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Posts Tagged ‘Ohana Ukuleles’

 “I don’t know how you’re going to top 2009 – but we want to be there!  Thanks for making it happen.”

Lisa
Where to begin?  There were so many great moments and memories…..and so many wonderful people who made it what it was: sponsors, vendors, performers, instructors, volunteers, and you. 

'Ukulele Bartt, Kaei Gamiao, Brittni Paiva, Moe Dixon, & FreeboThose who made it to the Wine Reception at Gaia on Friday afternoon to see Brittni Paiva perform got way more than they bargained for  when ‘Ukulele Bartt, Kalei Gamiao, Moe Dixon, and Freebo also showed up. Kalei Gamiao is a new face on the mainland ‘ukulele scene and turned many a head. You’ll be hearing a lot more  from him. Many thanks to Gaia Hotel and Spa and sponsors Char and Gordan Mayer from Mya-Moe Ukuleles, who were also on hand with an array of their beautiful ‘ukuleles.

Judd's Hill Hula Party

If there’s one thing Judd knows, it’s how to throw a party–even if he has to move vats full of fermenting grapes to make room in the middle of crush! (That’s Judd on the left.) Many thanks to Judd’s Hill Winery and KoAloha Ukuleles for sponsoring the Judd’s Hill Hula Party, the Friday-night kick-off to a fabulous weekend, and to Doris Coonrad and her crew for an amazing gastronomical array.  And, to top it off, through our Soles4Souls shoe drive at the Judd’s Hill Hula Party and Sonoma Academy, we collected more than 100 pairs of shoes for needy people world-wide!

MusicGuyMicKala Booth by Wei-en RaymondSaturday dawned cool, but  sunny, as vendors started arriving at Beringer Vineyards bright and early to set up the ‘Ukulele Marketplace on the Promenade in front of the Old Stone Winery.  And what a transformation they performed! Imagine an ancient open-air market featuring nothing but ‘ukuleles and you’ll get the idea.  We had everything from the whimsical offerings of Kala (with ‘ukuleles that look like kiwi fruit) to the most beautiful one-of-a-kind creations from expert luthiers. We simply cannot thank Beringer Vineyards enough for opening their beautiful doors so very wide.

Ohana Wa'a OutriggerVendors at Festival by Wei-en RaymondThe Ohana Wa’a Outrigger Canoe Club brought their beautiful canoe, again, and started serving up morning coffee and breakfast goodies right away. (The line for their ono  barbeque didn’t die till they ran out of food in the afternoon.) In the meantime, the puveyers of other Pacific Island goods transformed the fountain courtyard next to the Rhine House into an International Marketplace.

Once everything was in place and ready to go, Liko Puha’s opening chant set the stage for a picture-perfect day.  

“I begin by acknowledging and asking permission of the ancestors of that area to allow our gathering. I proclaim the beauty of the valley, verdant in wine vineyards and famous for hosting visitors. I ask all that have gathered, including the ancestors, to come and enjoy the harmonious sounds of the ʻukulele. Grant life, grant life to all things.”
 

The Promenade Stage in front of the Old Stone Winery went on to host some of the most amazing talent in the ‘ukulele world today including: Dominator, Freebo, Moe Dixon,  Brittni Paiva, Aldrine Guerrero, Derick Sebastian, Erich Sylvester, Kathy Quain,  Kalei Gamiao, Ukulele Bartt, and many more, under the direction of our fabulous master of ceremonies, Andy Andrews.

DominatorFreebo & Moe Dixon by Wei-enMoe Dixon by Wei-enBrittni Paiva by Wei-EnAldrine 2Derick Sebastian 2Golden Gate Trio 1Golden Gate Trio 2Kalei GamiaoBartt and Andy 2

 

 

 

 

And that’s not even including what simply happened on the spur of the moment. Here’s Derick Sebastian just “noodling” at the Oceana Ukulele booth:

In the meantime, vendors were doing a hopping business and many a festival visitor walked away from the day with a beautiful new ‘ukulele to take home, including a few who had only come to taste the wine!

Oceana Ukulele

Rick, Gary, and Derick

Char at Mya-Moe

Kala Booth

Ukulele Tanya and MusicGuyMic

Ohana Booth

 

 

 

Old friends met new friends, new friends were made, and people who just happened to be visiting the wine country discovered the smiles the ‘ukulele brings to faces young and old. You could tell who is visiting from Hawai’i….they’re the ones wearing hoodies and down parkas.    

Aldrine, Kalei, and BrittniDa Island Way on the PromenadeBob RaineyAHAmeleAldrinne GuerreroBut even with all that going on up on the Promenade, one of the most happening places at the festival was Kimo’s Korner, on the back porch of the old Rhine House, where Kimo Hussey was on hand to answer questions, sign books, take requests, and kanikapila. He admits, he had the time of his life.

