The 9th gathering of the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival continues to draw a diverse, multi-generational community of enthusiastic beginner, intermediate and advanced ukulele players. The workshop culminates in two public performances showcasing the remarkable artist faculty.
Thursday, September 12, 2019, 7:30pm
Wheeler Theater, Reserved Seating: $30
Friday, September 13, 2019, 7:30pm
Wheeler Theater, Reserved Seating: $30
The Canote Brothers
Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Neal Chin, Washington
Neal Chin has been playing the ukulele for sixteen years and teaching for fifteen. Born and raised on the island of Maui, he began taking ukulele lessons at the age of nine. One year later, Neal started teaching ukulele lessons to family and friends, and he started competing and placing in ‘ukulele competitions. This led to the beginning of his performing career, as Neal started playing with other local musicians. At the age of fourteen, Neal taught himself how to play the guitar, thus broadening his musical scope.
In high school, Neal played both ‘ukulele and guitar, solo and with other local musicians. His group of private ukulele students widened, and he also taught large groups of students at the Pomaikaʻi Elementary School. Neal directed fifty of his Pomaikaʻi students in his first ukulele ensemble, and simultaneously self-produced and wrote his first album titled Who I Am.
Neal moved to Honolulu at the age of eighteen to continue his career as a performing musician and to continue to teach. Neal taught in a variety of venues throughout Hawaiʻi, including private practice, teaching centers, ukulele schools, ukulele retail shops, and English schools. Along with the teachers at the ukulele school Ukulele Hale, Neal’s students performed throughout the islands at events such as volunteering for the Shriners Hospital for Children, The Ukulele Picnic of Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival.
Peter Luongo, British Columbia
Peter Luongo is among the world’s preeminent ukulele teachers and workshop instructors. He is best known as the founder and director of the international renown Langley Ukulele Ensemble. Under his tutelage the ensemble toured nationally and internationally, including annual performances at the Sheraton Waikiki Resort for over 20 years. The group’s most famous alumnus is ukulele virtuoso, James Hill. Peter and the ensemble were featured prominently in the 2008 award winning documentary film, “The Mighty Uke”.
Following his retirement as a public-school educator, Peter turned the Langley Ensemble over to his son, Paul and embraced teaching ukulele to adult learners. In addition to presenting at festivals across the U.S., Canada, and Europe he has initiated the MaxUke program in several locales (www.MaxUke.com) and formed an adult performing ensemble which meets in Reno and which has presented as main-stage performers at ukulele festivals in Palm Springs, Reno, Nevada, the 48th Annual Hawaiian Ukulele Festival in Honolulu, and at The Winter NAMM Show 2019 in Anaheim, California.
Rachel Manke, Virginia
Rachel Manke has been playing the ukulele for 20 years. It’s the passion that has fueled adventure and friendships in her life. She is a skilled player in a vaudeville vein who has taken flourish and technique from that stage into various genres. She has appeared on stages that range from the Ashokan Uke Fest and Strummin’ Man to Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.
A little bit country, a little bit everything else, a whole lot of funny, and a touch of sentiment. Rachel started in the late 90’s on a $25 Hilo soprano and came to the uke world via the founders of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. She first studied with Joel Eckhaus, directly learning from the well known student of the famed Roy Smeck. Ever since, she has continued to learn and perform all around.
Aaron Keim, Oregon
Aaron’s music incorporates traditional ballads, banjo breakdowns, raggy choruses, gospel songs and other dusty Americana gems, all delivered on a wide variety of acoustic instruments. His shows pay tribute to old time folk music traditions yet strives to connect to a modern audience. Dusty back porch or shining concert hall, Aaron reminds you why homemade, hand crafted, American folk music will never fade away.
