May 26-29, 2017
Uke Fest


Uke Fest photos by Stewart Dean View more on Flickr

Uke Fest
Friday, May 26-Monday, May 29, 2017

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Announcing our 5th annual family-friendly weekend retreat for ukulele players of all skill levels! Workshops, concerts, jam sessions, great food and lots of fun. Tuition includes all classes, meals and the Saturday night concert featuring James Hill and Anne Janelle. Bring the family and enjoy a weekend of music and friends in a gorgeous natural setting, rich in history. Children and teens are welcome to attend with a guardian. Youth discounts and scholarships are available.

 

Can’t make it for the whole weekend? Don’t miss out on this chance to see two amazing performers on stage! Join us for the May 27th concert featuring James Hill and Anne Janelle.  Open to the public. Tickets are included in camp tuition and will go on sale to the pubic soon.

 

Instructors & Workshops for 2017… an unbelievable group of ukulele greats!

Gerald Ross  |  James Hill  |  Anne Janelle  |  Cathy Fink  |  Marcy Marxer  |  Jim D’Ville  |  Ben Hassenger


Gerald Ross, Uke Fest Organizer and Instructor

Visit Gerald’s website

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 on, and advocates for, the ukulele and lap steel guitar; he’s released several CDs of ukulele music, published instructional materials, and is very much in demand as a camp instructor.



James Hill & Anne Janelle

Visit James and Anne’s website

It’s true: opposites attract. James Hill, “possibly the best ukulele player in the world” (Waikato Times), grew up playing folk, jazz and blues on his ukulele. Anne Janelle, “a cellist of true beauty” (Ottawa Citizen), played only classical music on her cello. But the pair’s differences became their greatest asset: the uke is high, the cello is low; the uke plays short notes, the cello long bow strokes; the uke is all about strumming while the cello radiates melody.

In 2009, James and Anne released True Love Don’t Weep, an album of duets that garnered a Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Album of the Year. A mixture of traditional tunes with “fresh vitality” (Country Music People) and original songs, True Love Don’t Weep showcased the duo’s ability “to capture the soul of a song” (Folk World).

Since True Love Don’t Weep, James and Anne have released two solo albums each (James’ Man with a Love Song and The Old Silo; Anne’s Beauty Remains and So Long at the Fair) and toured in over 15 countries, making their mark not only as accomplished instrumentalists but also as some of the finest songwriters of their generation. Together, they conjure a sound that is intricate, enchanting and engaging: “a crystal clear sound filled with warmth” (Bob Mersereau, CBC Radio). In concert, James is “a dazzling live performer with a genial, low-key sense of humour” (Edmonton Journal) and Anne brings her “gorgeous syrupy voice” (Acoustic Magazine) to songs that are “inventive, entertaining, beautifully written and brilliantly performed” (R2 Magazine).

In short, a night out with James Hill & Anne Janelle is “the perfect evening of tunes, stories and musical virtuosity” (Wellington Dominion-Post).



Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Visit Cathy & Marcy’s website

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are a formidable powerhouse of sound, with a repertoire of traditional and contemporary folk, old-time country and swing music. Their superb harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the acoustic & electric guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, cello banjo, ukulele, percussion and many other instruments. They are ready to engage and entertain audiences of all ages, with a broad following in family music and in American Roots styles. Equally at home at a Bluegrass festival, Folk festival, Family concert or just about anywhere, audiences respond to their good humor, excellent musicianship and warm rapport. Their love of passing the music on has led them to direct several music camps and workshops, including the Ukulele & Guitar Summit at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD.

They’ve earned two GRAMMY® Awards for “cELLAbration: a Tribute to Ella Jenkins” and for “Bon Appétit!”. An additional 11 GRAMMY® nominations include their CDs, “Postcards” and “Banjo Talkin’ in the Best Traditional Folk Album category. They produced and performed on Tom Paxton’s GRAMMY® nominated “Live in the UK” CD and tour. Tom says, “Cathy & Marcy are at home in a dozen musical styles. They swing you, jazz you, and old timey you till you just give up and bliss out”.

The C. F. Martin Company honored Cathy & Marcy’s musical achievements by creating a signature guitar for each of them, the M3H Cathy Fink Custom Signature Edition and the MC3H Marcy Marxer Custom Signature Edition. Marcy’s instrumental virtuosity has led to endorsements with Gold Tone Instruments (Marcy Marxer Model Cello Banjo), Kala Instruments (Marcy Marxer Model Tenor Ukulele), National Steel Guitars (prototype of frst Tenor Steel Guitar made since 1932) and Latin Percussion (full set of Congas and Latin Percussion instruments).

Their recorded catalogue of CD’s, DVD’s and instructional materials includes an astounding 65 titles. Recognized as top-notch songwriters, they are multiple prizewinners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, USA International Songwriting Contest and Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. In their 30+ years performing together, the Washington Area Music Association has recognized Cathy & Marcy with over 60 WAMMIE Awards for folk, bluegrass and children’s music.

