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Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival

May 31, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Performances, Workshops and Competitions


Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival (DRUKE)

Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey, Victoria

29-31st May 2015


Join us as the world of all things Ukulele travels from the sand and shirts of Hawaii to the lush forests of the Hills.

The Burrinja – Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival (DRUKE) takes over the entire Burrinja Cultural Centre for three amazing May days in 2015. From the theatre to café, stages, workshops, gardens and galleries – it’ll be humming and strumming.

Festival programmer Matthew Fagan will ensure that we have a jam packed program for Ukulele and music lovers everywhere, where everyone who wants to strum their stuff can!


Paul Johnson (New Zealand) Tomoki Sato (Japan) Lucy Wise (Aus) Sarah Carroll (Queen of Bellarine) Alex Burns (Aus – UK) Amie Brûlée (France… almost) Matthew Fagan (Aus)

GROUPS Royal Dukuleles Miss Wattle & P.H.U.C. (Panton Hill Ukulele Club) UFO (Uke4Kids Family Orchestra) Black Orchid Stringband Wangaratta Ukulele Band KALULU- Kallista Ukulele Group Emerald Primary School Ukulele Orchestra UKULELELAND with Matthew Fagan and Friends Jam Tarts Trio

WORKSHOPS Alex Burns Workshop- (Intermediate) Paul Johnson workshop- (Intermediate) Aime Brulee Workshop- (Intermediate) Lucy Wise Workshop-(Beginner- Intermediate) Sarah Carroll Workshop- (Intermediate) Tomoki Sato Workshop- (Beginner) The Uke Group Workshop- (Beginners)

Matthew Fagan- (Intermediate)



Festival Launch Party/ Opening Concert with Costume Theme Back to the 70’s’, Door prizes for costumes and best ‘loud shirt’, including Hawaiian. with door prizes.


Workshops, Concerts, Blackboard Performances/Jam Sessions in the cafe all day, Festival Stalls, Gala Concert at 7.30pm.


The Maton Ukulele Songwriters and Performers Competition Day with great prizes. (Open to all ticket holders, Amateur to Professional),

Women in Song Concert, Concerts, Workshops, Closing Concert, Massed Ukulele Jam.  

Great food and bars across the venue. Bluegrass, Hawaiian, 1920’s, Contemporary Songwriters, Classical, Spanish, Folk and Singalong – from happy strumming to flying fingers.

3 Day Festival tickets $90Early Bird $70

Festival INFO and TIX





Tomoki Sato (Japan)



Tomoki Sato  is a ukulele player, vocalist, composer and arranger from Japan. Tomoki was born in Japan in 1992 and started playing the piano when he was three years old. He turned to the ukulele at 16, and made his stage debut the same year.  “I saw someone playing it when I was 16 and I fell in love with the sound of it. I somehow knew it was for me”, he says. “It changed my life completely. I can share my stories, messages with people through my ukulele music now, I can travel a lot, meet new people and connect with them thanks to ukulele. It is the best feeling.” Now, Tomoki is taking the world by storm, receiving invites from ukulele festivals around the world, such as Melbourne, Cairns, the U.K., and Thailand. He is releasing his latest EP in December 2014. His first full album will be finally released in the summer of 2015.

Tomoki Sato Workshops (Beginner & Intermediate) Tomoki is facilitating two workshops: Beginners: Learning about the strumming and rhythm by learning a song Intermediate: Learn more patterns of strumming and the importance of being on time.

Paul Jonson (NZ)

With 50 years experience, New Zealand/ Canadian musician Paul Johnson presents colourful ukulele playing with pizzazz! Paul travels the globe presenting his diverse talents and skills on stage and in the classroom.  Inspired by his tremendously by good friend Ted Harrison over his last ten years in Canada and extensive experience facilitating in the corporate sector, Paul’s underlying passion has always been as an artist, musician and facilitator. His most memorable performances and workshops in the past year have been at the New Zealand Ukulele Festival, New Zealand Ukulele Convention, Ukulele Blues & Boogie Workshops, Kerikeri Ukulele Workshops, Auckland Folk Music Festival, Melbourne Ukulele Festival, Emerald Ukulele Festival, Cairns Ukulele Festival, Mission Beach and with many more international bookings to travel to this year…

