Port Townsend Ukulele Festival




September 12-16, 2018
Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington

Registration for the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival is closed, as the workshop is at capacity. If you’d like to be on waiting list, please send an email to Peter McCracken, peter@centrum.org, with the words “Uke Wait List” in the subject line.

The Port Townsend Ukulele Festival and Workshop is held at Fort Worden State Park, a venue unparalleled in beauty and facility. Expect four nights and three days of intense fun, ukulele instruction, and merry music making with some of the finest ukulele instructors and players working today.

Registration will be limited to 135 people, ensuring small classes and an intimate atmosphere (15/1 student faculty ratio). The workshop offerings will feature a wide variety of styles – jazz, blues, swing, Hawaiian, pop, novelty, and jugband ukulele, at the least. Specific classes will include chords, melody, improvisation, playing up the neck, performing tips, and “one-off” workshops during the Serendipity Hour. Final detailed class descriptions will be posted on the class description page. The evenings feature faculty and participant-led jams, as well as two public performances.

Here’s a general idea of what to expect:

Wednesday:  4 – 5:30pm – registration, settle in, dinner at 6pm, welcome & orientation at 8pm; entertainment and jamming after.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Breakfast; 2 morning workshop sessions; lunch; 2 afternoon workshop sessions; open mike; dinner; and in the evenings, entertainment, open jams, house parties, and two public performances (your workshop registration entitles you to prime seats at these shows).

Final Sunday: Breakfast, check out of rooms by 11am.

Are the Uke Fest workshops appropriate for my skill level?

The Port Townsend Ukulele Festival is a camp appropriate for advanced-beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The word “beginner” covers a lot of ground. Most offerings at the workshop are geared towards people who know more than a few chords, and are capable of changing chords smoothly and in rhythm. You’ll get the most out of your experience if you can do the following exercise in three different keys. Use a metronome!

At 60 beats per minute, play each chord four times (four beats per chord). Play the chords without diagrams, that is, by heart.

C – Am – F – G7 – C

It should take 20 seconds. Try it in these keys as well:

F – Dm – Bb – C7 – F

G – Em – C – D7 – G

If you can do this, then this workshop is for you! If you need to look up any of these chords, then you know what you have to work on (and master) before the festival starts.