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!
Denver Ukefest 2022get tickets
Printable Programcheck out the program (pdf)
Join us Thursday night for the Ukefest Kick-off Party & Open Stage at Grandma’s House from 7-9 p.m. This open stage and jam—hosted by Doug Brown, Director of the Denver Uke Community—is open to all to participate or just listen!
The 7:30 p.m. concert includes performances by Del Rey, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, and Smiley Gatmouth.
Saturday is full of fun workshops and sing-alongs, followed by a concert at 7:30 p.m.
The concert includes Kris Fuchigami, The Birdwatchers, Casey Cormier & Daniella Katzir, and the Denver Uke Community.
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2022 Ukefest Artists
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 Birdwatchers 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 Birdwatchers are bridging musical gaps for all ages and ears.
Casey Cormier & Daniella Katzir
Casey and Daniella are no strangers to Denver Ukefest as they have performed at multiple ‘Fests and taught plenty of workshops as well. For their Saturday night concert, expect a fun and wide-ranging selection of originals and surprise covers that feature the ukulele. We are excited to welcome them back to Denver Ukefest.
Smiley Gatmouth is an MC, uke-player, artist, educator and philosopher. We are excited to welcome him to Swallow Hill for his Denver Ukefest debut!
2022 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, and adding 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 opportunities, and community.
Kris Fuchigami — Ukulele Tricks and Treats
Learning different picking and strumming techniques will add a variety of beautiful sounds to your playing. These techniques can be used in any song to help enhance it and make it sound more full and unique. This will be a class for all levels and for all ukulele sizes.
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.
Danielle Ate The Sandwich — Soulful Singing and Playing on the Ukulele
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.
The Birdwatchers — Sing the Strings
Since we perform primarily as a group where we all sing and play, we use a simple approach to finding harmonies around a lead melody. By employing the ukulele strings as guidelines, you can pick one string and sing or hum the notes played by that particular string throughout a basic chord progression. When done by multiple people, your vocals begin to sound full, rich and vibrant. In this workshop, we’ll invite participants to sing along, learn new vocal parts, and maybe even teach the class a simple song or two while the rest of us sing or hum some backup vocals. This is a fun, engaging workshop that we love to teach!
Daniella Katzir — Uke 101
For the very beginner who has little or no ukulele experience. Learn basic chord strums and simple songs. We will loan you a uke for the day if you don't have one.
Casey Cormier — Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, Slides, and Bends
Mastering the Art of Articulation for Ukulele! From blues hooks to rock riffs, jazz solos to classical melodies, articulation is an important component of expression on any stringed instrument. Learn how to hammer-on, pull-off, slide and bend on your ukulele fretboard as we explore sample songs from each genre and have fun adding new skills to your musical toolbox!
Smiley Gatmouth - Uniqueness of the Ukulele
An MC and ambitiously untrained autistic genius, Smiley will take you on an uncommonly close look at the possibilities and nuances of the tiny but mighty musical giant we call the ukulele. Emboldened in our quirky nerd-dome, we’ll honor and exploit the uke’s essence as a driving force of the creative process. Smiley will share concepts and exercises that you can carry with you into your own innovative, musical acrobatics.