Saturday, September 10, 2022
Nutmeg Ukulele Festival
Saturday, September 10th, 2022
The Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center is privileged to present the Nutmeg Ukulele Festival at Eno Memorial Hall.
About the Nutmeg Ukulele Festival
What: The idea of putting on a local ukulele festival was conceived two years ago at a rehearsal of the Kinetic Ukes, the area’s premier ukulele ensemble. Through connections with some of the top ukulele teaching artists in the USA and Canada, (two of whom are triple Grammy Award winners), Kinetic Ukes quickly put together an amazing line up of educators and performers for the festival. We then took the idea to the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center to see if they would present our event. The result is the first annual Nutmeg Ukulele Festival, presented by the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center.
The one-day festival will include workshops by top teaching artists as well as performances and a community play along. Teaching artists this year are Marcy Marxer, Cathy Fink, Gerald Ross, Cynthia Kinnunen, Eve Goldberg, and Ben Hassenger. Local ukulele celebrity Jim Beloff, will be on hand signing copies of his books. A luthier will be available to look at attendees’ instruments and we will be raffling off some donated ukulele items.
When/Where: Saturday, September 10th, 2022 from 8am-9pm* at Eno Memorial Hall in Simsbury, CT
*Full schedule to come!
CLICK HERE to see our sponsorship packages!
- – Tickets go on sale April 15th at 10AM on eventbrite
- – $125 General Admission
Hotel Group Rates
- – Courtyard by Marriott Hartford/Windsor Airport (1 Day Hill Rd, Windsor, CT 06095)
- – Start Date: Friday, September 9, 2022
- – End Date: Sunday, September 11, 2022
- – Last Day to Book: Friday, August 26, 2022
About the Artists
Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
GRAMMY WINNERS, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer are consummate entertainers, master musicians and trailblazers in multiple genres of folk, country, swing and family music. They are also two fun loving gals of the ukulele.
Cathy & Marcy’s ukulele worlds began many years ago. In 1974, Cathy was gifted a vintage Gibson soprano ukulele by an elderly student. At about the same time, Marcy began strumming on the uke in Michigan, around the corner from where uke luthier David Talsma now lives. Uke accompaniment has been gracing their GRAMMY winning family music for over 25 years. And now, golly gosh, it’s popular!
Veteran instructors and performers at the best-known music camps, they have enjoyed teaching at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, The Augusta Workshops, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamps, Swannanoa Gathering and California Coast Music Camp. They are also amongst the most prolific and popular instructors with Homespun Tapes. In 1993, Marcy released a 2 Video set, now 2 DVD’s, “Ukulele for Kids”. It has been a BEST SELLER for Homespun Tapes. Can you believe she even teaches Ginger the Dog, a loveable puppet! Now, Marcy’s YouTube lessons on ukulele have made fans around the world, both young and old! She has both online lessons and a course called “UKULELE FOR GUITAR PLAYERS” and “SWING UKULELE” at www.truefire.com.
The duo organizes and performs in the UKEFEST at THE MUSIC CENTER at STRATHMORE, drawing 2300 fans. This 5 day camp and free community concert pulls together players of all levels and fans to fuel them! They have also taught/performed at Ashokan Uke Festival, Milwaukee Uke Fest, Uke Ceiliedh of Nova Scotia, Port Townsend Uke Fest & Camp, Midland Ukefest (Ont.), Richmond Ukefest, Mt. Airy Ukefest, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, Swannanoa Gathering and many more. As keynotes for the American Music Therapy Association, Cathy & Marcy brought the uke to hundreds of music therapists and as a result, there are university level music therapy courses in ukulele!
As performers, Cathy & Marcy have spent 38 years on tour worldwide from Japan to New Zealand, Vancouver to New York, China, Malaysia, and everywhere in between. Recent shows include the GRAMMY Museum (LA), Smithsonian Folklife Festival (Washington, DC) and Wolf Trap Theater in the Woods (VA), Tuscon Folk Festival and Chicago’s WFMT Folk Festival. They are master musicians on ukulele, five string banjo, cello banjo, acoustic & electric guitar, mandolin, percussion and a world of other instruments. Uke styles- Folk, swing, jazz, clawhammer ukulele, fun!
