Featured Guest Artist: Stu Fuchs

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Performer & Teacher

 Stuart Fuchs is an internationally touring performing guitarist and ukulele artist who performs and teaches fun & innovative ukulele workshops at music festivals throughout North America, the Caribbean & Europe.   

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"Ukulele Zen"

Stuart keeps a busy schedule as a teacher in the ukulele circuit and also blends mindfulness and music at his annual “Ukulele Zen” retreat held at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY.  Stuart’s YouTube channel is also called “Ukulele Zen” and has over 27,000 subscribers.   Stuart currently tours internationally with the world renowned new age Kirtan artist Snatam Kaur.  www.stufuchs.com  

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Healing Music

In 2014 Stuart was awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for his work bringing healing music to cancer patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY, where he was a professional artist in residence for over seven years. 

Meet The Other Instructors/Artists

       

Gracie Terzian

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Ted Gioia, jazz critic and author of History of Jazz, calls her “a genuine talent” and ICON Magazine says “she’s a beguiling singer and modern song stylist with an astute sense of swing.” 

 

A native of the Washington, DC area, Gracie Terzian is a singer, songwriter, ukulele performer and actor now living in New York City. She recently gained attention in the jazz world with the release of her debut EP, Saints and Poets, co-written with pianist Wells Hanley and produced by Mike Tynan. The EP debuted at #23 on the Billboard jazz charts and quickly became the #3 jazz album on iTunes. As an ukulele performer, she is known for playing unusual instruments, including the harp ukulele and electric ukulele.


Curt Sheller

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Curt began playing guitar at age 9. He always said that a valuable trait is to be persistent and never give up. "Stick with anything long enough, and you tend to get good at it. Hook up with the right teacher and mentors, and get good at it." 


His journey exploring the ukulele began in 2003 on a CampFire USA trip to South Dakota planned by his wife, Bernadette. He searched the web for a small travel guitar to bring with them, and rediscovered the ukulele instead — an instrument He'd toyed with twenty years earlier. Curt felt he finally had some skills and knowledge to “figure it out,” and thus began his love affair with the 'ukulele'. 

Uncle Zac

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“UncleZac” is a Fairfield County CT ukulele performer and teacher who has played the uke for over 50 years. He has a wide range of styles and materials that he performs and teaches. He has performed in several bands including Sharkey & the unknowns, a local 50's and 60's oldies group, Tim Currie’s Mowtown Band, Roswell & the Ukulaliens, a five piece ukulele band, The NY Ukulele Ensemble, “uke consultant” to the Darien High School Ukulele Group and leader of the Laphalele’s, a senior uke ensemble in New Canaan , CT. He presently fronts a trio performing uke & vocals with sax/clarinet/flute and upright base known as UncleZac & the ZacTones.


Nani Lowery

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For the last few years, Naniukulelejoy has been performing with a traditional Hawaiian musical style to various audiences. They have performed primarily in the DMV but were privileged to perform at Virginia Beach Polyfest in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Nani teaches ukulele lessons at Victor Litz Music Center, leads an ukulele jam at the store on Wednesday afternoons, and co-leads the monthly Maryland Uke Jam in Gaithersburg, MD. Nani will be leading several workshops during the Gaithersburg UkeFest.


The Aloha Boys

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A special and exciting bond grew musically among the Aloha Boys..Irv Queja, Isaac Ho'opi'i and Glen Hirabayashi, who love to kanikapila or play an acoustic down-home, backyard-style Hawai'ian music, a style which includes everything from the very traditional to contemporary songs and styles. They all sing lead and back-up vocals. Their voices blend in a nahenahe (soft pleasant) style. They have performed at numerous functions from backyard parties to concerts and at many venues across the continental United States, Canada and Hawai'i. The music of the Aloha Boys brings them and their audience back to a lifestyle that is unique and precious to Hawai'i.


DeJohn

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John and Debbie started playing music regularly after their children grew up and left home.   They put a passion and fun into their songs and playfully argue every chance they get. Their tongue-in-cheek humor and joyous mix of old-time country and American standards will get into your bones whether you are 5 or 85 (or any age in between). 

Meet our special guest teacher, Uncle Glen

Glen Hirabayashi

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Glen was born in the Territory of Hawai’i. His family moved to Kaua’i where he lived in Kilauea, Kaumakani, Kekaha, and Waimea. His family also had a small cabin in Koke’e. 


