Heidi Swedberg Demos the New Ohana O’Nina Sopranissimo Ukulele

By Greg Olwell

Regular Ukulele contributor Heidi Swedberg swung by our NAMM show booth to play a song with Daniel Ward. The two played the 1953 hit, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople),” with Heidi taking the vocals and ukulele duties and Daniel working the guitar.

Heidi plays an Ohana O’Nina Sopranissimo, a new mini-soprano made from willow that’s an companion to Ohana’s mahogany-bodied O’Nino. Daniel also plays a guitar that made its debut at the NAMM show, the Blackbird Guitars Savoy, a O-sized guitar made from a bio-composite material called Ekoa.

[In this clip, Heidi sings in the style of Helen Kane, a star in the ’20s who provided the inspiration for cartoon character Betty Boop —- after reportedly stealing the shtick from a Cotton Club performer known as “Baby Esther.”]