Port Townsend Ukefest – Artist Faculty

 

Gracie Terzian, New York

Gracie Terzian is a singer/songwriter, ukulele player, and music teacher based in NYC, originally from the Washington, D.C. area. She plays the harp ukulele, as well as other types of ukuleles, and has toured and performed at top venues all over the world such as the Blue Note, Birdland, Antone’s, Utopia Music Festival, and Small’s Jazz Club, among others. Her EP, Saints and Poets, was the #3 Jazz album on iTunes and the #23 on the Billboard Jazz charts. Terry Teachout, music critic and author of Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, says, “Gracie Terzian is a deep-dyed romantic who tells her tales of modern love with quiet delicacy and an inborn musicality that’s impossible to overlook.” Gracie also has a growing YouTube channel with over 63k subscribers where she performs original music, covers, and teaches ukulele and music theory. @GracieTerzian

 

The Hula Honeys, Hawaii

Robyn Mahealani Kneubuhl

Growing up in Hawaii music has always been a major part of my life, starting with my mom Emma Veary, who was an incredible singer and performer in Waikiki in the 60’s. I spent many an evening in the dressing room hearing great music. Eventually I became a hula dancer and teacher and now I’m lucky enough to be a musician and singer with my best friend Ginger Johnson. We’ve been together as the Hula Honeys for the last 20 years and have recorded 3 cd’s and traveled to perform and teach. Through life’s ups and downs music has been my constant companion. I feel very grateful and fortunate to do what I love and share it with others through teaching and performing.

Ginger Johnson

Hailing from the island of Maui, Ginger Johnson is a life long musician, singer and the tall half of the Hoku award winning duo, The Hula Honeys. Ginger plays Baritone Ukulele and Tenor guitar in a jazzy style all her own. Finding Baritone to be the perfect distillation of guitar and ukulele – melding the deep mellow tones of guitar with the ease, comfort and versatility of the ukulele. Come to the deep end of the pool with Ginger, you might never go back.

 

Brook Adams, Oregon

Brook is an atavistic dinosaur of 20th century pop. His songs evoke a timeless blend of soul, surf & psychedelia. He is a skilled player on guitar and ukulele. He used to do a show called “Abbey Road On Ukulele”. As a youth, he liked the Guess Who, Sly & the Family Stone, Cat Stevens, and John Prine.

In 2021 Brook made two surf music albums, “Surf Monster” and “Surficana” with his band, “El Borko ¡Surf!”. His solo albums “Ready To Burn” and “Fountain Of Love” explore the idea that people are basically good, and that in every heart there is a source of strength, courage and love.

 

 

 

 

Nikki Dee, Hawaii

Nikki Dee is an award-winning vocalist, vocal coach, ukulelist, music director, and bandleader based in Honolulu. She currently plays ukulele and sings with several music projects including the Django-inspired swing band Gypsy 808 and her own Hawaiian/Brazilian “tropical jazz” band, Blue Hawaiian. In 2017, Nikki represented the Seattle jazz scene in Kobe, Japan as the SKSCA Vocal Jazz Queen and was an Earshot Jazz Award finalist for NW Vocalist of the Year. Specializing in a unique blend of international jazz, blues, and cabaret repertoire in the original languages, Nikki has performed across the U.S. and overseas in France, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.

Nikki has been a voice, ukulele, and piano teacher for over two decades in both private and classroom settings. She was the Hawaiian music and ukulele teacher for a Seattle-based hālau hula for several years, also performing as a hula dancer. Ukulele styles taught include vintage jazz, gypsy swing, reggae, classic Hawaiian, Hapa-Haole, samba (“cavaquinho” style), and Bossa Nova – not to mention popular sing-along styles such as pop, rock, disco, and R&B.

In her free time, Nikki enjoys scoping out new craft cocktail bars and restaurants, practicing calligraphy and yoga, snorkeling, hula dancing, and planning out lengthy international voyages. She is totally obsessed with her adorable niblings (niece and nephews) and loves teaching them to sing and play the ukulele. You can follow her latest music and travel adventures below:
Instagram: @DeevaMusic
//YouTube.com/DeevaMusic

 

Daniel Ho, California

From his simple beginnings in Honolulu to his life amid the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Daniel Ho has worked over the years as a musician, producer, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, engineer, and record company owner. The most compelling of these roles has been as a six-time GRAMMY Award winning producer, featured slack key guitarist, and artist in the “Best Hawaiian Music Album,” “Best Pop Instrumental Album,” and “Best World Music Album” categories. Ukulele Magazine calls him “Hawaii’s greatest contemporary musical ambassador.”