Glen learned to play the ukulele in the third grade from Charlie Kaneyama.  Glen played trumpet in a 17 piece swing band for Charlie from sixth grade through high school. During his last year of college, Glen began to teach himself how to play guitar based on his knowledge of the ukulele. He also sang publicly for the first time as part of his college glee club.  Glee Club performance venues included the Ed Sullivan Show and Hollywood Bowl.  After several years on active duty in the Army, Glen resigned his commission and attended law school. After graduating law school, Glen taught himself how to play bass guitar based on his knowledge of the guitar. Glen was a vocalist and bass player for a cover band in the Los Angeles area until he and Donna moved to Virginia where he played bass and sang for Hoaloha, Gordon Velasco’s band. 


Glen began playing the ukulele in earnest nearly 25 years ago when Glen’s daughters began formal hula instruction with Halau O ‘Aulani, a local halau.  He has taught ukulele at the halau, at ukulele festival workshops, and to individual students. He has performed with The Aloha Boys at venues including Carnegie Hall, Wolf Trap Barns, Kennedy Center, various Smithsonian museums, and in the nation’s capital. Glen’s current interest is practical music theory applied to the ukulele.

the rest of Our awesome teaching staff!

Debi Velasco

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Aunty Debi will be leading two workshops, one on lei making, and the other one a Hula workshop. Make sure you also take some time to stop by her vendor table during the festival. 

Michael August

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Michael August is a harmonica player in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin area who has attended harmonica masters classes in Chicago, Illinois. He is a lover of the blues, gospel and Celtic styles, often playing in the style of Charlie McCoy and Buddy Greene .  Michael is a multi-talented musician playing guitar, ukulele, mandolin, banjo and resonator guitar.   

William Ernestburg

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William is from From Laie, Oahu, Hawaii. He is a proud graduate of Kahuku High School. William served in the United States Coast Guard with distinction for 30 years. 


William is a member of the Hawaii State Society (HSS), the HSS ‘Ukulele Hui’, and Halau O'Aulani. 

Isaac Ho'opi'i

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Isaac was raised in "Waianae" on the island of O'ahu. He graduated from Waianae High School, then joined the United States Army. He moved to the Washington, D.C. area, and is currently employed with the Federal Government. 


Isaac received the love of music from his father, who only played Ki'ho'alu (Hawaiian Slack Key). The guitar is one of his favorite instruments to play, but he also knows his way around on ukulele, baritone ukulele, and UBass. He truly enjoys playing music with his friends in the band "Aloha Boys".

Lori Perine

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Lori was bitten by the ukulele bug in 2012.  She has been an evangelist for ukulele magic ever since, as co-founder and producer of the Maryland Ukulele Jam. In addition to programming and teaching ukulele basics at the monthly jams, Lori organized the first ever ukulele ensemble performances at the National Christmas Tree and directed the area’s (and possibly the nation’s!) first ukulele marching band. 


Trained as a classical singer and multi-instrumentalist, Lori has performed nationally and internationally in ensembles and as a soloist in venues as varied as Carnegie Hall (New York), the Academy of Music (Philadelphia), the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Victoria Hall (Geneva).  She draws on her formal music education to introduce others to the versatility of music making with the “jumping flea”. 

Anne Burke

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Ann is currently living in New Jersey. Some time ago she and William Ernestburg met, and they have been good friends ever since. Through their friendship, she has learned a lot about Hawaiian culture and traditions. She has a deep appreciation for Hawaiian music, and has taken a keen interest in the ukulele. She purchased "Ohana" brand ukulele kits a couple of years ago, and created a couple of beautiful instruments from these kits. If you attend her workshop, she'll go over the finer details of how to assemble the kit, but perhaps more importantly...make it your own!

Julie Coleson

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Auntie Julie was born in Frankfort Germany and was raised in a Foreign Service family, living overseas for much of her growing up. After graduating from college she relocated to the Washington, DC area, and performed with local Polynesian entertainment groups. One of her gifts and talents she acquired along the way, is designing beautiful patterns which are applied to various materials to make performance attire for hula dancers. She is currently a member of the Ke Aliʻi Makaʻainana Hawaiian Civic Club, an artisan, and a published author. Julie is also the cultural advisor for Halau Nohona Hawai'i, and its Outreach Coordinator. 

Pete Coleson

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Pete started out his musical aspirations as a drummer in elementary school. He switched to the ukulele when a friend offered to teach him. This talent came in handy as his wife, a lifelong Polynesian dancer, was performing in shows on a regular basis. Pete was happy when he found a way to join her halau by playing drums and ukulele with the group.

Pete is presently a member of HĀLAU NOHONA HAWAIʻI, a non-profit Hawaiian cultural school located in Silver Spring, MD. He proudly plays ukulele in their band, providing beautiful music for those sharing the aloha spirit through hula.

Our Partners

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