Ukulele Hooley Festival 2019 line up

It’s our 10th year, and we’re really excited that in 2019 we have an amazing line up of ukulele stars to entertain and inspire you; with both new faces to the festival, and some old friends that have helped us make the festival what it is, joining us for what promises to be a memorable experience for all who attend.

James Hill

A seasoned performer with an ever-growing fan base in North America, Asia and Europe, Hill has garnered wide acclaim for his songwriting skills and ground-breaking approach to the chronically-underestimated.

Over the course of his first three genre-defying albums, Hill re-wrote every rule that had previously kept the ukulele in the realm of novelty and obscurity. Then came the Canadian-Folk-Music-Award-winning True Love Don’t Weep (Borealis, 2009), his collaboration with cellist/singer Anne Janelle, an album that pushed the budding songwriter into new territory and topped folk radio charts across North America. Since the release of his acclaimed Man With a Love Song in 2011, Hill has become known as much for his songwriting as for his instrumental virtuosity.

Hill’s latest album, The Old Silo, finds him charting a course into deeper, rockier waters with producer Joel Plaskett at the helm. The music has an edginess and swagger unlike anything Hill has ever recorded: the thundering baritone ukulele riff in She’s Still Got It would be right at home on a Black Keys single and the grinding slide ukulele in Tie One On would make Jack White proud.

A humble, uncompromising artist who “gives the ukulele its dignity back without ever taking himself – or the instrument – too seriously” (Songlines), James Hill’s music cuts a deep, winding path through Folk, Roots Rock and Americana.

  • “Possibly the best ukulele player in the world… Hill wowed and charmed the audience.” – Waikato Times
  • “A serious virtuoso upon the instrument… truly amazing.” – Canadian Folk Music
  • “A dazzling live performer with a genial, low key sense of humour.” – Edmonton Journal
  • “The perfect evening of tunes, stories and musical virtuosity. ” – Wellington Dominion-Post

Find out more at www.jameshillmusic.com

Find James on Facebook & Twitter: jameshillmusiq

Andy Eastwood

Andy’s act is an upbeat blend of dazzling instrumental artistry, foot-tapping songs and bright and breezy humour.

Born in Lancashire to a musical family, Andy began performing at an early age, studying classical violin and piano.  But he also developed a passion for jazz and popular music, and having taught himself ukulele he made history at Oxford University as the only musician ever to give his degree recital on the instrument!  He is now considered one of the world’s foremost ukulele players and is proud to have contributed to its continuing popularity.

The great Ken Dodd gave Andy his break into theatre, and he made over 300 performances with the legendary comedian, as well as working alongside stars such as Max Bygraves, Joe Pasquale, Frank Skinner, Des O’Connor and Roy Hudd.

Andy’s one-man show is a popular attraction for cruise liners and corporate functions, and his tour schedule of major theatres and cabaret venues worldwide prompted The Stage to call him ‘the busiest man in showbusiness’.  Audiences too have taken him to their hearts: two award-winning summer seasons in Blackpool have earned him the title of the resort’s ‘Top Solo Artist’.

Recently Andy has been portraying uke legend George Formby in the touring show We’ll Meet Again, and his festival appearances have taken him to Italy, Germany, The Czech Republic, Finland and Oklahoma City, USA. This year Andy stars in his own production Those Were The Days at theatres around Britain – find out more at: www.AndyEastwood.com

Bad Mouse Orchestra

The Bad Mouse Orchestra is a German ukulele and guitar trio playing swing and jazz tunes from the 1920’s to 40’s. Their repertoire covers not only well known standards but also unknown and forgotten numbers that have rarely been heard in almost a hundred years. These tunes they discover when digging through old sheet music or gramophone records which we find in dusty boxes on flea markets, attics or thrift stores.

The Bad Mouse Orchestra is dedicated to bringing back the vibe of the roaring 20’s, daring 30’s and wicked 40’s. Not however in the extravagant manner of old broadway shows but in a much more intimate way, like three friends getting together at the end of the day to play their favourite gramophone records right there in their living room.

Ukulelezaza

“One of the most complete uke players in the world today”– Kamuke Magazine #2 (2011)

Ukulelezaza is a firm favorite in the European ukulele community and has been at the forefront of the ukulele revival for over ten years. His gentle touch, right hand wizardry and tasteful arrangements have inspired, and continue to inspire, ukulele players worldwide.

Early days; Ukulelezaza (real name Remco Houtman-Janssen, born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1973) started playing ukulele at age 11. His mother actively organized George Formby fanclub meetings and sang and played ukulele and uke-banjo in several bands. Remco lost interest in the uke during his teens but rekindled that interest in 1994, after strumming a few chords on the the banjolele that he had always kept. He has been playing passionately ever since.