Eve Goldberg sings music that draws honey from the rock of life. A compelling writer and interpreter, Eve’s watercolour voice and solid instrumental style has made her a favourite with audiences across Canada and the US. Her performances on guitar and ukulele are intimate and relaxed, moving effortlessly from folk classics to original gems. Since 1990, she has performed her trademark mixture of folk, blues, country, bluegrass, old time, and jazz in venues across Canada and the US, ranging from small house concerts to the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Along the way she’s earned the respect of legendary musicians like Peggy Seeger, Geoff Muldaur, and Penny Lang. She has released three CDs and is currently a member of the folk/roots duo Gathering Sparks.
When she is not performing, Eve specializes in teaching music to adults in community settings. She especially enjoys teaching beginners and strives to create a supportive environment that encourages students at any skill level to learn and grow.
Eve currently leads the Parkdale Ukulele Group and the Ukulele Orchestra of Toronto (Ukes of T). For over twenty years she organized The Woods Music and Dance Camp, an adult folk music retreat in Ontario. She has performed and taught music classes at the James Hill Ukulele Institute (Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON), Port Townsend Ukulele Festival (Port Townsend, WA), Midwest Ukulele and Harmonica Camp (Olivet, MI), Dock Street Ukulele Camp (Shelburne, NS), Haliburton School of Art and Design (Haliburton, ON), Winter Folk Camp (Haliburton, ON), Blue Skies Adult Music Camp (Kingston, ON) and the Midland Uke Fest (Midland, ON), and is in demand as a workshop leader and performer at ukulele events near and far.
Ben Hassenger is known as the “Ukulele Ambassador of Michigan” for good reason. After a 2009 visit to Hawaii, he was hooked on the ukulele and over the past eleven years has founded the Lansing Area Ukulele Group (LAUGH), the Mighty Uke Day festival, Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp, Uketoberfest at Interlochen, and Hiawatha Music Co-op’s Yooper Uke Week. Outside of the state, he is the artistic director for the Ashokan Uke Fest in Olivebridge, NY.
Ukulele education is a priority for Ben; and in 2014, he established Music is the Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports ukulele music programs in Michigan classrooms and communities. He teaches and performs at a variety of uke events across the US and Canada, spreading the joy and camaraderie the “jumping flea” brings to people. Ben played guitar for years with the world-beat band Mystic Shake and now performs with The Ukulele Kings all-uke trio. A songwriter and a big fan of baseball, he has two songs about the Detroit Tigers enshrined in the archives at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
In her earlier years, Cynthia Kinnunen pursued studies in piano, completing her conservatory levels and a university degree in music. After some years away, it was the mighty ‘ukulele that brought her back to music-making and inspired her to pursue music education again over ten years ago. A Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative teacher, she currently wears many teaching hats, including providing private music instruction in ‘ukulele and piano; ‘ukulele group classes and workshops; the Royal City Ukulele Ensemble adult learning program; is a sessional lecturer in several universities; and Director of Engagement for James Hill’s Ukulele in the Classroom series. She is also the founder and director of the Royal City Uke Fest in Guelph, Ontario.
She has always felt compelled to share music, whether teaching, performing, or putting together some good old mixtapes. Influences have ranged from early 20th century big band to 80s one-hit wonders, baroque chamber works to the rhythms of world music, renaissance folk songs to 70s punk. Cynthia truly loves the diversity of music. She is a solo performer and half of the bass/ukulele duo Transit Lounge. Passionate about the role that music can play in all our lives, our homes and our communities, she encourages everyone to learn and make music, no matter their age or ability.
Gerald Ross is comfortable with just about every type of “roots” music there is, from western swing, bluegrass, Hawaiian, blues, jug band music, jazz standards, Tin Pan Alley, New Orleans rhythms to boogie-woogie, and he plays it all on guitar, lap steel, Dobro and ukulele.
He’s performed in concert with Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie, Doc Watson, Johnny Gimble, Riders In The Sky, Brownie McGhee and many others. He appears in the award winning film documentaries “The Mighty Uke” and the PBS syndicated “Wheatland – The First 40 Years.”
Gerald won the Solo Artist Category of the 1993 WEMU Jazz Competition and has appeared many times on “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Today Gerald is one of America’s best-known performers, entertainers and advocates for the ukulele. He’s released seven solo CDs, published instructional materials, and is very much in demand as a music festival instructor in the United States and abroad.
***Artist workshop details to come!***
Festival Location: Eno Memorial Hall, 754 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070