Kimo's Korner

And let’s not forget the amazing workshops offered by James Hill,  Victoria Vox, Steven Espaniola, Derick Sebastian, Aldrine Guerrero, Moe Dixon, ‘Ukulele Bartt, Liko Puha, Dominator, Char & Gordon Mayer, Debbie & Kanoelani Haumea, and the beautiful “classrooms.”  Here’s Brittni Paiva teaching music theory in the Rhine House kitchen and Ralph Shaw teaching strumming techniques out by the Bocce Courts.  Brittni's Workshop Ralph Shaw's Workshop by the Bocce Courts

 

 

 

 

Kawika Tachera & Liko Puha

And those with a little time on their hands could always venture on down to the UkeTube Booth, so generously sponsored by Kala Brand Ukuleles and  JVC Electronics and graciously hosted by David Tachera and family.  (Be sure to visit our YouTube Channel to see more.) Nothing but smiles all around:

 

 
In the meantime, folks started claiming their turf on the lawn in front of the Rhine House in anticipation of the free afternoon concert featuring Steven Espaniola, Faith Ako, Ralph Shaw, Victoria Vox, and James Hill.
Rhine House Concert Seating
 
This was singer/songwriter Victoria Vox’s  first year at the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival, and she won hearts everywhere she went.  Here’s “Peeping Tomette” featuring Victoria Vox and her amazing mouth trumpet:
And, of course, James Hill, the most innovative musician on the ‘ukulele scene today, closed the show with something new and wonderful, just for us.  Here’s  the grand finale to the day at Beringer Vineyards with James Hill, Victoria Vox,  Ralph Shaw, and “Billie Jean.”
This might have been the end to a perfect day…….but it just kept getting better.  From Beringer Vineyards our stalwart crew made their way to Flora Springs for the Flora Springs Harvest Party and Luau–Napa Valley Style. 
Stay tuned….there’s more to come….
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Registration

Registration is now open for workshops and major events. Visit our Registration Page to open a .pdf file that you can print, fill-out, and send in. Don’t procrastinate or you’ll miss the opportunity to win some wonderful prizes such as:

MarketDinner for Two at Market in St. Helena

A mid-week overnight stay at The Lodge at Sonoma

Private Tour and Wine Tasting for Four at Vine Cliff Winery in Napa

 

For every registration we receive, we will put a ticket into a bowl and draw one of them every week.  If you don’t win that week, your “ticket” will stay  in the bowl and you’ll have another opportunity to win the following week. We will continue to add tickets to the bowl as registrations come in and will hold a prize drawing every Saturday, the last one being on October 2. So, the sooner you get your registration in, the greater your chances AND the more opportunities you will have to win.  Winners will be announced here and you will pick up your prize when you pick up your registration materials at the festival.

But wait!  There’s more!  The first 30 people to register for a workshop pass will also receive a set of  “Ink’d” earphones, courtesy of  SkullCandy (value $20). (I have a set and I love ’em!)

Here’s another important detail. All workshop pass holders will also get a $15 discount on the Flora Springs Lu’au, AND a wine tasting pass (valued at $25 – $35) to use at Beringer Vineyards on October 10. You must be 21 to taste, so please have your ID with you. The workshop pass also entitles you to attend up to three ‘ukulele workshops.  Individual workshop tickets, good for one workshop only, are also available.

Beringer Schedule

Rhine House for webThe following schedule outlines the events of the day at Beringer Vineyards. As you can see, there is plenty to keep you busy. Please note that this is subject to change. We will be posting the specific workshops and performance times as soon as possible. Letting us know your skill level (simple scale from 1-4) on your registration form will help us plan accordingly.

Wine Country Uke Fest 2009 (version 1).xls

Rhine House Concert

victoria_vox3bWith sincere gratitude to Beringer Vineyards, I am very happy to announce that the Rhine House Concert is free with festival-type, lawn seating, so please bring a blanket or something else to sit on. (No metal chairs will be allowed on the lawn.) Right now we have no workshops scheduled during the performances by Ralph Shaw,  Victoria Vox, and James Hill.  However, that can change, depending on demand. Also, be prepared to be surprised by some of the other amazing talent we have lined up.

The concert is free but the usual tasting fees apply, if you are also going to be wine tasting. There is no festival parking at the winery, but we will have shuttle buses running in both directions every 10 minutes so that you will not have to walk far or cross Highway 29 on foot. 

New Sponsors

IMG_6599_edited-2We are very happy to welcome Music Guy Mike (or MusicGuyMic), who is joining us as a sponsor of the Flora Springs Lu’au on Saturday night and our You-Tube commercial contest (more about that later); Ohana ‘Ukulele, who is sponsoring the Promenade Stage and provided the prize for our logo contest; and Hawaiian Airlines, who among other things is offering a 5% discount to their already-low web fares for anyone purchasing tickets through our website and $25 one-way inter-island fares through the end of September!  All of our sponsors are very important to the success of the festival and your enjoyment of it. Your support of them and their good work ensures that we can continue to bring you more ‘ukulele fun in the future.

Accommodations Update

If you’re coming in from out of town, please be sure to revisit our Accommodations page.  We have just added some very interesting and affordable housing options at nearby Pacific Union College and the St. Helena Hospital. (It’s not a joke, and, no, you don’t have to arrive in an ambulance.)

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With sincere appreciation to everyone who entered our 2009 Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival Logo Contest, I am very pleased to announce the winner: Paul Sirmon, a graphic designer from Southlake, Texas, and proud new owner of the lovely SK 300G, donated to us by Ohana Ukuleles.  With so many great entries, it was a very difficult decision.  Here, for your viewing pleasure are the winning entry and the three runners-up, each of whom will receive a complimentary workshop pass to the 2009 festival:

 

This was such a great process that we will probably be doing it again next year, so put on your thinking caps….

 

More good news…

 

mariott logoThe beautiful Napa Valley Marriot is offering a very special discount that makes the room rate $199/room/night to festival-goers provided you book your room(s) using this link by August 24.

 

Gaia logoAnd Gaia, another full-service spa/resort  in American Canyon is also offering a special rate to festival-goers of only $89/night with a two-night minimum stay. Be sure to mention the “Ukulele Rate” when booking your room.

 

 

For other lodging options, visit our Accommodations Page.  Again, please be sure to make your lodging arrangements early. This is a festival you won’t want to miss!

 

Stay tuned……..

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