One of Europe’s finest; From the mid-1990s onwards Remco played in Hawaiian bands and attended many ukulele events in the UK, forming the basis of his unique style of playing. In 2006 he started a Youtube channel, his first outing as Ukulelezaza, which at the moment has over 3500 subscribers and a total of 1.3 million views. Nowadays, when performing solo, Zaza mostly plays 1920s/30s music and original instrumentals using a variety of vintage ukuleles. His gentle touch and overall right hand mastery rank him amongst Europe’s finest ukulele players. He’s featured at ukulele festivals throughout the world. Zaza is also the co-founder and organizer of the Belgian Ukulele Festival, which had its first edition in 2007 and became the inspiration and blueprint for the major European ukulele festivals today. 

Bag of tricks second to none; Zaza is an experienced ukulele teacher for all levels with a bag of tricks second to none. His workshops are a highlight for many aspiring and experienced players alike. He published four tablature books with his own ukulele solo arrangements of famous and more obscure songs from the Golden Jazz Era. Hundreds of people throughout the world play his arrangements, many of which found their way to Youtube. Each book also features information about and plenty of photographs of the ukuleles he passionately collects. Zaza also released two solo albums on which he plays ukulele, plectrum banjo, tenor guitar, mandolin and lapsteel guitar.

Check Zaza’s Youtube channel for a taste of his music: www.youtube.com/ukulelezaza

Since 2007 Ukulelezaza has performed at the following festivals (and more), in most cases more than once: Ukulele Festival of Great Britain, Ukulele Hooley (Ireland), Paris Festival Ukulele (France), Melbourne Ukulele Festival (Australia), Caldogno Ukulele Meeting (Italy), Czech Ukulele Festival (Czech Republic), Thailand Ukulele Festival, Grand Northern Ukulele Festival (UK), Great Southern Ukulele Festival (UK), Haapavesi Folk Festival (Finland), Japan Tour 2017

Winin' Boy

After witnessing a Leon Redbone concert in 1993, Fred “Winin’ Boy” Goossens became totally smitten with the old Tin Pan Alley songs of the teens and twenties. No sooner, he started performing those tunes on the ukelele in The Left Hand Band, a trio of like-minded, left-handed buskers. He continued as the frontman of the stringband Winin’ Boys. Fred not only is a big uke enthusiast and collector. In 2007 he was also one of the organisers of the first International Ukelele Festival of Belgium, the forebearer of a string of ukefests all around Europe. This year will mark the 9th visit of Fred to the Hooley, something which he is really looking forward to.

Dublin Ukulele Collective

“… they build an atmosphere as hot as the sunshine.” – Golden Plec

The Dublin Ukulele Collective (DUC) are a 35 piece ukulele harmony band with a high feel-good-factor. Watching DUCs perform, the fun is obvious. Members range in age up to 70+ and we perform a diverse repertoire of songs which reflects our age span.

Expect upbeat, fun and rhythmic songs with loads of harmonies and a little nostalgia including songs from; Elbow, Cold Play, The Killers, OneRepublic, Radiohead, Talking Heads, Amy Winehouse, Erasure, Mumford & Sons, Leonard Cohen, Jason Mraz and more. DUC is very much an audience join-in band.

The Dublin Ukulele Collective was formed in 2015 when a group of ukulele playing friends talked about starting a band. One of them had the crazy idea of pitching Electric Picnic. Thanks to her ambition and drive this became a reality, with DUC performing their first gig at Electric Picnic 2015. Since that first appearance DUCs have been busy performing, year round, at festivals, Corporate events, and most importantly Charity & Community events.

DUC was awarded an International Epic Award for its ethos of inclusion and commitment to raising money for charities including; The Jack & Jill Foundation, One Family, Irish Guide Dogs, Aware, Solas, Focus Ireland and loads more.

DUC have performed at Electric Picnic, Kaleidoscope, Longitude, Castlepalooza, Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral, Dalriada Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, Spraoi, The Doggie Doo, Carlow Arts Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Yulefest Kilkenny, Whelans, Grand Social Club, UkuleleHooley, and many more.

DUC have also featured on radio & TV, including RTE’s Ray D’Arcy TV show, TV3’s Irelands Got Talent, TV3’s Ireland AM, 2FM’s Nicky Byrne Show, Newstalk Radio’s Sean Moncrieff show and RTE1’s Ray D’Arcy radio show.

