What a line-up we have for Uke U-6!
Check out the 2017 faculty members (listed in alphabetical order):

Andy Andrews

Ukulele University is proud to present Andy Andrews, co-founder of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, co-producer of the legendary “UkeFest West” festival, and more recently, the founder of the Puna Ukulele and Kanikapila Association (PUKA) on the Big Island.

Andy has presented at numerous festivals and events around the country and Canada, and is known for his infectious personality, encyclopedic knowledge of all things ukulele, and his positive instructional skills, not to mention his inimitable, inclusive style of leading play-alongs. He has been featured in two documentary films, “The Mighty Uke” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

Andy and his wife Pam now reside on Hawai’i Island.


Neal Chin

Neal Chin has been playing the ʻukulele for sixteen years and teaching for fifteen. Born and raised on the island of Maui, he began taking ʻukulele lessons at the age of nine. One year later, Neal started teaching ʻukulele lessons to family and friends and started competing and placing in ‘ukulele competitions. This led to the beginning of his performing career, as Neal started playing with other local musicians. At the age of fourteen, Neal taught himself how to play the guitar, thus broadening his musical scope. After years of performing and recording in Hawai’i, Neal received his first Na Hoku Hanohano Award in 2014 for the Akira Project.

Neal has taught in a variety of venues throughout Hawai’i, Oregon and Washington including private practice, teaching centers, ‘ukulele schools, ‘ukulele retail shops and English schools. Neal currently resides in Seattle, Washington continuing his career performing, teaching, and recording. We have had the pleasure of participating in Neal’s workshops and look forward to having him at
Uke U!
More information can be found on his website.




Jim D’Ville is a music educator and facilitator who is on a mission to get ukulele players off the paper and to teach the fundamentals of music from an ear-based approach of playing music by ear. He has taught his “Play Ukulele By Ear” workshops to thousands of players in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Jim is the author of the “Play Ukulele By Ear” DVD series and hosts the popular Play Ukulele by Ear website. His approach to teaching ukulele has been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Oregon Art Beat and is a contributing writer to Ukulele Magazine and Australia’s Kamuke.

Jim was well received at Uke U last year, and we look forward to his returner Uke U-6.



Danielle Ate the Sandwich

Danielle Ate the Sandwich is the stage name of indie-folk, songwriter, Danielle Anderson. Her music career began modestly at open mic nights in Fort Collins, Colorado and was unexpectedly jumpstarted by the popularity of her YouTube videos that showcase her songs and silly personality. The true power of Danielle Ate the Sandwich, however, is her ability to sing stories both grand and small, with sweet vocals and thoughtful, honest lyrics. Danielle Ate the Sandwich has been touring nationally since 2009, cultivating a loyal and dedicated fan base, affectionately referred to as ‘Fanwiches.’ We welcome Danielle to her first Uke U and check out her website!



Arden Fujiwara

Arden Fujiwara proves that the ukulele is more than just a novelty instrument. Born and raised in Hawaii, he learned from ukulele masters such as Jake Shimabukuro and Troy Fernandez, but now forges his own style in Seattle. Arden fuses tradition with the progressive to break the expectations and elevates the ukulele to new boundaries.

The resurgence of the ukulele’s popularity has grown rapidly over the past decade and the revolution is spreading all over the world. Arden intends to be a keystone in this movement by continuing to spread the love and respect of the ukulele.

One thing Arden is looking forward to at Uke U is meeting people who love the ukulele and journey with them as we expand our knowledge, skill, and perception of the ukulele and it’s possibilities. Uke U is excited to have Arden join us and in the meantime, check out his website.



Patty and Denise

After 30 years teaching elementary school, Patty has rededicated her life to spreading the joy of strumming the ukulele. She has taught hundreds of student how to strum in After School Programs and loves to remind them to “Smile, you’re playing a ukulele!”

Denise learned to play the ukulele about 10 years ago and still revels in the joy that this little instrument can bring. She is a ukulele enthusiast who enjoys bringing groups of people together to share music, song, and good times. She is the facilitator of the Ukulaneys, a community ukulele group in Eugene, Oregon.

Denise and Patty perform with The Refreshments, a four-woman band that enjoys singing songs from the 50’s and 60’s, with a focus on the doo-wop genre.

Denise and Patty will be leading two play-along workshops, giving participants the opportunity to use their chords in a group setting for the simple joy of making music together.



Cinda Johnson was in the “right place at the right time” when she was given 37 ukuleles and commissioned to spread the joy of the instrument throughout the world. She has taken this mission very seriously. Her ukulele travels have taken her to schools on the islands of Bonaire & Aruba in the Caribbean, Germany, Mexico and Canada.

Cinda’s favorite students are those who consider themselves “non-musical”, regardless of age or ability. She brings energy, enthusiasm and flair when teaching dynamics, various strums and chord structures. You will have confidence in playing after taking Cinda’s classes.

As the founder of Ukulele Orchestras in the Oregon communities of Bend, Welches, and Sandy, Cinda’s philosophy is to “give the gift of music” back to the communities she has lived in or visited.

Being a children’s entertainer for the past 30 years performing music and magic, she loves teaching and performing in schools. Cinda’s heart of compassion and knowledge of hospice work has also allowed her to quietly play at the bedside of hospice patients during their final breaths.

