Guess who’s coming to Hawi?

No doubt about it, some of the folks who come to the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat are hankering for ways to expand their musical repertoire beyond the ‘ukulele. Consequently we will be extending this year’s offerings by bringing in the “King of Swing,”  the inimitable Gerald Ross, who will be teaching not only ‘ukulele, but Hawaiian lap steel guitar, as well.

For many years now, Gerald has been one of our favorite ‘ukulele instructors, always bringing new advanced techniques and tunes (and occasionally a few new jokes), and delivering them all with a relaxed, easy-going style (bordering on mischievous) that only someone with his years and years of musical experience can deliver.  (He did, after all get his start on “Captain Kangaroo.”)

Not only are Gerald’s workshops top-notch, but he is also an amazing band leader with a propensity for putting together some stellar bands on the fly, and bringing out the best in everyone!  He is a jam master extraordinaire and his musical repertoire seems limitless, from tunes of the Big Band era to the slinky tones of surf music. . . . . and beyond.

Gerald joins a stellar cast of characters already committed to this year’s retreat, including Hawai’i Island’s own KonaBob, Brad Bordessa, and Kaliko Beamer. So, you know we’re in for a week of wonderful ‘ukulele instruction, camaraderie, and good-hearted fun.

There’s more to come, including a few additions to the staff, but in the meantime you should know that registration is  now open and we’d love to have you join Gerald and the rest of the crew at the Kohala Village Inn, in the lovely little town of Hawi, October 15 – 21.

Click here for rooms and rates

KonaBob…..Bringing it on!

He’s been such a welcome addition to the last two Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreats, that we have decided to put KonaBob on full-time this year, which may seem a little odd because he doesn’t even play the ‘ukulele!  Even so,  he has a wealth of information to share about music in general and, as the Big Island’s most in-demand bass player, he will have your back…..and everyone’s back throughout the retreat. And he can help you make the music you love to play even better.

10483693_10152494574066529_2081615472961135832_nPlus with the rising popularity (and availability) of ‘ukulele basses, we wanted to add some classes for those of you looking to increase your skill set at the “bottom end,” whether you play upright bass, Walkingbass, or ‘ukulele bass. Because, regardless of what your instrument, you need to learn to think like a bass player, and Kona Bob is just the one to help you do that.  And, if you don’t play bass (and don’t want to) he can help you understand how to work with a bass player to improve everything about your sound.

10264969_138734666296866_3548572013374706330_nBut that’s not all KonaBob will be bringing to this year’s retreat. He actually began his musical career playing Hawaiian steel guitar and studied under Bob Brozman and Ken Emerson, and has since introduced many a neophyte to its plaintive sounds…..a sound that invokes the islands like no other instrument. So, in addition to “bringing up the bottom,” KonaBob will be available to help anyone who may be dabbling in steel guitar already (or who simply want to get their feet wet), and will be offering a number of sessions throughout the retreat that anyone is welcome to join. He’ll have a spare guitar for anyone who wants to give it a whirl, and if you’ve got your own, all the better.  Bring it and work with KonaBob on possibly accompanying one of the bands on Band Night. It’s great fun, and the skills you learn here will translate to all kinds of other music.

Registration for the 2015 Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat is open and we still have rooms available in all categories (and a lovely woman looking for a roommate!)  It’s a whole new Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat, and we’d love YOU to be part of it. Here’s the link to register:

2015 Retreat Registration