Paul Jonson Workshop (Intermediate) Add Colour & Texture, and Play with Pizzazz:

by adding fun, easy elements from Blues, Boogie & Ragtime styles. Break away from pushing every song into normality, and learn new techniques using the fun elements of Blues, Boogie & Ragtime. There will be opportunities to try simple licks and riffs that will colour your playing style, and add texture to the songs we love. Players will be walked through simple techniques on well laid out worksheets, that you’ll later refer to as a reminder of what you can do to enhance your playing style and put pizzazz in your performance. This is no ordinary workshop with a couple of tips and mostly sing-a-long; truly, you’ll never play your uke in the same way ever again… Who should attend: You’ll only need to be reasonably confident with basic chords to learn alternate strumming techniques and finger-picking patterns using simple rhythms and easy chord patterns. Advanced players will pick up on the potential riffs and licks and many of the more subtle elements, but everyone will totally enjoy these fun filled educational workshops. All tuition materials, songs and techniques will be provided in hard copy, and access will be given to video clips and sound bites that you can refer to that will remind you of what you forgot on the day – referring to “Sing’n Uke” at www.singnuke.co.nz.  (this new web site will be active by mid 2015 for your continued reference

Lucy Wise (Aus)

Singer-songwriter Lucy Wise offers a unique blend of folk music and masterful storytelling, drawing from her background in Celtic and Appalachian folk music. Her expressive voice and intricate ukulele playing create an intimate and moving concert experience as she explores themes both local and global. Hailing from the far South Western corner of Australia, Lucy has delighted audiences across Australia, New Zealand and the UK with her unique blend of folk, chamber and pop music combined with masterful storytelling. Drawing inspiration from her background in Appalachian and Celtic folk music, as well as legendary songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, Lucy’s songs sketch universally recognisable stories that are grounded in the realities of everyday experience. Lucy has a busy start to the year performing at major Australian folk festivals including Woodford Folk Festival (QLD), Port Fairy Folk Festival (VIC) and The National Folk Festival (ACT). This March, she is releasing her fourth record A Painting of the Universe, a live EP recorded with her band, Lucy Wise Trio. 

“A wonderfully natural singer and uncommonly gifted writer. Prediction: within this decade Lucy will be a noted songster, worldwide.” – Doug Spencer, ABC Radio National

Lucy Wise Workshop (beginner – intermediate players) Accompanying Songs on the Ukulele  A wonderfully accessible little instrument, the ukulele is perfectly suited to accompany songs from any genre. While some believe that the uke is only built for strumming, it can be played in a variety of different ways when accompanying songs. This workshop explores the use of fingerpicking, strumming and other song accompaniment tools which can help you perform some of your favourite songs with your own flourish. Bring your uke and your voice! Listeners are welcome.

Sarah Carroll (Queen of Bellarine)


Sarah Carroll (Queen of the Bellarine) is an original country and folk singer/songwriter, well known for her work with The Junes, The Cartridge Family, The Pirates Of Beer and partner Chris Wilson, amongst others. Sarah’s music reverberates with her wide and various influences; her coastal residence, home life with family, pets and friends, touring around Australia and the USA, and many, many years in the business! She is known for her earthy, wry and heartfelt songs and calm, clear delivery. Sarah’s recent career highlights include a return visit to the USA in 2014, with Mezray Tours, where she and fellow travellers visited Nashville, Austin and San Francisco to take part in festivals and perform at clubs and on the streets. Rekindling friendships with the likes of Bill Kirchen, James Intveld, Rosie Flores and Tommy Womack.

Sarah has also enjoyed recent support spots at shows by national treasure Mic Conway, Scotland’s Eddi Reader, Canadian folk musician Old Man Luedecke and our own country songman, the great Neil Murray. In November 2014, Sarah was the inaugural recipient of the Ross Lipson Award, given to Geelong-based female musicians who have achieved excellence in their own careers and who have worked to help others along the way. Ross Lipson was director of Sweethearts, Australia’s only school based, all-girl soul and pop band, for 25 years.

Sarah Carroll Workshop (Intermediate) Folk And Ukulele (folk music from around the world as never heard before). Great Kid’s Songs (all ages) and Songwriting And You..kulele (speaks for itself, bring a recording device, a pen and paper) Sarah Carroll teaches uke and guitar to children and adults on the Bellarine Peninsula and is part of the well-known and highly regarded Blues Boot Camp, an intensive music program for teens which takes place annually in Geelong, Drysdale and Echuca. Her workshops at Port fairy Folk Festival and the Deniliquin Uke Muster provide fun and productive learning to beginners and intermediate players with an emphasis on creating original work\

Alex Burns (Aus – UK)

Alex Burns is one of Australia’s most respected acoustic musicians, having performed at every major festival in Australia as well as overseas at the acclaimed Edinburgh Festival and various locations including the Fiji Islands, Samoa and the Cook Islands. Alex started playing ukulele in the early nineties whilst in a duo with guitarist Nick Charles. The uke became an integeral instrument on all three albums they recorded. Alex went on to record two Hawaiian albums playing steel guitar, rhythm guitar and of course ukulele, a solo blues album also featured the noble uke on one track (Jelly Roll Baker). From plectrum playing, to finger picking, taking in calypso, blues and early jazz styles, this is serious fun folks!