No stranger to the ukulele world, Aaron has been teaching ukulele techniques and performing at festivals since 2004. As an educator with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Musicology, his true talents lie in his ability to adapt instruction to fit a wide range of learners and learning styles. Aaron is an ambassador for old time folk music in the ukulele world, adapting banjo and guitar techniques to the ukulele (including playing in the “clawhammer” tradition). Aaron is also a luthier, building instruments for Mya-Moe ukuleles (www.myamoe.com) since 2011 and as Beansprout banjo ukuleles from 2007-2011.
Daniel Ho, California
Hawai’i-born, Los Angeles-based Daniel Ho is a six-time GRAMMY® Award winner, six-time Golden Melody Award winner, and recipient of multiple Hawaiian Music awards. He is an ‘ukulele maestro, slack key guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer-songwriter, producer, audio engineer, author, instrument designer, and record company owner. When he is not at home creating, Daniel performs his original music all over the world.
Bryan Tolentino, Hawaii
Bryan Tolentino is a self-taught ukulele player who began playing the instrument at the tender age of 10. His early influences were the musical groups The Sons of Hawaii and The Sunday Manoa. After graduating from Saint Louis School in 1979, Bryan and some friends formed a musical group called The Side Order Band. Bryan’s repertoire is a mixture of Hawaiian, contemporary, and original songs, blending creativity and diversity with the ukulele. He’s performed with the late Aunty Genoa Keawe, , Jake Shimabukuro, Herb Ohta, Jr., Karen Keawehawai’i, Jerry Santos and Olomana, Natalie Ai Kamauu, Napua Greig, Kuana Torres Kahele, Aaron Sala, and many more. Bryan has appeared on more than 50 recordings, released his own solo album “Ka ‘Ukulele Lele” in 2005, and released a duet recording with Herb Ohta, Jr. called Ukulele Friends in 2015. He’s widely known as an ace accompanist who performs locally and abroad with some of Hawaiʻi’s most well known players.He says, “You must feel Hawaiian music,” which is clearly evident in his playing.
Cynthia Kinnunen, Ontario
In her earlier years, Cynthia pursued studies in piano, completing her conservatory levels and a university degree in music. After some years away, it was the mighty ukulele that brought her back to music-making and inspired her to pursue music education again. A Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative teacher, she currently wears many teaching hats, including providing private music instruction in ukulele and piano; ukulele group classes and workshops; the Royal City Ukulele Ensemble adult learning program; is a sessional lecturer at the University of Guelph; and Director of Engagement for James Hill’s Ukulele in the Classroom. She is also the founder and director of the Royal City Uke Fest in Guelph, Ontario.
She has always felt compelled to share music, whether teaching, performing or just making good old mixtapes. Influences have ranged from early 20th century big band to 80s one-hit wonders, baroque chamber works to the rhythms of world music, renaissance folk songs to 70s punk. Cynthia truly loves the diversity of music. She is also a solo performer and half of the bass/ukulele duo Transit Lounge. Passionate about the role that music can play in our lives, our homes and our communities, she encourages everyone to learn and make music, no matter their age or ability.
Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Colorado
Danielle Ate the Sandwich, is the stage name of pop-folk songwriter, Danielle Anderson. Getting her start in Fort Collins, Colorado, Danielle has been touring nationally since 2009, after cultivating an online following from her homemade videos on Youtube and her unique style of online marketing that brings her music to the audience she affectionately refers to as “Fanwiches.” Her original songs can be thoughtful, heavy, and serious, but Danielle rarely takes herself seriously. She’s known for her quirky lyrical twists, performing most frequently with a ukulele and delivering witty and honest stage banter in her live shows.
Danielle Ate the Sandwich has made appearances internationally, opened for Mumford and Sons, Suzanne Vega, toured with Pomplamoose and wrote the soundtrack to the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson.”
