Mishkin, who is a neighbor of Warburton’s in La Crescenta, said she’s a fan of Ukulele Bartt — the man and his music.
In addition to performing across the country, Warburton is a dedicated educator and last year received an award as Teacher of the Year for Los Angeles Unified School District for his work with continuation students, young people who aren’t able to thrive in a traditional school system.
He also is an artist, songwriter, and children’s book illustrator.
Warburton grew up in Santa Monica and other parts of Los Angeles, the middle of three boys reared by his mom, Barbara Warburton.
He studied journalism at UCLA and later earned a degree in fine arts from the Arts Center College of Design, in Pasadena.
In the 1980s, he played with various rock bands before discovering his passion for playing the ukulele. “It’s an addiction,” he said of his love of playing and collecting the small wooden, stringed instruments made famous by the tulip-tiptoeing 1960s pop musician Tiny Tim.
Warburton likens his enjoyment of perusing instrument factories to his wife’s love for shoe shopping. “I buy one uke and I find another one I just have to have,” he said.
His favorite ukulele is a custom-made instrument made of myrtle wood, and embellished with ebony, abalone and mother of pearl. In addition to his name embedded on the neck of the ukulele, the various icons on the instrument have special meanings. There are shell carpenter bees on the tip near the tuning pegs that signify Bartt and his two B-named brothers, Brett, who lives in the West Valley and younger brother, Brian, now-deceased.