GoldenPlec, Sine McGoff, September 6th, 2018    [https://www.goldenplec.com/live-reviews/electric-picnic-2018/]

On Sunday morning people stumble out of their tents a little worse for wear….But it’s not all over yet folks and some of the best are yet to come… By half one, a crowd has gathered around the Trailer Park stage to admire the care free, high spirited Dublin Ukulele Collective. The incredibly diverse, self-proclaimed “feel-good” group of over 35 members have mustered more energy and enthusiasm than the rest of Electric Picnic put together. As they fly through their set of all time classics, including Fix You, Counting Stars and All These Things That I have Done, they build an atmosphere as hot as the sunshine.

Irish Examiner, Joyce Fegan, September 3rd, 2018            [https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/electrifying-close-to-prodigious-picnic-866261.html]

…. there was everything from the major headliners such as The Prodigy, Kendrick Lamar, and N.E.R.D., to the Dublin Ukulele Collective …. The Dublin Ukulele Collective’s set yesterday was representative of the festival’s vibe, with a five-year-old girl pulled from the chock-a-block crowd to lead a rendition of ‘Counting Stars’ with her tambourine….

Gus and Fin Trio

Back in 2006, when Youtube was just a year old, Gus and Fin led the way on how to “uke-it” on the internet, bashing out energetic and harmonically pleasing Ramones / punk ukulele covers straight into a camcorder. Encouraged by a positive response from the “world wide web”, they mined their record collections in search of the ultimate ukulele tribute, and over the next few year introduced the ukulele world to glam, 2-Tone, ska, reggae, experimental, new wave and more!

In 2019, they’re back at The Hooley doing what they do best, and with the addition of The Kaisers’ bassist Mark Ferrie, they form The Gus and Fin Trio. Don’t miss ‘em!

THE UKULELE UFF TRIO

The Ukulele Uff Trio is comprised of Chris ‘Ukulele’ Uff on ukulele, Dave Searson on guitar and ‘Brother’ Bill Leach on Hawaiian guitar. They specialise in obscure and wonderful 1920s/30s jazz, Tin Pan Alley songs and traditional Hawaiian music, performed with a skill and authenticity that is rare today.

The trio started as all good trios do, as a duo. Uff and Dave first met while still at school in Liverpool, where a mutual interest in music led to the formation of various musical projects, mainly with Uff on bass and Dave on drums or guitar. When Uff discovered the ukulele there was no stopping him. He practised day and night for years developing his own original style, until he felt ready to unleash his talents upon the world. Dave in the meantime had honed his technique of ragtime and swing guitar. Uff and Dave appeared on the ukulele scene overnight, when footage from their debut performance in a variety show at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall was uploaded to YouTube to much acclaim in 2012. Since then their high energy, skilled playing and relaxed stage presence has earned them a reputation as top entertainers around the World.

In 2014 Uff and Dave teamed up with lap steel virtuoso ‘Brother’ Bill Leach, who brought with him hair raising renditions of jazz age Hawaiian classics and beautiful traditional melodies brought over from his native Runcorn.

Fitting in perfectly with Uff and Dave’s nimble finger work, the group now sound better than ever! Towards the end of the year they released their first CD to much acclaim.

“This joyous string band swing like the proverbial hairy clappers and are guaranteed to gladden the hearts of all but the most dedicated of miserable begrudgers. Vo do de o, vo doe doe de o, doe!” fROOTS Magazine.

“their mix of skiffle and 1930s jazz was unbelievable to watch. Uff plays and slaps that uke with no speed I’ve ever seen before ….Definitely one of my favourite acts of the weekend ” Louder Than War. http://louderthanwar.com/hold-underneath-stars-festival-barnsley-live-review

“Have seen these guys twice now and both times they didn’t just get a standing ovation, they got a standing-on-chairs ovation.” Matt Warnes editor of UKE MAGAZINE http://worldofukes.co.uk/

Ukeristic Congress

When the Ukeristic Congress split up a few years ago one band member said at the time that they’d reform “when hell freezes over”. Oops … sorry that was The Eagles! But either way, the good news for all ukulele fans is that the Dublin ukers have also reformed and will be back with a vengeance for this year’s festival bringing with them their diverse mix of songs from across the ages and the musical genres (plus a few originals), all played in their own inimitable style! As always, the Congress men of Andrew, James, Keith, Shay, and Mick promise a lively show that’s a little different but a lot of fun so be sure not to miss them at this year’s Hooley – or at least before hell freezes over again!