Jason Arimoto, California
Originally from Hawai‘i, Jason Arimoto, Ph. D., is a Los Angeles-based ‘ukulele creative with a professional background in ‘ukulele performance, education, and retail. Arimoto performs and teaches across the U.S. and internationally, and is the co-owner of U-SPACE, L.A.’s premier ‘ukulele store and award-winning, full-service community-centered creative arts enterprise. In addition to teaching undergraduate ‘ukulele studies in Applied Music at Occidental College, he also served as artist faculty in arts institutions across the country, notably the Centrum Foundation (Washington), the Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago), and the Walt Disney Concert Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Music Center of Los Angeles’ Active Arts program. As an ‘ukulele products designer, Arimoto developed his original line of PHD Strings – premium high density ‘ukulele performance strings – designed and optimized for ‘ukulele players and endorsed by six-time GRAMMY-award winner, Daniel Ho. Arimoto has performed across the U.S. at the Ford Amphitheatre, Grantmakers in the Arts, the National Association of Music Merchants, and the Bean Blossom Blues Festival (Indiana) as well as internationally at the Cairns Ukulele Festival (Australia) and the Sentosa Ukulele Festival (Singapore). As YouTube creator “facemeltingukulele,” Arimoto has produced acclaimed blues ‘ukulele covers of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” and John Mayer’s “Gravity,” and was featured on Jake Shimabukuro’s curated YouTube ‘ukulele playlist. Arimoto is a Yamaha Music Foundation certified instructor and is the official online ‘ukulele advisor for the Musician’s Creativity Lab and a lead instructor on the popular ‘ukulele education forum, Ukulele Underground. Arimoto’s studio recordings are featured on: A Brighter Day, an album of original ‘ukulele and vocal compositions; Take On the ‘80s, a collection of ’80s hits re-imagined on ‘ukulele and vocals in the varying styles of blues, reggae, and swing; andJMD, featuring ‘ukulele, bass, and drums on six original reggae/blues/rock compositions.
Brook Adams, Oregon
Brook Adams is a retro ukulele popster. His emotional songwriting and soulful whiskey voice evoke a timeless groove where the sounds of Bakersfield, New Orleans and the motor city coalesce. Brook is a skilled player on guitar and uke, with Clapton, Van Halen and a little bit of choro in his trick bag. His surprising range of covers include Abbey Road On Ukulele (the entire album), Marvin Gaye and Earth Wind and Fire.
Brook’s latest CD “Ready To Burn” (2013) is a collection of love and not-so-love songs, working ukulele and guitar with equal intensity. His last CD “The Fountain Of Love At The Heart Of The World”, explore the idea that people are basically good, and that in every heart there is a source of strength, courage and love. brookadams.com
Del Rey, Washington
As a teenager, Del met bluesman Sam Chatmon who inspired her to become a blues queen. No, really! She’s made an international name for herself as a complex, pianistic guitarist, described by an observant fan as “a combination of Bo Carter and the Andrews Sisters.” But in the last 10 years she has also ascended the heady ranks of the ukulele royalty. Del plays concerts worldwide and has recorded at least a dozen albums, most of them solo records but also collaborative efforts with the Yes Yes Boys, Steve James, and Maria Muldaur.
In addition to being a highly sought after musician, Del is also a well-respected teacher. She takes a guitar player’s approach to the ukulele, using her three fingers to get syncopated melody and harmony lines against a steady thumb beat.
With her custom-made resonator uke, her witty stories, and her stylish vintage look, Del Rey spins out astonishingly complex music while singing songs that are about real topics and tell true stories – from a biography of blueswoman Memphis Minnie to the one about crazy neighbor who borrows everything in her house. As Dirty Linen says, “To listen to Rey is to abandon all hope of ever viewing the world in the same comfortable way.”
Adam Franklin, England
The ukulele has been the first instrument in the Franklin family for 3 generations, spanning back to the early uke craze of the 20’s. Adam Franklin is a superb exponent of blues and ragtime from a ‘golden age’ of music.
With a voice that is both powerful and soulful, his performances are intense, energetic and highly entertaining. A lifetime of intensive listening and 3 decades of playing underlie his easy rhythmic excellence. Adam has been playing ukulele in his solo shows for 10 years, heavily influenced by his sometime duo partner in crime, Del Rey.
