What a line-up we have for Uke U-7!
Check out the 2018 faculty members:
Even though Craig Chee was born and raised on Oahu, he matured as a ‘ukulele player and musician on the mainland. Throughout attending and graduating from the University of Oregon, Craig focused on teaching a myriad of different styles with the tiny instrument. Craig has had the honor of working under Jake Shimabukuro and Troy Fernandez and has become a renowned instructor and performer around the world. Craig infuses his energetic and just plain “fun” style into many genres of music and is known for his collaborations at different music events.
Sarah Maisel was born and raised in Alabama and found herself working in San Diego, CA as the Lead Female Draper for the La Jolla Playhouse and the University of California San Diego. On walking into a local ‘ukulele jam, Sarah was both fascinated by the instrument and the joy that surrounded it. Studying under Frank Leong, Sarah dove into the jazz stylings of golden age Hawai’i songs and arrangements inspired by ‘ukulele legends like Lyle Ritz, Benny Chong and Byron Yasui. Sarah found a passion of teaching and performing with the ‘ukulele and was quickly featured at many ‘ukulele festivals around the world.
Craig and Sarah discovered a similar passion and work ethic and as of September, 2015 are now married! They have made an incredible splash in the ‘ukulele scene with their complementing styles and vocal harmonies. Though they love performing, they are also known for their skilled teaching. From private lessons to group classes (in person and via Skype/FaceTime), both enjoying sharing the joy of music with their students.
Link to Craig and Sarah’s website.
Ukulele University welcomes back Andy Andrews, co-founder of the legendary Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, and producer of the famous 2004 “UkeFest West” festival. In 2010 he moved to Hawaii and formed the Puna Ukulele and Kanikapila Association – aka “PUKA” – on the Big Island of Hawaii. He also created the three wonderful Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz Play-a-Long Songbooks, which are used by ukulele clubs worldwide.
Andy teaches many ukulele styles and has led innumerable music jams at festivals and club events around the country and in Canada. He is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of all things ukulele, his positive instructional skills, and most especially his inimitable, inclusive style of leading play-a-longs.
He teaches ongoing adult ukulele and music theory classes, and also leads ukulele workshops year-round in Hawaii. He owns well over 100 ukuleles plus an amazing assemblage of ukulele ephemera from all eras of the 138-year history of the amazing little instrument. This collection has been featured in several museum shows. Andy was featured in two ukulele documentary films, “The Mighty Uke” and “Under the Boardwalk.”
Andy and his wife Pam reside on Hawai’i Island.
Award winning artist and Maui, HI native Neal Chin, has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of 17 years. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. While his heart is in jazz, Neal has played with many musicians of different genres including Hawaiian, folk, rock, and hip-hop. His contribution to the collective The Akira Project, won his first Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award in 2014 before moving up to the Pacific Northwest. Since then he was nominated for the 2017 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year with his album ‘Ukulele Paintings, started his own ‘ukulele practice in the Pacific Northwest, and has released his sophomore ‘ukulele album The Spotless Mind. Neal currently lives, teaches, and performs in Seattle, WA. We look forward to his return to Uke U!
Link to Neal’s website.
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.
Their CD “Rockin’ The Uke” showcases ukulele versatility, from Blues to Django to Old Time and original songs. Marcy teaches Ukulele for PegHead Nation, TrueFire, and Homespun Tapes. Cathy’s clawhammer ukulele style is second to none. Together, they are Artistic Directors of the Strathmore Ukefest in Bethesda, MD, now celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary August 11-15, 2018. Uke U welcomes Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer who have toured worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York and everywhere in between.
Link to Cathy and Marcy’s website.
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!
Link to Arden’s website.
Milo Fultz is a bassist who enjoys playing music of every style with everyone. He has performed with Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel, Kalei Gamiao, Victoria Vox, Neal Chin, and others, as well as taught workshops on ‘uke bass and music theory. His playing has been featured on Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel’s last three albums, as well as Neal Chin’s “Ukulele Paintings”, which was nominated for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year in 2017’s Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
Outside of the ‘ukulele, he is an active orchestral player with the Oregon Ballet Theater and Eugene Symphony, a member of northwest chamber klezmer band 3 Leg Torso, and an active freelancer on the electric and upright bass. Milo maintains a private studio teaching bass and tutoring general music out of Portland and via Skype.
Link to Milo’s website.
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 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 several countries to perform in the schools. Being a children’s entertainer for the past 30 years performing music and magic, she loves songwriting, rhythm facilitation, teaching and performing. 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 Christmas Orchestras in several Oregon communities, Cinda’s philosophy is to “give the gift of music” back to the folks that live in the assisted living, memory care, adult foster homes and retirement homes throughout Central Oregon. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see if they will be in your area! You will be glad you did.
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.
Link to Lil’ Rev’s website.
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.
“I like to make rhythm with the uke. I teach my favorite 3 strums, swing, shuffle, and rumba, and that’s all about rhythm! I’m not a ukulele soloist; my singing, piano, and cornet are where I solo, but the rhythm from the ukulele is a cornerstone for everything else. I like to share that in classes.”
The man can swing and was a great addition to Uke U last year with folks requesting his return!
Link to Casey’s website.
ANDREW AND JAY MOLINA
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!
Link to Andrew’s website.
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.
Gerald Ross is comfortable with just about every type of “roots” music there is, from western swing, bluegrass, Hawaiian, blues, jug band music, jazz standards, Tin Pan Alley, New Orleans rhythms to boogie-woogie, and he plays it all on guitar, lap steel, Dobro and ukulele.
He’s performed in concert with Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie, Doc Watson, Johnny Gimble, Riders In The Sky, Brownie McGhee and many others. Gerald won the Solo Artist Category of the 1993 WEMU Jazz Competition and has appeared many times on “A Prairie Home Companion.”
These days, Gerald is one of America’s best-known performers, entertainers and advocates for the ukulele. He’s released six ukulele CDs, published instructional materials, and is very much in demand as a music festival instructor. We are delighted to have Gerald at Uke U!
Link to Gerald’s website.
Carl has 40 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. He holds regular Thursday night group ukulele lessons at String Theory Music in Bend, Oregon and has taught at many Uke Festivals including the Oakridge Ukulele Festival and five Ukulele University Festivals. He also is a volunteer ukulele teacher for local Veterans and is a long time member of the Bend Ukulele Group (BUG).
Carl is the owner of Snow Dukes Ukes, Central Oregon’s Kamoa Ukulele Dealer. “Ukulele has changed my life, and it can change yours.” This is Carl’s 6th year at Uke U, and he is excited and inspired to be included with such an amazing Ukulele faculty of teachers and performers.
Link to Carl’s website.
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. The small, four-stringed instrument began to influence her songwriting style overnight, and it became the unexpected, but welcomed vehicle to showcase her upbeat, rhythmic drive that is characteristic of her music. Victoria has been performing and teaching internationally at ukulele festivals since 2006, but with her award-winning-songwriting facet, she’s been toting her ukulele to folk and acoustic music stages, where she has opened for Jackson Browne, Tom Chapin, Leo Kottke, and Cheryl Wheeler. She has also co-written songs with Cathy Fink and Casey MacGill, and many other performing-songwriters. Victoria delights audiences of all ages with her blend of singing-songwriting with her signature “mouth trumpet” and uke jamming, making her a welcome addition to Uke U.
Link to Victoria’s website.