Getting a little help from Dead Man’s Uke at The Ukulele Festival of Scotland. Photo by James Millar.
All of these events were so different, each really special in it’s own way. Some (like the West Coast Retreat, which isn’t a festival!) are more geared towards learning, immersing yourself in ukulele, guided by instructors, whilst others are more biased towards performances, but what struck me most was what they all had in common. Great people, great experiences (for attendees and performers), and wonderful friends. I feel immensely privileged to be in this remarkable world.
It was a real pleasure to be a tutor at Sore Fingers, and wonderful to be surrounded by so many amazing musicians. The really good news is that I’m doing it again in October! The shorter October camp (21st and 22nd Oct) is an ideal opportunity to come and study uke with me and to meet other musicians, jam, and generally immerse yourself in great music in the beautiful Cotswolds!
I just got back from my first visit to the States, where I was a tutor at the West Coast Ukulele Retreat on the Monterey peninsula, along with Gerald Ross, Victoria Vox, Kevin Carroll, Daniel Ward, Heidi Swedberg and Dave Egan and dynamic organiser Elaine de Man.
What an amazing event! Going on for 90 students, a full timetable of hugely diverse workshops, plenty of opportunities for the students to perform and for us all to socialise and talk ukulele!
Who would have thought that when I picked up the uke all those years ago it would take me quite so far!
There’ll be a full write up of my experiences there in a future issue of Uke magazine.
On the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd August, I’ll be in Ireland, for the Ukulele Hooley in Dun Laoghaire. Really looking forward to performing alongside all the other fabulous acts. http://www.ukulelehooley.com/
There are, of course, workshops too. I’m running a brand new workshop called ‘Jamming Essentials’, which will teach you how to get stuck in playing with other people, even when you don’t know the song, without having to go searching on the internet for the chords!
On Saturday 22nd November I’ll be at Muzik and More’s Ukulele Day, at The Green Man Gallery, Hardwick Hall, Buxton SK17 6PY. The day (11am to 4pm) is free, but you’ll need a ticket if you want to come to my beginners uke wokshop (only £6!). More info from www.muzikandmore.co.uk