March 25-29, 2024
Are you ready for the best week of ukulele playing, learning and fun? We've got it happening in March of 2024!
Artistic Directors Nicole and Aaron Keim have gathered an outstanding faculty for the 2024 camp:
- Steve Espaniola
- Grace van't Hof
- Larry Wyatt
- Avery Hill
- Nova Devonie
- Matt Weiner
With additional support from Nancy Piver and Shelly Gilmore!
We can't wait for Ukulele Band Camp 2024!
Cost to attend and information about Purchase Protection are listed below the instructor bios.
2024 Ukulele Band Camp Faculty
It’s rare when an artist arrives on the scene offering a refreshing new spin on a traditional genre of music. Nā Hōkū Hanohano nominated Steven Espaniola is that artist. Raised in Aliamanu, Hawai’i and now residing in the California Bay Area, Steven is a self taught multi-instrumentalist Hawaiian artist specializing in Ki Ho'alu (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar), ‘Ukulele, Upright Bass, and Leo Ki'e Ki'e (Traditional Hawaiian falsetto). Of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and Spanish descent, his ethnicity is as diverse as his unique sound which preserves the integrity of the traditional with a flourish of the modern.
In 2015, Steven was the recipient of the Hawai'i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California’s Kulia I Ka Nu'u Award (strive for the summit) for his contributions in promoting the Aloha Spirit throughout Northern California and beyond.
In recent years, Steven has had the distinct pleasure of performing and teaching at some of the country’s most prestigious ’ukulele festivals including Tunes in the Dunes (Oregon), Reno ’Ukulele Festival (Nevada), San Francisco ’Ukulele Festival (California), Mighty Uke Day (Michigan) Swallow Hill Music Uke Fest (CO), and Ashokan Uke Fest (NY). Steven also periodically contributes to ’Ukulele Magazine as a Guest Editor.
Grace van't Hof
Michigan native Grace van’t Hof has taken their unique shades of ukulele playing across the United States and overseas with such groups as Bill and the Belles, Aaron Jonah Lewis’ Ragtime Banjo Revival, and Chris Jones & the Night Drivers. Driven by inspiration from 1920s and 30s country and popular music, Grace thoughtfully incorporates their uke stylings into all sorts of genres from Bluegrass to klezmer to ragtime music. Most recently, Grace brought their custom steel stringed baritone ukulele to the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry where their solo was featured on the Night Drivers IBMA nominated song, “Riding the Chief”. A devoted student of early 20th century music, Grace strives to return the ukulele to its forgotten place of prominence in stringband, country, and popular music. In addition to being an accomplished ukulele performer and session musician, Grace also plays the 5-string banjo professionally and is the two-time reigning International Bluegrass Music Association’s Graphic Designer of the Year. Grace makes their home in Detroit, MI.
Avery Hill has been a teaching artist since 2013, and is a staple instructor of the Portland (Oregon) ukulele community. Over the years, she has run her own studio of ukulele classes and workshops, and is a regular instructor at the Menucha Ukulele Band Camp. More recently, she has maintained a YouTube channel for ukulele tutorials and has begun teaching songwriting, including at the Songwriter Soireé Retreat. Whatever the classroom, Avery strives to educate everyone’s inner musician, to elevate their self-knowledge and confidence, and to enchant them with insight, presence, and a handful of good jokes. Avery is also a performing singer-songwriter, and storyteller. Her latest album is Dreams & Ghosts: A Family Album (2015), featuring the award-winning single Hello & Goodbye.
Larry Wyatt is a recently retired Elementary Music Specialist from Hood River, Oregon. He is also a Level 3 certified instructor of James Hill Ukulele initiative who has taught Ukulele at the JHUI in Vancouver B.C. He has also taught ukulele at many festivals including Eugene Uketoberfest, Denver Ukefest, and the Gorge Ukefest. In addition to ukulele, he also is also a songwriter and performer playing guitar, bass, ukulele, and steel guitar in a variety of ensembles. Most importantly, he loves to play and sing with his friends.
Big tone and solid rhythm have made Matt Weiner one of the busiest bass players in the Northwest. Inspired by the “prebop” bass players and their music, he’s slapping out a syncopated jazz feel on one tune, on another bowing a folksy melody.
Frequently performing upward of 200 shows per year, Matt can be spotted around Seattle and other places plucking, bowing and slapping his gut-strung bass with Jacob Zimmerman, Ray Skjelbred, Del Rey, Barton Carroll, Bric-a-Brac Trio, Squirrel Butter, Wayne Horvitz, Eli Rosenblatt, Casey MacGill and many others. He has also recorded and performed with The Todalo Shakers, The Hot Club of Cowtown, The Asylum Street Spankers, Butch Thompson, Becky Kilgore, Danny Barnes, Matt Munisteri, Jon-Erik Kellso, Rani Arbo and James Hill.
He was a featured musician in the 2019 production of the Christmas Revels in Cambridge, MA. Less recently, he played the role of bass player Joe B. Mauldin in the 5th Avenue Theatre production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. At The Ukeshack #1, an album of bass and ukulele duets with Del Rey, was released in 2007.