Daniel has toured throughout the U.S, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Thailand, Europe, and Australia. He has served as an American Cultural Ambassador at U.S. Embassies; been featured with the Honolulu Symphony; authored nine music books; and toured as a clinician for YAMAHA Guitars.

With the continued popularity of the ‘ukulele, Daniel’s original song, “Pineapple Mango (The Breakfast Song),” has risen to fame as an instrumental anthem plentifully covered by ‘ukulele enthusiasts around the world on YouTube.

 

Dani Joy, Oregon

Dani Joy has been described as “What would happen if Norah Jones became a Disney princess.”

She is a performing musical artist of Romero Creations who is best known for her ability to weave her crooning alto vocals together with complex campanella fingerpicking accompaniment through original music.

Soon after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design (Illustration 2010), her Dad Stu Herreid gave her a ukulele, opening an unexplored world of jazz, songwriting, music theory and endless possibilities on four simple strings. For nearly a decade she has been entrancing audiences across the globe, inviting them in with her velvet vocals and compassionate style of teaching. She has just finished her newest project, an album of original songs in partnership with world-music artist Daniel Ho, titled “Drop In My Flower”.

 

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.”

 

Aaron Keim, Oregon

Aaron Keim is a historian, banjo picker, ukulele ambassador, old time songster, luthier and author. Aaron has been teaching ukulele and banjo 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). His YouTube instructional videos have gained a worldwide following and have led to teaching and performing opportunities in N. America, Europe and Australia.  Aaron is also a luthier, building as Beansprout Musical Instruments since 2007. www.thebeansprout.com He plays in a duo with his wife Nicole called The Quiet American and a string band called The Junebug Boys.

 

 

 

Greg and Jere Canote, Washington

Jere and Greg Canote 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.

 

Diane Nalini, Ottawa

(online only)

Jazz singer and songwriter Diane Nalini started singing jazz at the age of three. Born in Montreal to Belgian and Goan parents, she sings and writes songs in four languages (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish). Her multilingual repertoire draws from her lifelong passion for jazz, French Chanson, Brazilian popular song, and great literature. “She captures jazz at its most sophisticated and joyous level,” writes Elle Magazine Canada. “I just love Diane Nalini’s voice. This is a sassy, ‘ripe plum in the Italian sun’ kind of voice… She has such sweet and effortless pitch, it’s beautiful.” (Katie Malloch, CBC radio’s Jazzbeat and Tonic).

An accomplished songwriter, composer, and lyricist, Diane has written or co-written songs that have been used in major Hollywood releases, indie films, television shows and video games.

Diane has released five wide ranging and warmly received albums, and has given gala performances for President Bill Clinton and Sir Paul McCartney. She was one of two finalists for the UK’s Young Jazz Vocalist of the Year in 2001, and was nominated for the Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors at the 2002 Montreal International Jazz Festival. She has performed in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and South Africa. Diane fell in love with the ukulele a few years ago, studying intensively with Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee. She created the website Ukulele For Jazz Singers as a resource for people who want to learn more about jazz and bossa nova uke comping for voice. Last year, she developed video lessons for two recent Ukulele Guides published by Ukulele Magazine: Baby Songs and Lullabies for Beginning Ukulele and Traditional Songs for Beginning Ukulele.

 

Matt Weiner – House Bassist

Big tone and solid rhythm have made Matt Weiner one of the busiest bass players in the Northwest.  Inspired by the “prebop” bass players and their music, he’s slapping out a syncopated jazz feel on one tune, on another bowing a folksy melody.

Frequently performing upward of 200 shows per year, Matt can be spotted around Seattle and other places plucking, bowing and slapping his gut-strung bass with Jacob Zimmerman, Ray Skjelbred, Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Bric-a-Brac Trio, Squirrel Butter, Wayne Horvitz,  Eli Rosenblatt, Casey MacGill and many others. He has also recorded and performed with The Todalo Shakers, 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 was a featured musician in the 2019 production of the Christmas Revels in Cambridge, MA.  Less recently, 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.

2+ decades of experience has made Matt a highly sought-after teacher. 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, Voiceworks and the Red Hot Strings Workshop. He teaches bass, electric bass, tenor guitar, tenor banjo, ukulele and beginning guitar private lessons and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle, and at his little home in White Center.

 

 

 

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