Alex Burns Workshop (Intermediate)

Ukulele toolbox

Alex brings all his experience to this exciting workshop, from his early George Formby influence, to his many years friendship with the late multi-instrumentalist Bob Brozman and their combined affection of pacific island music.

From plectrum playing, to finger picking, taking in calypso, blues and early jazz styles, this is serious fun folks! The rhythms of the workshop span strums to classic -covering a lot of the ukulele spectrum and laying out a foundation of sound chord knowledge

Amie Brûlée (France… almost)


Amie Brûlée sings fabulous French songs accompanied by her ukulele (that’s ukulélé in French) mixed with vintage tunes, a little Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, some blues and dash of flamenco. Amie Brûlée and her small stringed friend bring you fabulous songs in seductively vintage style. Recently spotted in Paris with her ukulele, she sings an eclectic mix of French chansons, vintage jazz, and other tunes that take her fancy. After a terribly serious music degree Amie has journeyed through classical, jazz and cabaret to discover that she really loves to sing great songs, tell interesting tales and have some fun with an audience. What else can you do with a repertoire that includes Piaf, Gainsbourg, 1920s swing, New Orleans blues, Cole Porter, Tom Waits and flamenco?   

Aime Brulee Workshop (Intermediate) Singing & Playing French Song Learn to sing and play 3 French songs, including French style uke and tips on singing in French

Matthew Fagan (Aus)




World virtuoso & Maton endorsed Ukulele player Matthew Fagan takes you on a Voyage around the Ukulele with beautiful music from Spain, Latin America and other world music influences.  Fingerpicking, Bluegrass, popular-contemporary and traditional folk music also feature in Matthew’s repertoire. Even rock and shredding guitar techniques feature in Matthew’s unique ukulele performances -as seen on tour with Billy Connolly and the Buena Vista Social Club.     Matthew performs and facilitates Ukulele workshops at the Port Fairy and Illawarra Folk Festivals as well as numerous Ukulele festivals and Clubs throughout Melbourne, Central Coast, Sunshine Coast, Blue Mountains and Newcastle. Audiences are continually amazed, inspired and converted to the Ukulele after seeing Matthew Fagan’s Ukulele performance.

Royal Dukuleles

Wow, that’s a big Ukulele! These are the words often heard by the Royal Dukuleles. It all started by building the largest tuneable Ukulele in the world for a bit of fun to promote a Visual arts show at the Northern College of the Art & Technology. A group of students and staff from the colleges Instrument Making course got together, built a 2 metre bass Ukulele and played a few tunes for fun…the rest is history. The Royal Dukuleles band was formed at that point playing a mix of Rock & Reggae covers, featuring the huge bass, a range of Ukes and a Cajon percussion player. This will be the second year the Royal Dukuleles have had the pleasure of playing at the Dandenong Ranges Ukelele Festival and no doubt will have just as much fun rockin it out the Dukulele way. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to see the Royal Dukuleles from NCAT (Northern College of Arts & Technology) with the Grand Duchess a 2.4M Giant Ukulele that was designed and constructed by Mark Russell & the Instrument Making Program Manager, Bon Nardella and was built in the instrument making section of NCAT. The Grand Duchess is the mascot of the Festival and appears in the festival Poster.

Miss Wattle & P.H.U.C. (Panton Hill Ukulele Club)


Winner of best singer songwriter at Emerald Ukulele Festival 2014, Miss Wattle, performs with the Panton Hill Ukelele Club. Hailing from the bushy outer north-east of Melbourne PHUC love nothing better than getting together and performing live! Miss W leads the P.H.U.C.ers enthusiastically on their musical journey, using her many years of experience to impart quintessential ukulele-ness to many loved pop, rock, western swing, calypso and Hawaiian tunes. Harry Belafonte’s Coconut Woman, Louis Armstrong’s Coconut Island, ACDC, even Nick Cave has been given the P.H.U.C. uke treatment!

