The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra

Created by Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame, The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra combines talented musicians with wild and crazy costumes and a splash of Kiwi humor for a show unlike any other. Covering popular hits of all genres and eras, from “Hey Ya” to “Jolene,” the four-string ensemble causes audiences to go wild, inspiring spontaneous conga lines, break dances, and more.

Conceived in a small New Zealand café by Age Pryor and Bret McKenzie, The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra was designed as a contemporary variant on the dance hall show bands of the 1950s. Since their first sold-out show in 2005, the orchestra has delighted audiences in New Zealand and beyond with their unique balance of big humor and small instruments. The group has performed at festivals around the world, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The group made history, when they became the first ukulele act to appear in New Zealand’s premier concert hall, the Michael Fowler Center. Featuring various types of ukuleles, a double bass, and harmonious vocals, The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra has recorded four albums and performed soundtrack work for a number of documentaries, sitcoms, and films.

Known for their tendency to burst randomly into song, the orchestra brings a hilarious twist to modern and traditional songs. Their repertoire includes popular numbers, such as “Afternoon Delight” and “Maneater,” as well as traditional New Zealand and Pacific Island songs, for a unique musical experience of recognizable favorites and beautiful, unknown melodies. As The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra likes to say, “If you know the words, sing along. If you don’t know the words, sing along!”