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Karen Folger plays the ukulele for her mother, Bert Folger, during a group jam session with the Bellingham Ukulele Group at St. James Presbyterian Church, Saturday, Jan. 2. Karen brings her mother to the ukulele sessions every month to help facilitate her long-lasting love of music. // Photo by Daniel Liddicoet
A circle forms as people of all ages come together to compose a friendly, welcoming and musical environment. The gathered group shares a love of a small but mighty instrument — the ukulele. Their strums match one another, with each musician bringing  their own personal creativity to the circle.

“It’s kind of a smiling instrument, kind of a joyful instrument — it seems to make people feel that way,” said Brian Griffin describing the ukulele.

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BUG members meet monthly to learn the basics of the ukulele and to sing and jam together on Saturday, Jan. 2. // Photo by Daniel Liddicoet

u·ku·le·le

ˌyo͞okəˈlālē/

noun

a small four-stringed guitar of Hawaiian origin from the late 19th century: literally meaning ‘jumping flea.’

Shapiro said she loves how the ukulele is light and portable. She said that because it has four strings, it is easy to play right away.

Griffin said he has seen remarkable growth in many of the players in the group, including himself.

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