March 7 – 10, 2019
We had such a great time and learned so much at our first Ukulele Blues and Harp Fest–two full days of instruction and music making, and three evenings of unfettered ‘ukulele merriment in beautiful, downtown Kernville–that we’re doing it again! Same guys. Same place. Why change it? The combo can’t be beat!
Time and time again, Keven Carroll has proven himself to be one the best and most generous ukulele instructors around, and a very fine musician, to boot! This year he will be bringing us even more ‘Uke-licious Blues instruction and ensemble opportunities while offering loads of learning experiences for players of all skill levels.
At the very same time, Catfish Jack Chauvin, a harmonica player (and instructor) of “the highest order” will be enhancing our blues experience with a little “harp” instruction for those hoping to expand their instrumental repertoire without breaking the bank…or the overhead compartment on the plane the next time you travel to music camp. Plus, he’ll be teaching students how to play with a rack so they can accompany themselves. Last year was our first opportunity to work with Catfish and everyone agreed that his teaching style gave those who chose to venture into the world of harmonica a safe place to try and make a sound like a train! “Tweet! Tweet!
I should add that both Kevin and Catfish come from long careers as professional musicians playing a multitude of instruments, and both are so serious about sharing their knowledge and experience that they have opened teaching studios in their homes.
You’ll have ample opportunity to learn and practice with both Kevin and Catfish Jack over the course of the weekend and hone your chops on both instruments and with each other. (Our small group jam sessions solidified the day’s lessons, created a wonderful sense of camaraderie among all participants, and gave us all a safety net.) Those so inspired can take advantage of the opportunity to pull it all together for a little community concert at “The Cone” on Saturday night. Or you can get yourself wrapped up in the blues from the vantage of a seat in the audience and enjoy a show you won’t soon forget.
And where else could we hold such an absolutely compelling event than Piazza’s quaint and lovely Pine Cone Inn, in the heart of Kernville (about an hour’s drive east of Bakersfield), where we will all eat, sleep, learn, and play, from Thursday night through Sunday morning. Home to the Kernville Ukulele Club, Josh and Roberta Gordon have turned the Pine Cone into a little haven for musicians of all persuasions along the banks of the mighty Kern River. As an added plus, Josh is available to skillfully “bring up the bottom” for anyone who needs an assist. And where else are you welcome to practice your musical skills in the heart of the kitchen, where the crew dances to your beat while prepping the next meal? The Pine Cone is clearly the place to be, but the soon-to-be-famous Starlite Lounge and Kern River Brewing Company are just a short walk away and open for dinner.
The $439 registration fee includes all ‘ukulele and harmonica instruction offered during the fest and breakfast and lunch at “the Cone” each day. Once you have registered for the festival, you will arrange and pay for your lodging directly with “the Cone” (rooms are $130 – 145/night). (If the Cone is full, you will be directed to another lodging establishment very close by.)
Space is limited!
All agreed that one of the things that made the Ukulele Blues and Harp Fest so enjoyable was the intimacy and small group size; our plan is to preserve that. And, since everyone who attended our first year vowed to return, we’re quite sure we’ll sell out quickly. So, if you don’t want to miss next year’s fest, be sure to subscribe to (or “follow”) this website, so you can be among the first to know when we open registration. Everyone should get to do this at least once in their lives.