U-Space is a collaborative effort between the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo, Brad Ranola and Cary Hitsman of Anacapa Ukulele in Ventura, blues-ukulele master and educator Jason Arimoto, and six-time Grammy winner Daniel Ho.
U-Space features a coffee shop, a music school (with a heavy emphasis on ukulele), and a retail ukulele store, all in one space. It has already had a soft opening, but the grand opening is on Sunday, Feb. 9, at 5:30 p.m. The school offers six-week sessions for beginning and intermediate levels and jam classes.
The curriculum was created by Dr. Steven Sano, chair of the Stanford University Music Department, and the Ukulele Team is composed of Ho, Arimoto and Ranola.
The inaugural Ukulele Expo will be held in the JACCC Plaza on Saturday, June 28. It will include performances, workshops, an ukulele marketplace, and an attempt at the world record for the largest ukulele ensemble.
According to JACCC President and CEO Leslie Ito, U-Space is not permanent but will be at the center for at least a year. Hours are Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.