Here’s what didn’t happen at the 2020 Festival which we, very sadly, had to cancel owing to COVID-19 restrictions

 

Victoria Vox

With a passion for songwriting, Victoria Vox began writing songs when she was ten. She furthered her music education at the Berklee College of Music, as a vocal principle with an emphasis in Songwriting. A few years after graduating, Vox took up the ukulele. Her music style shifted to chanson tinged with jazz, which, over the years, has settled in nicely with her pop songwriting flair. With 10 albums under her belt (as an unsigned artist), Victoria continues to grow and hone her craft. She’s very personable on stage, though a bit shy at times, she’s goofy and engaging, and likes to make people laugh. But as soon as she opens her mouth to sing, the emotion and inspiration pour out of her melodic and cleverly written songs, and it becomes undeniable that she is genuine and full of heart.

On a lighter note, she also has perfected the Mouth-Trumpet which, to some, is considered a form of “beat-boxing”. Vox takes improvisational solos echoing the tones of trumpet genius, Chet Baker, solely with her voice. This odd and quirky talent, nonetheless, landed her on the Jay Leno Show (2009) and on the front page of the Wall Street Journal (2015). 

Her 10th album, Colorful Heart, is consistently eclectic, as her previous albums, however, a new sound is achieved in her songwriting. Anything is possible with a ukulele, and Victoria Vox is proof. 

Victoria will be offering two workshops: 

“Open Strings that Sing” on Saturday morning and “Making Sense of the Fretboard” on Saturday afternoon – Full details on our Workshop Info page

Victoria Vox : http://www.victoriavox.com


Eduardo Garcia

Eduardo is a multi-instrumentalist originally from Mexico currently residing in Vancouver, Canada. On his journey, he studied and played music in a large variety of environments, worlds, and languages. Being both classically and traditionally trained, he soon got active in a wide diversity of music projects in Mexico, teaching, performing and writing music.

Eduardo played several different traditional string instruments with ‘Amate’, a traditional mariachi based in Guadalajara, that performs regularly inside and outside of Mexico. Parallel to that, he played the cello on the ‘Victor Manuel Medeles’ chamber orchestra, of which he was also the arranger/composer of almost all of their repertoire, and the repertoire of other choirs and ensembles in Mexico. During 2017, he collaborated on the book ‘Tsenten Ajab’, a book of studies and arrangements of both traditional and modern music for the Jarana Huasteca, a traditional folk instrument from Mexico’s Huasteco region that was published in 2018.

He was the founder/director of the Academia de Ukuleles de la Ribera (Lakeside Ukulele Academy), a self-financed music school that provides instruments and free music lessons to all children in his community.

In September 2017, he became a teacher at Ruby’s Ukes, based in Vancouver, B.C., and started conducting/arranging music for the Ruby’s Ukulele Orchestra in 2019. He has participated in the Vancouver Ukulele Festival in 2018 and 2019, the Ajijic Ukulele Retreat (Mexico) in 2017 and 2019, Coquitlam Ukulele mini festival (Canada) in 2019, Beyond Trad (Canada) music camp in 2018, 2019 and soon, 2020, the Seoul International Aloha Ukulele Festival (South Korea) in 2019 and soon, the Nanaimo Ukulele Festival in 2020

Eduardo will be offering two workshops:

“Strumming (with the Right Side of the Brain)” on Saturday morning and “Son Jarocho (Fandango): a traditional Mexican strumming style” on Saturday afternoon – Full details on our Workshop Info Page

 


LIZ DEBARROS, one of the Festival organisers, is a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 3 certified ukulele teacher and a member of Parksville’s own Revolving Doors, who will be leading the Sing and Strum on Saturday 19th September 2020. 

Liz regularly teaches Absolute Beginners Group Lessons and workshops at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville . http://www.ukelessonsliz.com

In October of 2019, she was part of the James Hill Teaching Team at the bi-annual “Sing. Strum. Spa” ukulele orchestra event at Harrison Hot Springs. https://ukulelehotsprings.com/index.html

Liz will be offering an “All About the UBass” workshop on the afternoon of Saturday September 19th 2020 full details on our Workshop Info page

 

CAROL JOHNS is a JHUI Level 2 certified ukulele instructor who teaches beginner ukulele group lessons in Nanaimo. Carol started playing the ukulele with the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors Nordli group back in 2011. Since then, Carol has taken private and on-line lessons. Carol plays with the Folk n Oldies music group and enjoys the performances the group does for various seniors residences in Nanaimo. Carol is a Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Institute certified ukulele teacher.

 


Saturday afternoon after the workshops join the Revolving Doors for more ukealicious Sing & Strum fun…..

Back with us for the Saturday afternoon ukulele Sing & Strum, Parksville’s own Revolving Doors (Liz DeBarros, Dean Williams, Ade Barnum & Bill Naylor) will give a short performance and lead us all in the super fun sing and strum. Bring your ukes and sing your heart out with all the other ukulele players for the sing along and play your best tune at the open mic.

