Artists and Workshop Presenters
All performers are also presenting workshops at the festival.
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. For nearly a decade Jim has taught his Play Ukulele By Ear workshops to thousands of players in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Jim has taught and performed at major ukulele events including the Ukulele Festival of Scotland, Kerrville Folk Festival, the NAMM Show, Melbourne (Australia) Ukulele Festival, West Coast Ukulele Retreat and many others. Jim is the author of the Play Ukulele By Ear DVD series and hosts the popular Play Ukulele By Ear website (www.PlayUkuleleByEar.com). Jim is a Contributing Editor to Ukulele (magazine) and is sponsored in-part by Ukulele (www.ukulelemag.com) and Aqulia Strings (aquilacorde.com/enz).
photo by Eric Max
With Curt's re-introduction to the ukulele after a 20 year break and taking advantage of his thirty plus years jazz guitar training and skills, he began pursuing the potential of the ukulele exploring instrumental music using the vast repertoire available from the traditional contemporary jazz repertoire and with a few originals thrown in for fun. Curt has developed an international reputation as a ukulele expert having written over 30 books for ukulele and over 600 lessons for the ukulele available on his LearningUkulele.com site.
As and author and private music teacher Curt created Curt Sheller Publications in 1995 and has been on the web since. Curt has over 40 years of playing experience and has been involved in private music education for the past 20 plus years.
Curt had the great privilege and honor of studying with Chuck Anderson for over 30 years. One of the most knowledgeable musicians you'll ever run into. Mainly studying jazz guitar, there was no subject off limits. Curt studied arranging, private teaching, 20th century harmony, performing and working with other musicians, and anything that would come up in the lessons.
The Aloha Boys
Born and raised in Hawai'i and transplanted to the Washington D.C. area to pursue careers, The Aloha Boys, Glen Hirabayashi, Isaac Ho'opi'i and Irv Queja - met in 1996 while playing music for their children at Halau O 'Aulani, a school of Hawai'ian culture, in the Washington, D.C. area. A special and exciting bond grew musically among the Aloha Boys, who love to kanikapila or play an acoustic down-home, backyard-style Hawai'ian music, a style which includes everything from the very traditional to contemporary songs and styles. They all sing lead and backing vocals. Their voices blend in a nahenahe (soft pleasant) style. They have performed at numerous functions from backyard parties to concerts and at many venues including Carnegie Hall and on the National Mall at the openings of the World War II Memorial and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, the Barns at Wolf Trap, and in Rheims, France, Toronto, Canada, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charlotte, Southern California and Hawai'i. In Hawai'i, their peformances include Pakele Live, the Gabby Festival, Slack Key Guitar Festival O'ahu Style, and Slack Key Guitar Festival, Virginia Style. The music of the Aloha Boys brings them and their audience back to a lifestyle that is unique and precious to Hawai'i.
“UncleZac” is a Fairfield County CT ukulele performer and teacher who has played the uke for over 50 years. He has a wide range of styles and materials that he performs and teaches. He has performed in several bands including Sharkey & the unknowns, a local 50 s and 60 s oldies group, Tim Currie’s Mowtown Band, Roswell & the Ukulaliens, a five piece ukulele band, The NY Ukulele Ensemble, “uke consultant” to the Darien High School Ukulele Group and leader of the Laphalele’s, a senior uke ensemble in New Canaan , CT. He presently fronts a trio performing uke & vocals with sax/clarinet/flute and upright base known as UncleZac & the ZacTones
Unclezac is the author of two chord charts, “Bari to Soprano and Back Ukulele Chord Chart” and The Ultimate Chord Inversion Chart for Ukulele” distributed by The Magic Fluke Company.
UncleZac is the author of several chord charts, “Bari to Soprano and Back Ukulele Chord Chart” and The Ultimate Chord Inversion Charts for Ukulele. In addition to teaching private and group lessons, he has also presented several workshops and performed at venues including The New York Uke Fest, The Tampa Bay Uke Fest, The New Jersey Folk Project Uke Fest, The Fort Lauderdale Uke Fest and The Funky Frets Uke Fest in 2015.