UFO (Uke4Kids Family Orchestra)



The UFO (Uke4Kids Family Orchestra) is a quirky bunch of ukulele kids (ages 7 to 11) and a couple of their parents who entertain people of all ages with their passionate, sophisticated arrangements of great contemporary songs and originals.  The UFO  began in 2011 in response to an idea to gather together our most enthusiastic students (and any parents who wanted to tag along) and rehearse a set to be performed at the 2012 Melbourne Ukulele Festival (MUF).  The performance was a hit and The UFO has since gone on to perform at numerous festivals including MUF ’13 and ’14, Mornington Festival, Spruke (Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival) ’13, Newkulele Festival ’14 (Newcastle) and Cairns Ukulele Festival ’14.

The Uke Group Workshop (Beginners) Yanai Morris of The Uke Group has developed ukulele programs for children (Uke4Kids) and adults (Get Uked), and can teach anybody with two working hands how to play great sounding music in a matter of minutes. In fact you are guaranteed to be playing a popular song in the first minute of this workshop. You will also: • learn at least 4 chords • explore a range of interesting sounds you can create on your uke • learn a range of songs from a range of styles • learn stuff to help you keep learning and playing into the future All participants can use one of The Uke Group’s ukes which have chord position markers (coloured dot stickers). You are welcome to use your own uke if it is tuned

Black Orchid Stringband

Black Orchid Stringband is comprised of West Papuan asylum seekers and activists now living in Melbourne.  They were established in 2011 to continue the legacy of great musicologist Arnold Ap and sustain a musical cultural identity. The ten piece string band includes traditional bass, ukulele, tifa and beautiful three part vocal harmonies – representative of the spirit of national unity in their struggle for freedom. Most of their songs are performed in various West Papuan dialects as well as Tok Pisin (PNG language). Band members have recently set up their office at 211/838 Collins St, Docklands as the Federal Republic of West Papua’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade

Wangaratta Ukulele Band


The North East never sounded so good! Tongue in cheek lyrics with exceptional hook laden ukulele playin’ makes the Wangaratta Ukulele Band a complete package. Vision and sound explode in an inclusive live performance that will enthral the punters. FUN! FUN! FUN! The Wang Ukes formed seven years ago as a generations’ community project in downtown Wangaratta.  In 2013 they launched “Ukeology Of The North East”, a CD initiated with the aim of developing vocal, instrumental and songwriting skills to singing their special piece of Australia, while also giving the Wangaratta Ukulele Band an original repertoire. Their unique songs reflect the true nature of the diverse makeup of North Eastern of Victoria, highlights include Beechworth, Yackandandah & Tallangatta and 4 Wang songs (lookout for “Wangaratta Wahine”). Strum on Wang Ukulele Band!

KALULU- Kallista Ukulele Group

KALULU (Kooky and Luscious Ukulele Lovers United) – the hills based Ukulele Club in Kallista!
Jam Tarts Trio

A colourful and entertaining female trio singing quirky originals and favourites from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – All with a little ukulele and a lot of harmony!

Emerald Primary School Ukulele Orchestra

 The Emerald Primary School Ukulele Orchestra came into being in 2012. After a term of learning the instrument in class, some students wanted somewhere to use their new skills. From these beginnings, things have expanded. The band rehearses every week and numbers have grown. There are also free uke lessons for interested students during lunchtimes. We listen for songs we like on the radio and work out how to play them together.

The key goals for the group are:

  • having fun;
  • learning to play by playing cool songs and;
  • challenging ourselves by performing songs that make us learn that one extra skill in order to make it sound right.   UKULELELAND with Matthew Fagan and Friends 

UKULELELAND   is an exciting new group featuring world virtuoso Matthew Fagan, endorsed Maton ukulele player with his friends Alex Yarosh from the Ukraine playing ukuleles and guitar and Marek Podstawek master multi percussionist from Poland.


The performance will feature songs from the CD UKULELELAND,  Matthew Fagan’s stunning world music album recorded in Kansas USA.

Get your dancing shoes on for a fun journey from African dance, to wild gypsy and Spanish dance, Cuban and Celtic music and even rocking out Cajun tunes.  Also featuring Gypsy Jazz Hot Club (A La Django Reinhardt) of the 1920’s.

The show will be fun packed with world uke and percussion showcases and fun audience participation.

Matthew Fagan

Right Hand Finger Style Development –  Matthew Fagan will cover finger styles influenced by folk, country and traditional genres as in the styles of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel and flamenco

Matthew will also show you how to create your own chord melody arrangements and chord melody development.  Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced


May 31, 2015
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Gemco Players Community Theatre
19 Kilvington Dr
Emerald, Victoria 3782 Australia
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Address: PO Box 1035, Oakleigh Vic 3166
Phone: 0424 902321 | International Phone: (+61) 424 902321