 

 

 

 

Here’s what happened at the 2019 Festival …….

They were so much fun last time, we had to hear them again

Originally from Provo, Utah and now living in Laie, Hawaii, The Naked Waiters are ready and set to provide a fun evening at the Friday September 13th 2019 concert and workshops on Saturday September 14th 2019

The Naked Waiters are an acoustic, ukulele-based group that started in Cedar City, UT, and is now based on Oahu. They specialize in fun, melt-your-heart music with handsome harmonies. They are comprised of Kim Bjerga, Clark Holmes, and Andy Nufer.

They were a great hit at the Festival last year and some Festival goers took them out birding and sailing to give them a great BC experience.

Click this link to listen to one of their original songs.

The Naked Waiters will be offering two workshops, “Introduction to 12 Bar Blues” and “Percussive Techniques on the Ukulele – Chunky is Funky”

 

 

Ali Romanow is a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 1 certified ukulele instructor, and will be teaching two Beginner workshops.

Ali Romanow is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Competent on a variety of instruments Ali also brings her captivating vocals, original writing and arranging to whatever project she is currently focused on. Ali spends her time in Courtenay BC, where she directs two FolkHarmonic Orchestras, FolkHarmonic Voices & teaches private music lessons.

 

LIZ DEBARROS, one of the Festival organisers, is a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 3 certified ukulele teacher and a member of Parksville’s own Revolving Doors, who will be leading the Sing and Strum on Saturday 14th. 

Liz regularly teaches Absolute Beginners Group Lessons at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville and teaches ukulele Workshops at the Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge, and has a new Ukulele Orchestra starting in September 2019, also in Parksville. http://www.ukelessonsliz.com

In October of 2019, she will be part of the James Hill Teaching Team at the semi-annual “Sing. Strum. Spa” ukulele orchestra event at Harrison Hot Springs. https://ukulelehotsprings.com/index.html

Liz will be offering a “Mystery of Chords” workshop on the afternoon of Saturday September 14th 2019 full details on our Workshops page

 

CAROL JOHNS is a JHUI Level 1 certified ukulele instructor who teaches beginner ukulele group lessons in Nanaimo. Carol started playing the ukulele with the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors Nordli group back in 2011. Since then, Carol has taken private and on-line lessons. She plays with the Folk n Oldies music group and enjoys the performances the group does for various seniors residences in Nanaimo. Carol is a Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Institute instructor.

Carol will be teaching a workshop on “HOW TO READ TABS & FINGERSTYLE PLAYING”

Here’s what happened at the 2018 Festival…..

Joining us from Guelph, Ontario, we had Cynthia Kinnunen  teaching her Ookestra workshop and performing at the Saturday evening concert. 

In Cynthia’s earlier years, following studies in piano, flute, bassoon, oboe and voice, and after completing her conservatory piano levels and a university degree in music, Cynthia dove into marketing and fundraising in the arts and non-profit sector. A Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative teacher, she now currently teaches private music instruction in ukulele and piano, ukulele group classes, the Royal City Ukulele Ensemble program, and is Director of the Royal City Uke Fest in Guelph, Ontario. 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.

The fun didn’t stop there.

All the way from Provo, Utah, The Naked Waiters provided a fun evening at the Saturday concert. They will also presented two workshops on Saturday; Strumming & Picking Styles and Songwriting.

The Naked Waiters are an acoustic, ukulele-based group that started in Cedar City, UT, and is now based in Provo, UT. They specialize in fun, melt-your-heart music with handsome harmonies. They are comprised of Kim Bjerga, Clark Holmes, and Andy Nufer.

 

 

 

 

FOR BEGINNERS

Liz DeBarros, a member of Parksville’s own Revolving Doors and a James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI) Level 2 certified ukulele instructor, gave two beginner workshops.

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER workshop on Saturday morning.  Uke 101 is for those who have never played or even held a ukulele before.

In the afternoon in Uke 102, new players moved on and develop their skills. 

On Sunday afternoon Liz  also be performed with the Revolving Doors.

 

 


Here’s what happened at the 2017 Festival……

 

Thank you to all of you who attended and participated in the 2017 Nanaimo Ukulele Festival making it a great success. It was with your support that this festival lived up to it’s tag of a “great little ukulele festival.”  James Hill and Anne Janelle put on an awesome concert and many people commented on how much they enjoyed the workshops. Everyone enjoyed the Sunday afternoon concert with the Revolving Doors band and the sing and strum, lead by the band, was the best ever.  We all had a great time.

 

 

 

James Hill at the 2017 Uke Fest taught a Chord/Melody workshop and a Swing workshop

 

 

 

The Revolving Doors band playing the Sunday afternoon concert at the 2017 festival.