John Kavanagh – Small Rooms: Monday Exposure

Last year, the ukulele world lost two of the classiest players and arrangers for ukulele: John King and John Kavanagh.

John Kavanagh’s arrangements of ragtime tunes on his album Parlour Music were a particular inspiration for me. He managed to make those insanely tricky pieces sound clean and elegant. So I was very privaleged to have been able to exchange emails on our shared passion for playing ragtime on the ukulele and delighted when he was generous enough to say nice things about my Ragtime arrangements – in this excellent article on Ragtime ukuele – despite my obvious noob status.

The same mastery of ukulele arrangement is on display on the album he was working on when he died Small Rooms. The album has been completed and released by John’s friends and family – who have done a great job with it – and it’s well worth checking out. You can stream clips of it on and buy it here

John’s ukulele lessons:

Finger and thumb strum lesson
Getting that bluegrass sound

View Comments


  1. Ritchie February 2nd, 2010 7:46 am

    Al, thanks for that link …it’s nice to ‘see and hear’ John again and for keeping his memory alive.

  2. Woodshed February 2nd, 2010 2:53 pm

    Thanks, Ritchie.

  3. Heidi February 3rd, 2010 11:34 pm

    Thanks woodshed for posting a note about John Kavanagh. He was a dear friend to me and I miss him dearly.

    Heidi Litke

  4. Mary McFarlane February 10th, 2010 9:19 pm

    It’s nice to see a recent post about my sweetie. I’m happy to hear you thought we did a good job on “Small Rooms”!

    I hope to have the all-Vivaldi CD, (which he was working on even before “Small Rooms”) completed sometime within the next year. He had recorded the uke parts, prepared the artwork, written the liner notes…but he didn’t get around to recording the accompaniments. He would have done them on guitar but he had also written keyboard arrangements for clavichord or harpsichord so that he and I could play them together for our own amusement. A harpsichord player, with whom he played in a Baroque quartet, will record the accomps. This recording might not have a big audience but it’s very close to my heart and I REALLY want to get it out there for people to hear.

    Thanks again for your posting.

  5. Woodshed February 11th, 2010 8:58 pm

    Heidi: Thanks.

    Mary: Can’t wait to hear the Vivaldi CD when it’s done.

  6. Rebecca Efrat January 17th, 2018 4:44 pm


    I am the Senior Media Librarian in the Music Library at the CBC. One of our music producers is wanting to play tracks from John Kavanagh’s Small Rooms – I can’t find it to purchase anywhere. Do you have any idea where I can find it?



  7. Woodshed January 18th, 2018 10:40 am

    Rebecca: I don’t, I’m afraid. You could try contacting Ukulele in the Classroom they were involved in releasing it so they might be able to help.

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