Now in it’s 13th year, Denver Ukefest is a three-day festival showcasing all-things ukulele. Workshops for all levels of uke players, master classes with performing artists, and concerts comprise what could possibly be the happiest music festival in Denver. We hope to see you there!
Member pre-sale kicks off Thursday, 2.27, @ 10ammore info
Thur, May 7
Join us Thursday night for the Ukefest Kick-off Party & Open Stage at Grandma’s House from 7-9. This open stage and jam—hosted by Doug Brown, Director of the Denver Uke Community—is open to all to participate or just listen!
Fri, May 8
The 7:30pm concert will include Victor & Penny, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, and Uke Tango.
Sat, May 9
Saturday is full of fun workshops and sing-alongs, followed by a concert at 7:30pm.
The concert includes Kris Fuchigami, Del Rey, and The Naked Waiters.
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2020 Ukefest Artists
Victor & Penny
Victor & Penny deliver swing-infused folk-jazz in the band’s signature high-energy style with joy, humor, and soaring musical improvisation. This corset-tight group brings a modern Kansas City voice to their original tunes and prohibition era jazz with sterling musicianship.
Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, 13-year-old Kris Fuchigami began his musical journey with an old, beat up ukulele in his hands and a strong desire to master that tiny little instrument.
Two years later Kris won the grand prize at the Hamakua Music Scholarship Competition on the Big Island where he competed against classical pianists, singers, drummers, and many other genres of musicians. Kris went on to headline, and perform at many ukulele festivals and has gained recognition throughout the world.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich
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 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.
Del Rey started playing guitar when she was four years old. At thirteen, she was immersed in the world of folk music, via the San Diego Folk Festival. Rags, blues and tunes of the early 20th century are her specialty, even as she writes new music to add to the tradition. Del Rey also has a fashion sense that would make Minnie Pearl smile.
Del Rey has taught and played all over the world, and brings her distinctive finger-style approach to guitar and ukulele to her teaching DVDs on Homespun Boogie-Woogie Guitar, The Music of Memphis Minnie, Memphis Uke Party and Blue Uke.
The Naked Waiters
The Naked Waiters are a unique acoustic trio who specialize in an equally particular instrument: the ukulele. Kim Bjerga, Clark Holmes, and Andy Nufer have carved out a niche for themselves in their local music scene, and for good reason. Their tight, three-part harmonies, combined with interestingly composed arrangements are refreshingly diverse, both in musicianship and content. With various ukulele ranges (tenor, baritone, and bass ukulele, as well as guitar), the three have managed to produce a wide, varied sound, and with an equally varied set list, The Naked Waiters are bridging musical gaps for all ages and ears.
Uke Tango comes from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and although they’re interested in several music genres, They’ve started playing ukulele in tango, cause its particular sonority reminds them of the old guitars of the earliest formations. Besides, because of the versatility of the instrument, Uke Tango performs old tangos, waltzes, and even the works of Astor Piazzolla.
2020 Ukefest Workshop Highlights
What to Expect
Whether you are new to the ukulele or an advanced player, Ukefest’s workshops run the gamut from honing your basic skills to breaking down musical barriers to add your personal stamp to how you play the uke. Featuring workshops by Swallow Hill Music instructors as well as those performing on the festival’s concert stages, our workshops tie the festival together by intertwining fun, learning, and community.
Kris Fuchigami — Uke Band!
In this all level workshop, students first learn the picking melody to a song, followed by the rhythm strumming. After that, we are gonna break up into "bands" and will learn how play this song together! The workshop gets everyone comfortable with playing lead and also rhythm in a group rather than playing solo.
Del Rey — Ukulele Blues Party
Jugband and blues songs orchestrated for the ukulele, with playing and singing parts for several levels of player. We’ll work on getting that old-timey sound on your uke, with the right rhythm, chord positions and where to find the melody. Plus we’ll try and listen to each other and play together. We’ll add parts for basic chords, strumming, picking and singing. Basic level: be comfortable and confident with first position chords and able to keep time while changing between them. Re-entrant tuning preferred. By ear, no TAB.
Valeria and Martin take you to the streets of Buenos Aires, where you will learn about Tango, its history and how to incorporate the uke into swing (marcatto) and other typical rhythms of the genre, such as a waltz or milonga (Astor Piazzolla style). Students will learn the traditional Tango staple "La Cumparsita" in and its chords and melody in its entirety.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich — Finding Your Soul (all levels)
Loosen up your body! Free your spirit! Let your voice be heard! This workshop focuses on relaxing the muscles and approaching your playing with a loose and soulful attitude. When we find the rhythm in music, the movement in our bodies and the soul in our voices, we can concentrate on giving better performances and achieve a higher level of playing. All levels of experience are welcome, but we will use basic chords and play standing up and moving around.