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Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Vox’

 “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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Saturday October 10, 2009

Beringer Vineyards, 2000 Main Street, St. Helena, California

Free and Open to the Public

(‘Ukulele Festival parking is available at the Beringer production facility off of Pratt Avenue.  There will be a free shuttle to the winery)

Appearing on the Rhine House Stage from 2:00 – 5:00 pm:

Steven Espaniola * Faith Ako * Ralph Shaw * Victoria Vox * James Hill

Lawn seating only, please bring a blanket to sit on

 

Appearing on the Promenade Stage from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm:

Arial Paisley * Ukulele Bartt * Derick Sebastian * Calistoga Flea Band * Taylor de Man * Victor Ohana * David Bustamante & Da Island Way *Dominator * Moe Dixon * Aldrine Guerrero * Golden Gate Trio * Kimo Hussey * Kalei Gamiao * Brittni Paiva * AHAmele * Linnea & Alex

International Marketplace open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

 Food!  Gifts!  Ukuleles!

30-minute lessons available for the curious

 Online Registration for Hula & Ukulele Workshops still open

Pre-register for

Judd’s Hill Hula Party

Flora Springs Luau

Cameo ‘Ukulele Film Festival 

Sunday October 11, 2009

Appearing at Beringer Vineyards from noon – 5:00 pm:

Ukesperience

Please join us and prepare to be amazed. 

We’ve come a long way since Tiny Tim!

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Workshop Descriptions Now Posted!

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Workshop Descriptions have now been posted. The list is still a work in progress, but at least you’ll have an idea of what will be available. We’ll post the actual schedule as soon as we can.  In the meantime, here’s a little preview featuring one of our instructors, Victoria Vox, playing her ‘ukulele and “mouth trumpet”:

 

Congratulations!

Reserve-(2)-15-44-03spotligCongratulations to Karen Wagner, winner of our first “early bird” drawing. Karen wins a Tour & Tasting at Raymond Vineyards with a bottle of wine on arrival. We’ll hold another drawing next Saturday and pick another lucky winner from all the people who have submitted their workshop registrations by then. We still have a few pairs of the ScullCandy Ink’d earphones available, so, get your registration in now.

 

 

Flora Springs Lu’au

If you would like to attend the Flora Springs Lu’au, but are not attending the rest of the festival, you simply need to fill out and mail in the Registration Form. Remember, this is a benefit for the Playing For Change Foundation.  Among other things, we will be collecting spare change in empty wine bottles at the Flora Springs tasting room on Highway 29 in St. Helena, and at the lu’au. Your donations will help support and bring PEACE THROUGH MUSIC to the Tintale Village Teaching Center in Nepal; the Mehlo Arts Center in Johannesburg, South Africa; Tibetan Refugee Centers in Dharamsala, India and Kathmandu, Nepal; and the new Ntonga Music School in Gugletu, South Africa. It’s time to put that growing pile of coins to work!

 

Contest! Contest! Contest!

IMG_6599_edited-2I hope some of you are inspired to enter this one! We are looking for a 30- to 60-second “commercial” that would encourage people to pack up their ‘ukuleles and walk, ride, run, swim, or fly to the Napa Valley for the 2nd annual Wine Country Ukulele Festival.  Originality and humor (in good taste) rank very highly. Clever parodies of popular and well-known songs get extra points, as does the subtle (or not-so-subtle) inclusion of MusicGuyMic who is donating the prize. Entries will be judged on originality, comments from viewers (even if the viewer is your mother), and the number of views. You can enter as many times as you like. The winner will receive a Kala KA-ST tenor ‘ukulele with a hard shell case.

ka-stThe Kala KA-ST has a solid Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides, giving this ‘ukulele a rich sound, great volume and tone. It also has die cast tuners, a nice binding, high gloss finish and GHS strings (though Mike will probably trick-it-out a little more.) 

It’s up to you to upload your commercial to You-Tube, then send us the link (you can leave it as a comment here on the festival website) so we know where to look for it.  Assuming it passes the first test (meaning, essentially, that it is suitable for all ages) we will then upload it to the Wine Country Uke Fest channel on You-Tube and try to help you promote it, both here and there. The deadline for posting is September 25 and the winner will be announced October 10, at the festival. (You need not be present to win.)  But, the sooner you get it done, the more opportunites you have to get it viewed.

So give it your best shot, and good luck. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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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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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.

soles4soulspmslogo

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.

Be sure to check out the Scenes from 2008 and Festival Store pages above. And don’t forget to Subscribe so you can be notified automatically as we update information about the festival on this site.

Stay tuned.  There’s lots more to come.

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