Performers/Instructors

 

What a line-up we have for Uke U-7!
Check out the 2018 faculty members (listed in alphabetical order by last name):

ANDY ANDREWS
Andy Andrews

Ukulele University welcomes back 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

Neal Chin has been playing the ʻukulele for seventeen 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 and was a nominee for the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards for best ‘Ukulele Album of the Year.

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 look forward to his return to Uke U and more information can be found on his website.

 

CATHY FINK AND MARCY MARXER
Cathy and Marcy

Multi-Grammy Award Winners, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are master musicians with a career spanning over 35 years. Cathy & Marcy have performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals and taught at close to 100 music camps. They are happily known as “social music conductors” ready to start a jam session, a community sing or to create a music camp helping others learn to play and sing.

It’s been a mission for Cathy and Marcy to get librarians, pre-school teachers and other educators to use the ukulele in the classroom, and they have introduced the ukulele to music therapists who are finding it fabulous in their work with children and with seniors.

Uke U welcomes Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer who have toured worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York and everywhere in between. You can learn more about Cathy and Marcy on their website.

 

ARDEN FUJIWARA

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.

Arden and his wife welcomed their first child, Teo, this past summer, and Arden again looks forward to meeting people who love the ukulele and journey with them to expand our knowledge, skill, and perception of the ukulele and it’s possibilities. Uke U is excited to have Arden return for a second year, and you can check out his website.

 

MILO FULTZ

Milo Fultz

Milo Fultz is a bassist who enjoys playing music of every style. His performing experience ranges widely, from holding the Principal Bass position with the Boise Philharmonic (2013-2015) and Section Bass with Oregon Ballet Theater, to award-winning performances, such as Ty Curtis Band (2nd Place in 2009 International Blues Competition), YamaYama (Best Blues/Pop/Rock Group in 2013 Downbeat Student Music Awards), and as a soloist (Featured Performer in 2014 Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium).

As a member of the ukulele community, he has performed with Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, Jim D’Ville, and others, performed on the 2014 Uke Cruise, as well as assisted workshops with Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel. He currently holds the Bass Instructor position at New Hope Christian College and maintains a private studio teaching bass and tutoring general music. He attended University of Oregon where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelors in Music Performance in 2014. Milo has proved himself as an accompanist at Uke U, and we welcome Milo back for a third year. Visit Milo’s website to see where he is performing.

 

TANYA HACKETT
Tanya Hackett

Tanya Hackett is Oregon born and raised! She remembers dancing “Little Brown Girl” as a little brown girl at family luaus with her cousins. She learned hula from Kumu Leilani Beymer in Eugene, whom she practiced with for four years. Tanya made a promise to her Hawaiian grandmother that she would learn to dance hula and that she would learn to dance from the heart. Tanya was blessed to meet Lyndon Onaka in 2010 who taught her that “I am my Kumu” and taught her to dance from the heart. She has performed at all of the Uke U events and loves sharing hula. Tanya was well-received as a hula instructor last year, and we are delighted to have her at Uke U-7!

 
 

CINDA JOHNSON
Cinda

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 (ukulelecinda@gmail.com) to see if they will be in your area! You will be glad you did.

 

LIL’ REV

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.

Lil’ Rev was well received last year and Uke U welcomes him back. He is a world-class entertainer and steward of vintage song and lore and his website shares more information about him.

 

CASEY MACGILLCasey MacGill

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 was a great addition to Uke U last year with folks requesting his return! To learn more about Casey MacGill and his music, check out his website.

 
 
 

ANDREW AND JAY MOLINAMolina
Andrew Molina is a rising ukulele star who has been playing ukulele since he was 13 years old, and his love and passion is apparent in his playing and song writing ability. Andrew comes from a family of musicians and credits his dad, bassist Jay Molina, with guiding his career path.

Andrew can get a crowd pumped up with his excitement that you can just feel, with his irresistible and infectious smile, much like his stage presence. His passion for playing is obvious, but it’s the interaction with his audience that fuels his drive. Performing live, he says, is “such a thrill, I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Uke U is in for a treat as we welcome Andrew Molina accompanied by his dad Jay! Visit Andrew’s website to learn more about them.

 

THE REFRESHMENTS

The Refreshments

The Refreshments are a quartet of Eugene women who play ukuleles, percussion, and a stand up bass. With their renditions of 50’s and 60’s pop classics, plus a wonderful blend of vocal harmonies, humor and fun, these ladies guarantee a lively finger snapping, toe-tapping, foot-stomping time.
We are excited to have The Refreshments (Patty Sage, Yayoe Kuramitsu, Denise Hinz, and Leslie Hunter) returning to Uke U this summer for the SEVENTH time to lead doo-wop workshops that will have you smiling and tapping your feet.
“Our goal is to get people dancing and singing along,” say The Refreshments.

 

CARL VENTIS
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, teaches ukulele to local Veterans, and is 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 snowdukesukes.com.

 
 
 

VICTORIA VOX
Victoria Vox

Victoria Vox earned a degree in songwriting from the Berklee College of Music mostly accompanying her songs with guitar until a friend gave her a ukulele, and the small, four-stringed instrument proved to be the unexpected, but welcomed vehicle to showcase the upbeat, rhythmic drive that is characteristic of her music. Victoria’s blending of singing-songwriting with her signature “mouth trumpeting” and uke jamming delight audiences of all ages making her a welcome addition to Uke U. You can learn more about Victoria on her website.