With the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival behind us, it’s time to look forward to some terrific events just around the corner. So, save the dates:

Saturday, October 13: Sacramento Aloha Festival, at Cal Expo in Sacramento

Tuesday, October 16: UpValley Strummers.  This is a new group started by Bob Dwyer that will meet the third Tuesday of every month (6:30 pm) at Scarlett’s Country Inn in Calistoga, 3918 Silverado Trail. (You don’t have to join Meetup.com to attend, but it does make it easier to RSVP so folks know how many to expect.)  Bring songs to share & pupus.  All levels welcome.

Saturday, October 27: Fall Kanikapila with Kehaulani Hula Studio.  I am so glad this is happening and that we got invited. It’s from 1 – 5 pm at Rincon Valley Park in Santa Rosa.  Kehaulani Hula Studio is under the direction of our good friend Kumu Pomaika’i and you don’t have to hula to join in the fun.  Bring your ukulele(s) and some songs to share, if you’re so inclined.  If nothing else, it’ll be a great way to connect with our neighbors to the west.  Fun for the whole family!  Here’s a flier if you’d like to help spread the word: Fall Kanikapila

Sunday, October 28: Napa Valley Flea Jumpers at the Gordon Huether Hay Barn in Napa.  I’ll do another “mini-workshop”  at 5 pm, this time on “Messing around with the City of New Orleans,”  where we’ll do a little work with closed chords and chord melody embellishments…suitable for beginning and intermediate players.  We’ll break for pupus at 5:45.  Then on to our regular flea fest!  By the way, if anyone else ever has anything they’d like to share with the group in one of these mini-workshop sessions, just let me or Eva know.

Thursday, November 1: Early Bird Deadline for the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat.  This is the first announcement we’ve made to the general public that registration is now open for the 2013 West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat, May 8 – 12 at Asilomar in Pacific Grove. Past attendees have been signing up in droves and we do have limited space available.  Four days and nights of ‘ukulele instruction, fun, camaraderie, and general mayhem on the beautiful Monterrey Peninsula with Andy Andrews, Gerald Ross, Joel Eckhaus, Kumu Pomaika’i, Sarah Maisel, Jason Arimoto, and Rick Turner….and probably one or two more. Take a peek at what went on last year:

Monday, November 5: Free ‘ukulele workshop with Daniel Ho at the Guitar Center in San Mateo, 53 West Hillsdale Blvd.  This might be well-worth a trip to San Mateo.  Daniel is an extremely knowledgable and generous instructor of the ukulele, among many other things. Call (650) 312-8270 for more info.  The workshop starts at 7pm.

Saturday, November 10: Ukes on the Loose! I went to this last year and had a blast!  A very low-key day. full ukulele playing, learning, and sharing in a stunning location, Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg.  Just plain fun……and super affordable.

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The lights go down and the curtain goes up as the the Flea by Night Band launches into a toe-tapping rendition of Fats Waller’s “Yacht Club Swing.” Everyone in the audience is moving and grooving and saying “Wow!” But you’re not there!

Don’t worry. We still have tickets available. But, this could be your last chance to purchase one of the coveted VIP tickets to the hottest show on the entire ukulele circuit: “Radio WCUF: Live from the Napa Valley Opera House,”  Friday, September 7, with a whole cast of characters that will tickle your funny bone and have you wanting to leap out of your seat and start dancing in the aisles!

It’s the kick-off event to the Wine Country Ukulele Festival, Sept. 7, 8, & 9, and you don’t want to miss it!

In just two days the VIP tickets will be released to folks in the general wine tasting public, who have been clamoring to get their hands on them so they attend the pre-show reception at Back Room Wines and sip on wines by Guilliams Family Vineyards and 94574; nibble on tasty treats by Redwood Hill Farms, Gary & Kit’s, Coonrad’s, and From Napa; fondle the fabulous ukuleles of Mya-Moe–all the while listening to the silky tones (up close and personal) of Sarah Maisel and her ‘ukulele. There are only a limited number of VIP tickets left and once they’re gone………Oh well.

But there’s still time. You can purchase your tickets online through PayPal. (The price that appears in your shopping cart includes the $3 historic preservation fee and a minimum “convenience” fee.) All tickets will be available at “Will Call.”

 You can also purchase premium and regular tickets directly from the Napa Valley Opera House, but you can only get the VIP tickets through the links above.

Still undecided?  Here’s a sneak preview of the Yacht Club Swing!

Hope to see you there!