Thanks everyone who came to the fleafest at NapAloha on the 30th.  And special thanks to Steve and Diana for hosting us (again, and from here on!), Erich for offering to be our fearless leader, and Sean for making us sound good.  Among other things we chose the songs we’d like to perform at the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival, October 10, and worked on various arrangements. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Moonglow (b)
  • Five Foot Two (in C)
  • Hanalei Moon (in F)
  • Jamaica Farewell
  • Ukulele Lady
  • My Little Wine Rack

They’re all in the Flea Jumpers Songbook (if you’ve been keeping it up-to-date) and most of them are posted here under Song Files.  We will be rehearsing at NapAloha on Wednesdays at 6pm on September 16, 23, 30, and October 7.  Erich will be back with us at our next FleaFest on September 27. Anyone is welcome to come and play and practice with us on Wednesdays, whether or not you actually want to perform at the festival. Since our slot on the stage is only 15 minute (including getting on and off the stage) we may need to cut one or two songs.  Any other issues we can deal with on Wednesday. Hope to see you then.

Festival Registration Now Open!

For-webRegistration for the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival is now open and we have some nifty give-aways to encourage you to register early, including a weekly drawing for great prizes you can enjoy during your visit here. The Workshop descriptions have also been posted.  There seems to be some confusion about all this.  Basically you only need to register if you are attending any of the paid events (Judd’s Hill Hula Party, Flora Springs Lu’au, MinerFamily Sunday School, or the ‘Ukulele Film Fest) or if you want to take any of the workshops. If you just want to come out and listen to the music or visit the vendors or just come taste wine, there is no need to register. However, all of the usual tasting and tour fees at Beringer Vineyards will apply.

We will post the actual workshop schedule as we iron out a few more of the details.


New 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.

Coming Up!

HukilauPoke, spam, hula, music, prizes, drink specials, and general merriment– Island Style……what more can you ask for?  It’s all happening this Saturday, September 12, at the Hukilau in San Francisco, 5 Masonic Avenue (SW corner of Masonic and Geary. This sounds like fun! It’s the 8th annual  Sam Choy Poke Festival “All you culinary, top chef poke masters–this is your chance to test out the next great Poke recipe  and if you have what it takes, we’ll send you to Hawai’i!  And, if you are more on the receiving end,  go ahead and sign-up for da Spam Musubi Eating Contest and see if you can dethrone da King.  Email us at spam@dahukilau – with your name, contact info, and why Spam is like manna from da gods!  For those with the necessary intestinal fortitude, we have great prizes as well.”

hawaii_smThe following week-end is jam packed.  For starters, on Friday, September 18, the Napa Valley Opera House is sponsoring Hawaiian Tropical Nights, featuring Kumu Hula Kawika Alfiche & Halau O’ Keikiali’i, Grammy-Award winning Hawaiian Slack Key Musician Cyril Pahinui, and  Napa’s own Manaleo (with Sean Allen). What a great way to visit the Hawaiian Islands in the midst of harvest!

2009AlohafestlogoThen, the following Saturday, September 19, is the Napa Valley Aloha Festival, from 10 am to 6 pm at the Napa Valley Expo, put on by the Manaleo Hawaiian Cultural Foundation. This is a free family event, they only ask that you bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Napa Valley Food Bank. There’s lots of incredible  entertainment lined up, including Cyril Pahanui, Faith Ako, and our very own Sean Allen (in Manaleo). 

cyrilpahinui_200x200Guest artist Cyril Pahanui will also be teaching two slack key guitar workshops on Sunday, September 20, at the Embassy Suites (1075 California Blvd) in Napa. The first workshop is from 11am-2pm and the second is from 3pm-6pm. The cost is  $60 per person.  For more information, call  (707)  363-1999 or email: 
Whew! Cyril is going to be one busy guy!



Ukulele Classes

Holly Rudin-Braschi is about to start teaching her 2009 Fall session at Santa Rosa Junior College on Thursday, September 10-October 15, 7:00 PM-8:45 PM, 189 Forsyth Hall, Santa Rosa Campus. I have it on very good authority that she is an excellent teacher!  To read more and to register, please log onto: https://busapp02. santarosa. edu/CommunityEdu cation/ListCours e.aspx?CourseVrs nNbr=01005904&ID=2009753&AvailToPublic= 1  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Holly at: 707-763-3863. 

Eugene UKEtoberFest 2009

ukeParade2And the Eugene UKEtoberFest 2009 is open for biz.  I went last year and had a ball (I took the train).  I also came home with a fabulous raffle prize, a brand spanking new little soprano from Spruce House ($30 worth of raffle tickets…not a bad investment).  And, as I recall, there was lots of beer! This year’s festival will once again take place on the lovely University of Oregon campus, October 16-17,  2009. Victoria Vox, will be there as will the Canote Brothers, Boulder Acoustic Society, Moe Dixon, a bunch of wonderful local folks, and the amazing king of the ukulele, Ralph Shaw.  Tickets are available online. You can also order a T-Shirt featuring  the “Ukulele Fertility Pumpkin” logo designed by cartoonist Andy Singer.  If you are comin’ in from “outta” town, Brook and Keith recommend you take a look at the accomodations page on their website. The Secret Garden B&B, the University Inn, and the Eugene Hostel all have agreed to make special deals for UKEtoberFesters (festers?). They provide lodging for all budgets from swanky to modest.

See you next Wednesday, I hope.