2+ decades of experience has made Matt a highly sought-after teacher. Matt has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Yukon Woodshed Acoustic Music Workshop, The Portland Ukulele Festival, The Menucha Ukulele Bandcamp, and 4 different Centrum music camps: the Ukulele Festival, the Country Blues Festival, Voiceworks and the Red Hot Strings Workshop. He teaches bass, electric bass, tenor guitar and beginning guitar private lessons and workshops at Dusty Strings in Seattle, and at his little home in White Center.
Nova Karina Devonie is a busy Seattle musician who delights audiences with her sensitive accordion playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense. Interested in the amazing connection and communication that music can provide, she loves adding accordion to many styles of music. Nova divides her time between performing in bands, teaching private music lessons, and composing music with David Miles Keenan for the duo Miles and Karina.
Nova has been playing piano accordion since the age of eleven and teaching the instrument since the late 1980’s. Focusing on tunes and technique with a bit of theory thrown in, she aims for fun and ease while moving at a comfortable pace for the student. She utilizes both reading written music and playing by ear, and especially enjoys helping beginners develop good habits and intermediate players broaden their skills. Nova draws from her years of experience listening to and playing with top-notch musicians in a variety of styles.
Nova toured as a member of the cowgirl supergroup Ranch Romance in the early 1990’s and now performs regularly in several Seattle bands, including Miles & Karina, The Buckaroosters, and Rare Birds. Nova has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Coast Music Camp, and the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival.
Nicole & Aaron Keim - Artistic Directors
Aaron and Nicole Keim live in Hood River, Oregon with their son Henry, building instruments, playing music, writing books, making art and embracing a hands-on life. Aaron started Beansprout in 2007 with Heidi and Rob Litke (Red Sands Ukulele) in Broomfield, Colorado. They made 100+ instruments before Aaron moved to Oregon to work for Mya-Moe Ukuleles in 2011. While at Mya-Moe under the guidance of Gordon and Char Mayer, Aaron's building skills blossomed while he learned the importance of customer service and keeping a focused shop schedule. Most importantly, they gave Aaron the opportunity to work on the 2000+ instruments that Mya-Moe put out over these years. In the meantime, Aaron developed an interest in domestic/local/salvaged woods, vintage woodworking equipment and traditional hand woodworking techniques. Since re-launching Beansprout, Aaron has consistently produced instruments that play easily and sound great in addition to being carefully built pieces of folk art. Aaron and Nicole continue to perform and teach worldwide and publish books as The Quiet American. Nicole also makes art as Marmalade Creations.
Cost to Attend
Costs to attend are all-inclusive of all classes and activities, overnight lodging (or site-use fee for commuters), and meals.
Cost is based on how many roommates you'll have.
We use all buildings except The Barn and McCall House for housing during band camp. We do our best to accommodate needs and preferences. Don't hesitate to look around at the buildings and their bedrooms. Most of the single occupancy rooms will have a shared bathroom. Triple and Double occupancy rooms have bathrooms either in the room or right next to the room.
Would your spouse/partner like to come but not take the classes? The total cost for you as a couple: $1398.
- Single Occupancy $1163
- Double Occupancy $998
- Triple Occupancy $898
- Commuter $783
- Non-participating spouse $400
Registration will open on October 18 at 10am Pacific Time.
Questions? Email Lori or call (503) 695-2243
During registration you will have the option to add Purchase Protection from Purchase Protection LLC. "Purchase Protection is not an insurance policy. It is a service by Purchase Protection LLC that will refund you 100% of your event fees, taxes, and dues should you be prevented by unforeseen circumstances from attending the event."
Please read what is covered and their terms to decide if this is something that you want to add. It is only available at the time of registration. It is an additional cost paid directly to Purchase Protection LLC and not administered by Menucha.
Is Ukulele Band Camp for you?
If you are wondering if this camp is for you, please read on.
Menucha’s Ukulele Band Camp is offered for advanced-beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The word “beginner” covers a lot of ground, and the faculty recognize that there will be a range of skills in class and usually provide different parts to accommodate the students. Most teachers expect that the students know more than a few chords and are capable of changing chords smoothly and in rhythm.
We have devised an exercise to help you evaluate what you might want to work on before camp so you get the most out of your musical experience.
Try the following exercise in three different keys. Use a metronome!
At 60 beats per minute, play each chord four times (four beats per chord). Play the chords without diagrams, that is, by heart.
C – Am – F – G7 – C
It should take 20 seconds. Try it in this key as well:
G – Em – C – D7 – G
Extra Credit: F – Dm – Bb – C7 – F
If you can do this, then you will get the most out of your classroom experience! You might have difficulty making the chord sound beautiful, even though you know how to play it (B-flat anyone?). Not to worry – the teachers can help you with that.
If you need to look up any of the chords, then you know what you may want to work on before the camp starts.
What does the schedule for band camp look like?
We are working on the 2024 schedule, but take a look at the 2023 schedule to see what the camp looks like.
What does Ukulele Band Camp look like?
Check out some pictures from 2023 on our Facebook page linked below.
For those who don't have Facebook...click on the date below to go see the pictures that were collected and posted:
We had an amazing time at Ukulele Band Camp. The staff was stellar, the students were eager to learn and participate,...