programs for youths in New York City. Its goal is to expose young people to the world of opera, classical music, fine art and dance.


The artists participating include: Micheal Anderson, Ryan Cronin, Jsun Laliberte, Bizzid, BTA, Greg Haberny, Noah Becker, Faiyaz Jafri, Lee Wells, and Jason Caplan. Also participating are guest artists Juliana Lazzaro, Agni Zotis, Edie Nadelhaft, and Alexandra Baer.


These same artists have also created a second set of KALA ukuleles, which will be sent to ten of the most interesting and powerful people on earth. Those who are in the running to receive the ukuleles range from King Abdula of Saudi Arabia and Kate Middleton (Future Queen of England) to Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga – and everyone in between.


David Barratt when asked about the significance of giving ukuleles to the most powerful people of earth said:

"It's a little like a Nobel Prize... but more useful"


Some of the artists shared their thoughts – and hopes for the recipients of their custom ukuleles



"I love Mexico and both of my pieces have a Mexican theme. The more figurative of the ukes is created from posters of Mariachi singers. I'd like my uke to go to the The Richest Man In The World - Carlos Slim. He is Mexican and has the coolest name of any billionaire I know."  

               -  Michael Anderson (


   "Boots, panties and ukuleles. It could only be for one person, Lady Gaga. Pop art for a pop icon."

                 -   Ryan Cronin


                  "I took a fully functioning object and transformed it into a totally unfunctionable work of art. I don't who you could give my ukulele to.... all of the cool people are dead."

                      -   Greg Habeny


                "My work has always dealt with the juxtaposition of archetypes. The Beatles, Bambi and the Ukulele, it's an archetype mash-up made in heaven. I hope my ukulele is awarded to Vladimir Putin. I cannot think of anyone better to party with"

           -   Faiyaz Jafri



The Beatles Complete On Ukulele


The Beatles Complete On Ukulele releases a new recording of a Beatles song featuring a ukulele every Tuesday. A short essay coincides with every recording and each performance is performed by a different artist.


The project began on January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day) and will conclude on July 31, 2012. (The eve of the London Olympics)

The project is produced by composer and artist David Barratt. His credits range from writing for Robert Plant, to mixing for David Bowie to composing for several advertising campaigns. His audio sculpture KARITO ( was installed at the United Nations General Assembly in 2008. 


You can see Barack Obama’s version of “Let It Be” at



Gregory de la Haba


Apart from being an exceptionally skilled painter with a pedagogical lineage that stretches back to the great Neoclassicist Jacques-Louis David, de la Haba is a gambler in more ways than one. 


He's created murals for Sean MacPherson's Roger Room in LA, Ceasar's Palace, Atlantic City and most recently for Armin Armiri's latest bar inside the new Mondrian Hotel in Chinatown. Selected solo and group exhibitions by de la Haba include: “Equus Maximus” Jack the Pelican Presents, “Queens International 4” Queens Museum, Pool art fair 2010, Gershwin Hotel, Trash Art Museum, Munich; Salzburg Arts festival, Austria, “Surfboards and Skateboards” World Erotic Art Museum, Miami, and Scope Art Show 2010, Miami. Currently exhibiting at the Salzach Biennale, Austria de la Haba has shows lined up for Berlin, Milan, Shanghai  and London for 2011. 


A cum laude graduate of Harvard University de la Haba's writings and artworks have been published in numerous publications including the Southampton Review, Rizzoli's Irish America and New York Arts magazine; he is featured in the latest documentary by notable Hollywood director Michael Knowles 'Gambling In Art, A Story of Six New York Artists Who've Gone All In' and in April of 2011 de la Haba will collaborate with award winning playwright Mike Gorman on a 'dramatic performance and art installation' at the venerable La MaMa theater in New York's East Village.

David Barratt proudly endorses Kala Brand Music Company products. Kala Brand Music Company is a California based manufacturer of over 120 models of Ukulele, the Kala U-BASS, and Uke Crazy line of accessories.


Special thanks to: Miller & Cronin, Cyndie Berthezene at Hi Art and Haunch of Venison gallery, NY.

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