The Walkeleles

Upstairs in the Cherry Tree pub, Walkinstown, on a cold night in Jan 2017, 11 people with 11 Christmas presents under their arms, sat down together…

What happened next was the stuff of legend…

The Walkeleles have since exploded into a 32 (ish) strong, bunch of, rootin’ tootin’, singing dancing, roarin’ an shouting ukulele bashers, who love nothing better than to sing, play and generally have a good old ukulele knees up, anytime, anywhere…

They have travelled far and wide, overseas, (and sometimes under them), intent on bringing Uke joy to just about anyone who’ll listen…

Priding themselves on getting everyone to have the best time, every time…

Banging out tunes, old and new, (all) borrowed, but never blue… be prepared to sing, dance, wave, clap, jump, and of course smile, when the Walkies hit the stage…

Looking forward to see ya’ll real soon. Peace. The Walkeleles

Ukulele Rat Pack

You have Ukulelezaza, the Gentle Giant of the Low Lands, blessed with a silken right-hand strum that’s guaranteed to tear at anyone’s heartstrings. Add Ukulele Uff, the Speedy Strummer, Impeccable Picker and overall Great Guy, who some have dubbed “the next best thing to come out of Liverpool since frizzy hair perms”. Finally, there’s Fred – the Winin’ Boy – renowned Martin Ukulele Historian and easily the Most Charismatic Performer in the ukulele circuit today. For years they have been bumping into each other at all the major ukulele festivals all over Europe. Now, together, they form a new and formidable international trio that combines the best with the best: hot and cool tunes, awesome strumming, sweet melodies and incomparable onstage chemistry. Ladies and gentlefolk, be sure to dress appropriately, because this is the Ukulele Rat Pack! 

Ukulele Tuesday

Ukulele Tuesday is the gigging offshoot of The Stag’s Head’s weekly ukulele session of the same name. They are a lively bunch, who mash-up contemporary and classic hits, and take the ukulele into uncharted waters. Guaranteed to melt some faces.

Andrea Booth

When Andrea Booth first joined RUGS in 2016, she had already been singing with her band -Just Dandy – (which she formed with guitarist Dave Murphy) since 2006.

A committed lyricist with a passion for song writing, she began performing her own original material and soon released their first EP – Sand in My Shoes Blues – which went on to win the Uke Factor Prize for best video at the Ukulele Hooley 2017.

It was after the 2018 Ukulele Hooley that Andrea got the idea for the song which is now the official theme tune for the 2019 Hooley.  ‘I had such a fantastic time, and was on a high driving home when the song just came into my head. I finished writing it when I got back to my house that evening and the rest is history!’

She is very excited about her new EP, ‘All my own way’ which will be released to coincide with this year’s 10th Anniversary celebrations!

RUGS

Following on from their acclaimed pop-up performances at the 2019 Forever Young Festival, RUGS (Rathfarnham Ukulele Group) are delighted to bring their blend of foot-stomping tunes to the 10th Ukulele Hooley by the Sea.

From humble beginnings in Sheilagh Fox’s kitchen, RUGs weekly ukulele session now has up to 80 ukers jamming together on a Monday night. The group has a wonderful community spirit, with monthly performances in Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, and the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire. In addition RUGS has been involved in supporting organisations such as the Samaritans, Special Olympics Ireland, Crumlin Children’s Hospital, LauraLynn, Unicef Ireland and HIV Ireland.

The off-shoot RUGs Performance Group has been slowly building a loyal fan base over the past 2 years, with performances at Bloom, the Cobh Ukulele Festival, Darkness into Light, Battle for the Bay and most recently the Forever Young Festival. Our setlist includes a diverse range of covers from Snow Patrol, American Authors and George Ezra to David Bowie, Marc Almond, and The Beatles – all performed with our own unique RUGs twist.

For many of our group, the ukulele odyssey began at the Hooley so it’s an absolute pleasure to return to the Main Stage and join the 10th anniversary celebrations.

The Main Stage

Sunday 18th August, in the People’s Park, performers take to the stage

Join us in the People Park, Dun Laoghaire, for the main performance event of the festival, on Sunday 18th August.

Proceedings kick-off at midday – noon – 12pm

We will be continuing our tradition of presenting talented ukulele performers and groups from around the world.

Big Sea Jam

A must for ukulele players – grab your uke and come along to be part of the “The Big Sea Jam @ The Hooley“!

Festival Raffle

Try your luck in our ever popular Ukulele Hooley festival raffle, with some fabulous ukulele related prizes to win.

Retail Therapy

Check out our ukulele merchandise and instrument stalls, to find that perfect gift for you or the ukulele people in your life.

Relax in the Park

Relax in Dún Laoghaire’s magnificent People’s Park, a beautifully landscaped oasis of calm, enhanced with the sounds of ukuleles.

Children’s/Beginner’s Workshop

Children’s/Beginner’s Workshop in People’s Park, 3pm, Sunday 18th August.

Uke Factor Competition

Enjoy the ‘Uke Factor‘ competition winners, performing on the festival stage. Such a treat to experience the talent of the future.