What do The Savoy Family Cajun Band, Pete Seeger, Riders in the Sky, Si Kahn, Brave Combo, Mariachi Los Camperos, Mike Seeger, Patsy Montana, Tim O’Brien, Hot Rize and Ysaye Barnwell all have in common? They have all worked with Cathy & Marcy in the studio. Their skills have led to producing over 60 recordings by and with other artists, and to projects with National Geographic, AT&T, McGraw-Hill School Publishing, Handwriting Without Tears and numerous corporate clients who appreciate roots music values.

Cathy & Marcy have performed at hundreds of bluegrass and folk festivals, appeared on the “Weekend Today Show”, “CBS Early Show”, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”. The duo has toured worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York and everywhere in between. American Voices Abroad chose Cathy & Marcy to perform in China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu for the U.S. Department of State.


Jim D’Ville

Visit Jim’s website

Jim D’Ville is a music educator and facilitator who is on a mission to get ukulele players off the paper and playing music by ear. Over the last six years he has taught his Play Ukulele By Ear workshops to thousands of players in the United States, Australia, Canada and the Caribbean.

Jim is the author of the Play Ukulele By Ear DVD series and hosts the popular Play Ukulele By Ear website.


Ben Hassenger

Visit Ben’s website

Ben Hassenger’s musical career began in the early 1970s when he was arrested for playing “Smoke on the Water” on accordion and singing in animal sounds in the cafeteria at Lansing Community College. It was the start of something special, for sure.

Ben now works as a music facilitator with Special Education children, teaches ukulele to students and teachers in Michigan school systems, seniors at Prime Time in East Lansing, as well as group and individual ukulele lessons at Elderly Instruments, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Michigan State University’s Community Music School. He plays guitar and ukulele in the bands Blue Jello and The Ukulele Kings and is the co-founder of the Lansing (MI) Area Ukulele Group and the organizer of the Mighty Uke Day festival, Interlochen’s Uketoberfest, and the Midwest Uke Camp in Olivet . He is also a prolific songwriter, with two of his songs about the Detroit Tigers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Ben’s a fun and involving performer with a variety of original songs about dogs, food, love, Michigan, and the other important things in life.


Schedule

While the materials for Uke Fest 2017 are being developed, you can take a look 2016 Uke Fest info with photos and videos here.


Tuition

Tuition includes all classes, meals and the concert. Work exchange and youth scholarships are available. 

 

 

Adults $495
Youth (ages 13-25) $395
Children (ages 5-12) $345
Parent/Guardian* (Meals, dance and concert, no classes): $310
Under 5 Free

Lodging is additional.

*Camp attendees under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We offer a special Parent/Guardian rate which includes meals, dance and concert, but no classes or lodging.

You’ll enjoy delicious meals by our Chef William Warnes, including dinner on Friday, three meals on Saturday and Sunday, brunch on Monday, beverages round the clock and sumptuous late night snacks. You may select regular, vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.


Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may hold your place with a deposit of $150. Full payment is due no later than six weeks before camp begins.

Partial refunds are available until two weeks before camp begins. To cancel, please log into the account you created when registering on Regonline and select the option to cancel. Cancellation fees apply.

Please refer to our official payment/cancellation/refund policy for important deadlines and dates for this workshop.


Lodging

Enjoy the full Ashokan experience and choose comfortable onsite lodging as part of the registration process. More information and costs here.


What to Bring

  • If you are staying onsite: Sleeping bag or sheets, blanket, pillowcases, towels, soap, toiletries. There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best.
  • Flashlight, camera.
  • Clothes and shoes for wet and dry weather.
  • Public consumption of alcohol is discouraged.

See this What To Bring/Camp Summary for more details.


Youth Pricing and Scholarship Fund

We’re excited about the growing interest in traditional music and dancing among young people–the future is in their hands. To help young people take part in Ashokan Music & Dance Camps, we offer major discounts for children and young adults and have established a Youth Scholarship Fund. Anyone age 25 or younger can apply by filling out our Youth Scholarship Application.


Work Exchange

A limited number of work exchange positions are available to partially defray the cost of the camp. A list of available positions can be found here.

Indicate your first three choices of positions during online registration and make a deposit of $150 or more to hold your registration.

Contact us by phone (845) 246-2121, or email office@ashokan.org for details.


Registration

Register for Uke Fest Now!

 

Please do not call to register or send in your check before registering online.

If you prefer to pay by check, or with a credit card by phone, you may select that option when you register.

You can pay in full now, or hold your spot with a deposit of $150 for each attendee until six weeks before camp begins, when full payment is due. If you are applying for a work exchange position, a deposit of $150 is still required.


Stay in the loop!

Like our Ashokan Music & Dance Camps Facebook page for news and updates.

and like our Uke Fest Facebook page for Uke Fest updates.

 

 

Photos on the top of this page were taken by George Touchstone and Stewart Dean.

You can see more Uke Fest photos on the Photos page.