PERFORMERS & WORKSHOP LEADERS

Special Guest Appearance

 

Chalmers Doane & Family Return to MIDLAND FOR  Uke Fest 2020!

During Uke 2017 and 2019, we had the pleasure of hosting Chalmers Doane, the pioneer of the Ukulele scene in Canada, and the driving force that introduced Ukuleles as a learning tool into the Canadian education system. That year, we presented Chalmers with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his services to Ukulele in Canada.

       Uke Fest 2017 All Star Concert: James Hill, Chalmers Doane, Anne Janelle & Melanie Doane.      

We are thrilled to announce that Chalmers will be making a return trip from the East Coast to join MCC at our Uke Fest 2020! As a special treat, Chalmers will be joined by his talented family – including a Saturday evening performance with daughter, Juno-winning singer and artist, Melanie Doane, and his son, Creighton Doane!

 

Chalmers will present a 60 minute workshop Saturday afternoon, and later, he’ll be joined on stage by his daughter, Melanie, to perform in the Saturday evening All-Star concert.

 

This year was already shaping up to be one for the books - and Chalmers' visit is just the icing on the cake

 

 Your Headliners

Neal CHin

Saturday Night All Star Concert Headliner

Award winning artist and Maui, HI native Neal Chin, has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of 19 years. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. While his heart is in jazz, Neal has played with many musicians of different genres including Hawaiian, folk, rock, and hip-hop. His contribution to the collective The Akira Project, won his first Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award in 2014 before moving up to the Pacific Northwest. Since then he has been nominated for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year two years consecutively for ‘Ukulele Paintings and The Spotless Mind in 2017 & 2018, started his own ‘ukulele practice in the Pacific Northwest, and has toured from Vancouver Island BC to Milwaukee to his home state, Hawai’i . Neal currently lives, teaches, and performs in Seattle, WA.

 
 

DEl Rey 

Saturday Night All Star Concert Headliner

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. She has tried to get a whole band onto her solo instrument from the beginning. This gives her music an interesting complexity, especially when applied to the ukulele.
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 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. Her website is www.delreyplays.com and her albums can be found at www.hobemianrecords.com

YOur Hosts for the weekend!

Bob and Sue Cutler have been playing the ukulele for a combined 30 years.

 

They currently live in Kitchener and have a cottage nearby at Balm Beach. Both Bob and Sue were charter members of the Corktown Ukulele Jam in Toronto. In Kitchener, they started, and host a successful open mic specifically for ukulele performers of all levels. They have graced stages all across southern Ontario, and beyond, including the Waikiki Yacht Club in Hawaii last December.

 
Bob will be the MC, and Sue will be found at the registration and merchandise table and other locations where support is required. 

Evening Jams

Come join in the fun at the Midland Ukefest jam sessions at the Quality Inn at 924 King Street Great big room with a large screen! Last year we had over 100 Ukers join us both nights!

This year we will have late night PyJAMa Jams Friday and Saturday night - worth staying up for!

 

Uke Fest 2019 Performers & Workshop Leaders

Chalmers Doane

Performer & Workshop Leader

We are thrilled to announce that Chalmers will be making a return trip from the East Coast to join the MCC at our Uke Fest 2020! As a special treat, Chalmers will be joined by his talented family – including a Saturday evening performance with daughter, Juno-winning singer and artist, Melanie Doane!

 

Chalmers will present a 60 minute workshop Saturday morning, and later, he’ll be joined on stage by his daughter, Melanie, to perform in the Saturday evening All-Star concert.

Workshop 1a

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR CONCERT PERFORMER

Neal Chin

Performer & Workshop Leader

Award winning artist and Maui, HI native Neal Chin, has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of 19 years. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. While his heart is in jazz, Neal has played with many musicians of different genres including Hawaiian, folk, rock, and hip-hop. His contribution to the collective The Akira Project, won his first Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award in 2014 before moving up to the Pacific Northwest. Since then he has been nominated for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year two years consecutively for ‘Ukulele Paintings and The Spotless Mind in 2017 & 2018, started his own ‘ukulele practice in the Pacific Northwest, and has toured from Vancouver Island BC to Milwaukee to his home state, Hawai’i . Neal currently lives, teaches, and performs in Seattle, WA.

WORKSHOP 5G

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR CONCERT Performer

Del Rey

Performer & Workshop Leader

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. She has tried to get a whole band onto her solo instrument from the beginning. This gives her music an interesting complexity, especially when applied to the ukulele.