He plays music from Leon Redbone to Jimmy Buffett to Allan Sherman and more. Primarily a bari player, he never travels with only one uke because as uke legend, Fred Fallin, says, “each one has a different voice”, a necessity for different songs, so bring more than one.
Over 8 years ago I fell in love. I fell in love with a little four stringed instrument that I had only witnessed people making fun of or using it for outdated music. Then I saw Jake Shimabukuro play in his now famous video, ‘while my guitar gently weeps’ and that was it… my life was forever changed.
I bought one that night and waited very impatiently for it to show up. I looked up everyone I could find on YouTube to learn the ways of this fascinating new instrument I was enjoying… And some of these first people I made contact with, I am still great friends with after all these years.
I am a people loving, easy going country boy from the southern states of America. My approach to the ukulele follows my own ‘kiss’ theory.. Which is ‘keep it simple, and strum’ meaning make every thing as simple as you can, and most importantly enjoy yourself. I tell all my students that I have only one rule and it’s my rule #1…
Q: What’s my Rule #1?
A: Yah gotta have FUN!
William Ernestburg is from From Laie, Oahu, Hawaii. He is a proud graduate of Kahuku High School. William served in the United States Coast Guard with distinction for 30 years.
William is a member of the Hawaii State Society (HSS), the HSS ‘Ukulele Hui’, and Halau O'Aulani.top
Multi-instrumentalist Ben Carr is a Southern Vermont based musician and educator. He is known for his unique approach to the 'ukulele -- using intricate strum patterns, percussive tones and harmonic textures. His is not a run of the mill strum and sing performance. Ben fuses traditional techniques and classical styles to modern songwriting; and thrives on taking the instrument to places that are not commonly explored.
With a nod to modern 'ukulele players, Jake Shimabakuro and James Hill, he enjoys pushing the boundaries of what the four string axe can do. Ben's original compositions draw upon many influences – classical, jazz, rock and reggae – combined into a stylish sound of toe tapping rhythms and hum along melodies which take the listener on musical journeys of sonic adventures, tension, and release.
For over 45 years, Philadelphia native Bill Wynne has shared the music and culture of Hawaii with audiences from Carnegie Hall to the Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki. An expert in slack key guitar, steel guitar, and ukulele, Wynne is best known for his exceptional skill in the traditional Hawaiian art of falsetto singing for which he was awarded first prize – a Hula Records recording contract – in the 2005 Aloha Festivals Falsetto Contest. Wynne learned practically everything he knows about Hawaiian music through the careful study of recordings – a collecting frenzy which has a resulted in an enviable library of more than 25,000 rare Hawaiian music recordings which he now shares via his 24-hour-a-day internet-based radio station, Ho`olohe Hou Radio (www.hoolohehou.com). Wynne has twice hosted his own TV specials from Honolulu as part of the Pakele Live series and appeared more than 20 times at the New York Botanical Gardens as part of its “Visions of Hawaii” exhibit.
Christopher Davis-Shannon's music is the essence of honest simplicity. Bringing together influence ranging from Fats Waller to Chet Baker, he creates an atmosphere that will instantly transport you back to jazz clubs, and speakeasies of the early 20th century. Not Content being labelled a traditionalist, he forges ahead breathing new life into old classics, weaving together a sound that is enjoyed by both young and old.
As a multi-Instrumentalist, songwriter, and educator, based in Philadelphia, Davis-Shannon maintains a steady tour schedule with his own music as well as a sideman for various acts. He brings to the stage not just the pure joy of music, but a vast knowledge of the history behind the songs that he holds close to his heart. His intricate instrumental work and plaintive vocals are infused with soulfulness which cannot be faked, and a respect for his predecessors which is rarely equaled.
Mike Batchelor at Kettle Pot Tracks may have said it best:
"Christopher writes good songs, plays the crap out of them, and smiles every second he’s doin’ it. Let this guy into your lives a little, and be better for it!"
Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II, 34 years ago.top