The Port Townsend Ukulele Festival & Workshop is held at Fort Worden State Park, a venue unparalleled in beauty and facility. Expect 4 nights & 3 days of intense fun, ukulele instruction, & merry music making with some of the finest ukulele instructors & players working today.
Registration, limited to 135 people, ensures small classes & an intimate atmosphere (15/1 student/faculty ratio). Workshop offerings will feature a wide variety of styles – jazz, blues, swing, Hawaiian, pop, novelty, & jugband ukulele, at the least. Specific classes will include chords, melody, improvisation, playing up the neck, performing tips,& “one-off” workshops during the Serendipity Hour. Final detailed class descriptions will be posted on the class description page. The evenings feature faculty & participant-led jams, as well as two public performances.
Here’s a general idea of what to expect:
Wednesday: 4 – 5:30pm – registration, settle in, dinner at 6pm, welcome & orientation at 8pm; entertainment and jamming after.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Breakfast; 2 morning workshop sessions; lunch; 2 afternoon workshop sessions; open mike; dinner; in the evenings, entertainment, open jams, house parties, and two public performances (your workshop registration entitles you to prime seats at these shows).
Final Sunday: Breakfast, check out of rooms by 11am.
Are the Uke Fest workshops appropriate for my skill level?
The Port Townsend Ukulele Festival is a camp appropriate for advanced-beginner, intermediate, and advanced players. The word “beginner” covers a lot of ground. Most offerings at the workshop are geared towards people who know more than a few chords, and are capable of changing chords smoothly and in rhythm. You’ll get the most out of your experience if you can do 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 these keys as well:
F – Dm – Bb – C7 – F
G – Em – C – D7 – G
If you can do this, then this workshop is for you! If you need to look up any of these chords, then you know what you have to work on (and master) before the festival starts.