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 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. Her website is www.delreyplays.com and her albums can be found at www.hobemianrecords.com

WORKSHOPS  3E  & 4E 

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR CONCERT Performer

Manitoba Hal

Performer & Workshop Leader

Manitoba Hal is a guitarist, songwriter and ukulele player. Using a combination of looping technology and effects he creates a performance that is one-of-a-kind.  His combination of finger picking and strumming creates an instantly accessible sound that compliments his fresh and inventive originals and arrangements of traditional blues.

 

Manitoba Hal is a consummate blues man, having toured Canada extensively with a ukulele. Picturing him in his 100 year old cottage in Nova Scotia, one can’t help wonder how someone can sound like he grew up in the Deep South of the States and play raw, swamp, delta, Cajun and zydeco style blues. Hal developed the blues sound when he lived in Winnipeg Manitoba (where he also got his name). “Winnipeg, often referred to as the Chicago of the north, is situated in a delta between the Red and Assiniboine rivers. I was born at the blues and when I found that music inside me, I came alive and my soul started expressing itself in songs that flowed with that music. The blues is where my soul came into this world. Where it will end up I don’t know but I’m ready for the journey”.

 

About why he made the switch from guitar to the ukulele, Hal replies, “I noticed that sonically it occupied this space that was in pitch above my voice. This gave my vocals a lot more room in the song without colliding with the notes of the accompaniment as they did when I played guitar also I noticed that people seemed amazed at the sounds I was producing with the ukulele. The last thing that clinched my decision to switch to uke full time was that for all the years and concerts I’ve given as a guitarist, people usually didn’t tell me stories of their life when I play guitar. [However], people seemed compelled to communicate about their life when the uke is played. I like that.”

Peter Hodgson of Mixdown Magazine writes “Manitoba Hal has created something wholly unique and idiosyncratic out of several elements that already existed. He’s not the first guitarist to switch over to ukulele. Nor is he the first musician to use looping pedals. And he’s certainly not the first guy to play the blues, but the way he approaches the combination of those elements, and mixes it with his own musical sensibilities, is just perfect. A tireless live performer, ambassador for the uke, and all-round great musician.”

 

WORKSHOPS 3F & 4F

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR Concert Performer

Douglas John Cameron

Performer & Workshop Leader

Douglas Cameron, who founded Uke Fest in partnership with MCC general manager Eugene Rea, has been a dynamic force on the Canadian music scene for more than four decades. His songwriting and performing career is rooted deeply in the folk/blues/country tradition. He is known as a consummate multi-instrumentalist in the studio. In 1985 his tune "Mona With The Children" hit the top 20 in Canada and was nominated for a Juno. Douglas has composed prolifically for film and television. Douglas is also an established children's entertainer who has written songs for top Canadian pre-school shows including "Ants In Your Pants", "Wee 3", "Big and Small", and “What’s Your News”.

 

Douglas’ ukulele career began in Midland at the age of six when his dad presented him with a ukulele and Mel Bay’s “Learn To Play Ukulele in Five Minutes”. He composed the score for “Big and Small” (Treehouse TV) on ukulele and lap steel. He leads ukulele workshops at The 12th Fret and conducted a monthly uke night at The Rooster Coffeehouse in Toronto.  His teaching philosophy is that everyone can learn and that you have more musical skills in you that you imagine! Douglas is currently very busy touring the country with Whiskey Jack.

WORKSHOP 2D & 3D 

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR Concert Performer

Gayle Ackroyd

Performer & Workshop Leader

Gayle spent most of her Music playing years in Toronto and uncovered her passion for music, during her first guitar lesson at Quartet Music Centre Brampton. From that point on, she was involved in choir, musicals, and song writing. Gayle also learned to play the piano and ukulele in her spare time!  Gayle is referred to as a very productive, creative and inventive songwriter. It is her passion and her favourite part of being a Musician. She is able to find inspiration all around her.  Gayle makes music that represents of herself and her generation. She love the places that most people don't give a second glance.

WORKSHOP 2C & 3C

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR Concert Performer

Heather Katz

Performer & Workshop Leader

Heather began her career playing music in the famous Canadian coffee houses of the 70’s such as The Riverboat, Bohemian Embassy, and Eggerton’s in Toronto and The Yellow door in Montreal. She Toured across Canada with Motown’s Choker Campbell and later became sought after in the Toronto R&B scene.

She has performed with world-class artists such as BB King, James Brown, Long John Baldry, Otis Clay, Solomon Burke and Matt “Guitar” Murphy.​ Heather and her husband Michael are the proud owners of Broadway Music store located in Orangeville.

WORKSHOP 2b & 4B

SATURDAY NIGHT ALL STAR Concert Performer

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