When she and her husband, Ron perform together they call themselves the HAPPY HOUR. Their motto is “Every hour is HAPPY HOUR when I’m with “UKE” They enjoy traveling in their RV spreading the joy of the ukulele along the way with workshops and concerts. Check with them ( to see if they will be in your area! You will be glad you did.



Aaron and Nicole 480X319

No stranger to the ukulele world, Aaron has been teaching ukulele techniques and performing at festivals since 2004. As an educator with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Musicology, his true talents lie in his ability to adapt instruction to fit a wide range of learners and learning styles. Aaron is an ambassador for old time folk music in the ukulele world, adapting banjo and guitar techniques to the ukulele (including playing in the “clawhammer” tradition). His YouTube instructional videos have gained a worldwide following and have led to teaching and performing opportunities in N. America, Europe and Australia. Aaron is also a luthier, building instruments for Mya-Moe ukuleles ( since 2011 and as Beansprout banjo ukuleles from 2007-2011.

Nicole earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education and taught K-5 elementary school music for nine years in the public schools while living in Colorado. She sang professionally for several years with the nationally recognized Ars Nova Singers and has taught private voice and piano lessons to students of all ages since 2002. In 2012 (after moving to Oregon), Nicole took a sabbatical from teaching elementary school in order focus on her fiber arts business and to perform and travel with Aaron as The Quiet American. She has taught several singing workshops and has developed a passion for ukulele instruction to adult learners.

Aaron and Nicole have also self-published several educational ukulele books with topics ranging from jug band songs to fingerstyle technique. Many of their books include instructional videos on YouTube, which has contributed to the worldwide success of their products. Nicole’s handwritten notation and illustrations in these books are the perfect compliment to Aaron’s well planned scope and sequence of lessons, ukulele arrangements and original compositions.

This will be the fifth year for Aaron and Nicole at Uke-U. They are looking forward to seeing old friends, making new ones and showing how much Henry has grown up in a year! Take a tour of their website



Lil Rev

Lil’ Rev is an award-winning ukulele and harmonica player from Milwaukee, WI. He began his music career as a street musician in the early 90’s after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Community Education. He has been a grade school music teacher and adjunct college lecturer in the music history department at UWM.

Following 5 years of teaching, the road called and Lil’ Rev knew it was time to court the muse once again! Since that time, Lil’ Rev has stayed very busy, writing over 8 instructional ukulele books for Hal Leonard, while touring North America extensively. 

He tours the East each fall and the South and West in the winter months, while also flying around North America to teach and perform at Ukulele Festivals.

We are delighted to have Lil’ Rev at Uke U-6 . He is a world-class entertainer and steward of vintage song and lore and his website shares more information about him. Here is Lil’ Rev’s message to you:

Dear UU Students,
As a lifelong learner, and educator, I always show up ready to teach, but also to absorb the experience of being a part of something truly unique….the moment!
I haven’t spent much time in Bend and I am excited to be there with all of you, engaged in the joy of Uke. I look forward to teaching, jamming, socializing and getting to know all of you.
-Lil Rev



Casey MacGill is a classic Hollywood character in musical style and appearance, playing boogie-woogie, swing, and stride piano. He blows a lyrical cornet, however his most unique instrumental voice is a 6-string tenor ukulele. Casey has been singing and arranging vocal harmonies for over 40 years, in a career that stretches from Los Angeles to Spokane to Broadway and finally to Seattle.

Casey has played a lot of music with a lot of people, and the one thing he has learned is to tailor his arrangements to the individual players, giving each musical situation a unique sound. He performs regularly in the Seattle area on cornet, piano, vocals, and ukulele and is a regular at ukulele festivals.

The man can swing and what a great addition he will be to Uke U-6! To learn more about Casey MacGill and his music, check out his website.


Kalae Miles

Kalae Miles, an ambassador of Aloha, has performed and taught Hawaiian ukulele over the past 20 years in Hawai’i and throughout the West Coast.
Kalae was born and raised in Waimanalo on the island of O’ahu. Finding his musical voice at an early age, Kalae performed with the Honolulu Boy Choir, the Keiki Music School and the Hawaiʻi Children’s Opera Chorus.

Kalae’s first CD entitled “Ho’opono shares the traditional, contemporary and original Hawaiian mele (songs) through Kalae’s unique musical world view. He currently lives in Santa Cruz, California and regularly performs locally, in Hawai’i and in Japan, taking the Aloha Spirit wherever he goes.



Mark Ransom is a 25-year resident of Bend, a singer-songwriter, music educator, festival organizer and local performing arts advocate. He is the creator of seven original CDs—works inspired heavily by his connections to Bend. Mark’s passion for songwriting and love of music bring him into the classroom at four schools in Central Oregon teaching guitar, ukulele, ensemble performance and songwriting workshops. He is the director of the Cascades Academy 5th grade Ukulele Orchestra.

You can visit Mark’s website at

Carl Ventis

Carl has 25 years experience in the music industry and is an invigorating, inspiring, talented teacher whose teaching skills expand across multiple instruments, including Ukulele, Guitar and Bass. Carl believes learning to play Ukulele is Fun, Easy and Uplifting. Carl is the Ukulele Instructor for Bend Parks and Rec and Redmond Parks and Rec, and a long time member of the Bend Ukulele Group (BUG). He is also the owner of Snow Dukes Ukes, Central Oregon’s Kamoa Ukulele Dealer.

Check out Carl’s website at