Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Kiba’

heritage_legacyIt just keeps getting better.  Beringer Vineyards will be hosting the SaturDAY portion of the festival at their historic property in St. Helena on Saturday, October 10.  We’ll have  workshops in the caves, in the Rhine House, next to the bocce courts, and on the lawn under the majestic oaks.  We’re bringing heritage_propertyin some great talent for the concert(s) and we’ll have plenty of room for informal kani ka pila and jam sessions. The International Marketplace will be back and we’ll have  a lei stand,  UkeTube and Insta-Uke booths, party hula and more. I think we’ll even have a human-powered smoothie machine there! 

flora-springsThat evening we’ll be moving the party to Flora Springs  on Zinfandel Lane (not the tasting room on Highway 29) for the lu’au and concert, with the broad sweep of the Napa Valley at dusk as a backdrop. Simply beautiful.  There will be loads of fantastic entertainment, wonderful food and wine, and great company. More details to come.

miner-familyWe won’t be abandoning you on Sunday, either. Miner Family Vineyards will be hosting us for a  wine/food/’ukulele pairing event, in the cave room at the winery on October 11, right around brunch-time.  Seating for this unique event, “‘Ukulele Sunday School,” will be very limited.  So stay tuned.

judds-hill And don’t forget that the zaney bunch at Judd’s Hill will be hosting the “Judd’s Hill Hula Party” at their winery on Friday evening, October 9.  There’ll be a mini ‘ukulele film festival, music by the Maika’i Gents, party hula with Michelle Kiba, and, of course,  food and wine!  A fun time for all and a chance to donate your gently used slippahs to Soles4Souls. Don’t forget to bring your ‘ukuleles!

And now for the small print. With all this talk of wine and wineries you might be thinking this is not a family event. Far from it.  The venues are all family-friendly and our next generation of  well-behaved  ‘ukulele enthusiasts is more than welcome.


Accommodations Update

yountville-innThe Yountville Inn is extending a $50 discount to people staying with them for the festival; you just need to mention the “‘ukulele festival” when making your reservation.  This is a lovely, deluxe property in Yountville, which is about halfway between Napa and St. Helena. Because of the time of year (and the fact that it’s a weekend) a 2-night minimum stay is required. But, what a fabulous treat for yourself–breakfast, wine tasting packages, and more…….

bothe2A treat of an entirely different sort would be to stay at Bothe State Park  (right next to the Tucker Farm Center). Bring your motor home or tent and experience what the valley was like before the arrival of the grape. Prepare for warm sunny days and cool (bordering on cold) evenings under the redwoods, under the stars.

That’s it for now. But please stay tuned and make your reservations early!  

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Hello.  And welcome!

There are so many exciting things happening with this year’s festival, I hardly know where to begin.  We better start with the dates. It’s official. The 2009 (and 2nd annual) Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival will run from Oct. 9 – 11. So far we have the following instructors and performers lined-up: James Hill, Ralph Shaw, Victoria Vox, Kimo Hussey, Faith Ako, Steven Espaniola, the Dominator, Michelle Kiba, Liko Puha, the Makai Gents, and I’m sure we’ll be adding more.

We also have two Napa Valley wineries on board–Judd’s Hill and Flora Springs–both with a couple of ‘ukulele enthusiasts on staff.  (‘Ukuleles pair very well, it turns out, with most wines. ) I’ve got a couple of other wineries on the line who also want to be a part of this, so stay tuned. We’re still finalizing the different events and sorting out who’s going to be where and when, but in the meantime, rest assured that the workshops, held again at the Upper Valley Campus of Napa Valley College, will be top-notch, and if there’s enough interest they will extend into Sunday morning.

I know a number of you are anxious to get your room reservations and the earlier the better; it’s a very popular time of year here in the Napa Valley.  Harvest is generally still in full swing and the Valley is ripe with the smell of fermentation. Calistoga would be a great place to stay and is just about 10 minutes up the road from St. Helena. And you can take a soothing mud bath after (or before) your busy ‘ukulele day.  At this writing, there seems to be availability in all price ranges.  Check out Calistoga Fun for all the options. 

mod_fAnd don’t forget: the deadline for our logo design contest is Friday April 24.  We’re looking for something bright and colorful that will convey all the fun and friendship we will enjoy at this year’s Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival.  The prize for the winning entry is a lovely koa soprano ‘ukulele, SK-300G, generously donated by Ohana.  Send your entries to me at elainede@sbcglobal.net and put “WCUF logo contest” in the subject line.


Leave your Slippahs at Our Door

 And while we are having fun making music and new friends, we will have a chance to do some good as well. This year we have teamed up with a couple of charitable affiliates and will probably be adding more as the festival unfolds. The first is Soles4Souls, a 501 (c) (3), based on a very simple concept: get shoes and give them away.


Over 300 million children in the world are without shoes–roughly the same number of shoes that we in the United States throw away every year.  And some 1.3 billion hookworm infections (transmitted through the feet when walking without shoes) have been accounted for world-wide.

Well here’s a chance to make a huge difference in someone’s life with a very simple act.  Bring those gently-worn shoes cluttering your closet to the Judd’s Hill ‘Ukulele Extravaganza on Friday, October 9, and turn them in for an opportunity to win some fabulous raffle prizes. The more shoes you bring in, the cleaner your closet, the more chances you have to win, and the more shoes we can send. Win, win, win. How simple is that?


dpworldmusicdayslogoNot only that, the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival is a Daniel Pearl World Music Days event, part of an international network of concerts, featuring 3,100 performances in 84 countries, all using the universal language of music to encourage fellowship, raise awareness, and affirm our commitment to tolerance and humanity. Daniel Pearl is the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002. October 10 is his birthday. We will celebrate it in style.

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Stay tuned.  There’s lots more to come.

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