Abe Lagrimas, Jr, California
Abe Lagrimas, Jr. is a musician, composer, educator, and author who plays the drums, vibraphone, ukulele, and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In 2012, he competed in the highly prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition and has worked with many different artists such as Eric Marienthal, Eric Reed, Kamasi Washington, Dontae Winslow, Barbara Morrison, Michelle Coltrane, Jake Shimabukuro, Kenny Endo, and continues to be an in-demand session musician in Los Angeles. As a solo ukulele artist, Abe is a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award (Hawaii Music Award) recipient and has released multiple albums in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Abe has been featured at ukulele festivals throughout the United States in addition to leading his own solo tours. His international performances include Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Germany, and toured extensively throughout China. Abe is also an educator and has authored the first ever ukulele curriculum for instrumental music programs in schools titled “Ukulele Ensemble, Beginning Ukulele – Level 1” published by Consonus Music Institute. His latest book “Jazz Ukulele: Comping, Soloing, Chord Melodies” (Berklee Press & Hal Leonard) is available in stores worldwide and on Amazon. He is currently endorsed by Canopus Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Beato Bags, Ko’olau Ukulele, Analysis Plus Cables, Fusion Gig Bags, and Elite Acoustics. abelagrimasjr.com
Jere and Greg Canote, Washington
Jere and Greg Canote from Seattle, WA, are as renowned for their affable attitudes and humor as they are for their music. Greg on fiddle, and Jere on guitar, and both on banjo ukes, perform zany concerts, play for dances, lead songs, and promote a good time. The twin brothers started singing soon after they were born and haven’t closed their mouths since. They spent their early years in California’s Sacramento Valley, inventing songs with their father at the piano and tagging along with their parents’ folk and square dance group.
They honed their skills performing in many bands and discovered old-time music in the mid-1970s. In 1978 they attended the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA, and eventually became frequent teachers there. After touring the country with dance caller and singer Sandy Bradley for four years, they returned to the Northwest for a thirteen year stint on Seattle’s National Public Radio show, “Sandy Bradley’s Potluck,” as Sandy’s affable side-kicks. The rigors of finding new material for a weekly radio show kept the twins on their toes, mining and performing gems of American music of the past as well as writing new songs in those styles. Jere and Greg regularly provide workshops on ragtime music and ukulele.
Nova Karina Devonie – House Accordionista
Nova Karina Devonie hails originally from Vancouver, B.C. She has been delighting audiences with her sensitive (and sometimes humourous) accordion playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense since the 1980’s.
Nova moved to Seattle to join swingabilly cowgirl band Ranch Romance, and stayed to make it her home after that band ended their touring days. She now teaches private accordion lessons and performs regularly with several bands including Miles and Karina, The Buckaroosters, and The Rolling Blackouts.
Matt Weiner – House Bassist
Matt Weiner can be spotted around Seattle and other places plucking, bowing and slapping his gut-strung bass with Casey MacGill, Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Bric-a-Brac Trio, Squirrel Butter, Wayne Horvitz, Jacob Zimmerman, Ray Skjelbred and many others. He has performed and recorded with The Todalo Shakers, Hannalee, The Hot Club of Cowtown, The Asylum Street Spankers, Butch Thompson, Becky Kilgore, Danny Barnes, Matt Munisteri, Jon-Erik Kellso, Rani Arbo and James Hill. He played the role of bass player Joe B. Mauldin in the 5th Avenue Theatre production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. At The Ukeshack #1, an album of bass and ukulele duets with Del Rey, was released in 2007.
Matt has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Yukon Woodshed Acoustic Music Workshop, The Portland Ukulele Festival, The Menucha Ukulele Bandcamp, and 4 different Centrum music camps: the Ukulele Festival, the Country Blues Festival, Voice Works and the Hot Strings Vintage Jazz Workshop. He teaches bass (bass guitar and double bass) private lessons and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle.