We’ve got an amazing group of teaching artists on board this year to lead you through fun and challenging workshops at Royal City Uke Fest. Check out our roster of ukulele goodness. *Workshop descriptions and schedule to come by late spring/early summer, stay tuned.
Victoria Vox is an 'ukulele-toting award-winning songwriter and performer. With a passion for songwriting since she was 10, (first on keyboard, then on guitar), she studied at the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) and in 2003, she took up the ukulele as her main accompaniment. Since the release of her first ukulele album in 2006 (... and her Jumping Flea), Vox has been one of the leading songwriters on the ukulele scene (Ukulele Magazine USA and Uke Magazine UK: front covers + feature articles). However, she straddles into the folk scene as well, where she has opened for Jackson Browne, Tom Chapin, Leo Kottke, and Cheryl Wheeler. She performs mostly as a one-woman-band, incorporating a loop pedal and bass effect on her ukulele, while taking her own solos (on mouth-trumpet), and cutting through it all with her genuine lyrics and pure voice. https://www.victoriavox.com
Jack Maher is originally from Saint Louis, MO but moved to Orange County in his teens. Jack graduated from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) with a degree in Songwriting and moved back to Southern California in 1999. Jack’s musical projects include Jack and the Vox and Feed the Kitty.
Jack and The Vox
Victoria Vox and Jack Maher join forces to inspire audiences, young and old, through the power of song. The two met at the Berklee College of Music (Boston) where they studied songwriting. Reconnecting 18 years after first meeting, the two married, and now live in Costa Mesa, CA.
They continue to work on their independent projects, Jack: Feed the Kitty, and Victoria: Victoria Vox, but occasionally, they have the guilty pleasure of performing together. Jack and the Vox is a moniker almost too good to be true! Together their musical style is Americana with a hint of jazz, blues, and pop.
They perform mostly originals, written as solo artists, or as collaborations, but they are also known for having a good time, playing unexpected cover songs in unexpected places. Currently, they are writing songs together for their debut album. https://www.victoriavox.com/jack-the-vox
Abe Lagrimas, Jr.
Abe Lagrimas, Jr. is a musician, composer, educator, and author who plays the drums, vibraphone, ukulele, and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In 2012, he competed in the highly prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition and has worked with many different artists such as Eric Marienthal, Eric Reed, Kamasi Washington, Dontae Winslow, Barbara Morrison, Michelle Coltrane, Jake Shimabukuro, Kenny Endo, and continues to be an in-demand session musician in Los Angeles. As a solo ukulele artist, Abe is a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award (Hawaii Music Award) recipient and has released multiple albums in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Abe has been featured at ukulele festivals throughout the United States in addition to leading his own solo tours. His international performances include Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Canada, the U.K., Czech Republic, Germany, and toured extensively throughout China. Abe is also an educator and has authored the first ever ukulele curriculum for instrumental music programs in schools titled “Ukulele Ensemble, Beginning Ukulele - Level 1” published by Consonus Music Institute. His latest book "Jazz Ukulele: Comping, Soloing, Chord Melodies" (Berklee Press & Hal Leonard) is available in stores worldwide and on Amazon. He is currently endorsed by Canopus Drums, Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Beato Bags, Ko'olau Ukulele, Analysis Plus Cables, Fusion Gig Bags, and Elite Acoustics. abelagrimasjr.com
Kevin Carroll is a tireless advocate of the ukulele in music education as well as an accomplished teacher, arranger, composer and performer. Kevin's teaching and playing scope encompasses Celtic, roots music, jazz, African and classical styles. Based in Austin, TX, Carroll has taught thousands of students locally and globally since taking up the instrument in earnest in 2012. Equally passionate about music, education and ukulele, Kevin seeks to inspire and empower students to exercise their birthright of making music. Visit Kevin online at www.kevincarroll.net.
Gerald Ross is comfortable with just about every type of “roots” music there is, from western swing, bluegrass, Hawaiian, blues, jug band music, jazz standards, Tin Pan Alley, New Orleans rhythms to boogie-woogie, and he plays it all on guitar, lap steel, Dobro and ukulele. He’s performed in concert with Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie, Doc Watson, Johnny Gimble, Riders In The Sky, Brownie McGhee and many others. He appears in the award winning film documentaries “The Mighty Uke” and the PBS syndicated “Wheatland – The First 40 Years.” Gerald won the Solo Artist Category of the 1993 WEMU Jazz Competition and has appeared many times on “A Prairie Home Companion.” Today Gerald is one of America’s best-known performers, entertainers and advocates for the ukulele. He’s released seven solo CDs, published instructional materials, and is very much in demand as a music festival instructor in the United States and abroad. http://geraldross.com/
A Level 3 James Hill Ukulele Initiative teacher, Cynthia currently wears many teaching hats, including providing private music instruction in ukulele and piano; ukulele community classes and workshops locally and internationally; the Royal City Ukulele Ensemble adult learning program; is a sessional lecturer at the University of Guelph; and Director of Engagement for James Hill’s Ukulele in the Classroom series. She is also the founder and director of the Royal City Uke Fest. Influences have ranged from early 20th century big band to 80s one-hit wonders, baroque chamber works to the rhythms of world music, renaissance folk songs to 70s punk. She is also a solo performer and half of the bass/ukulele duo Transit Lounge. Passionate about the role that music can play in our lives, our homes and our communities, she encourages everyone to learn and make music, no matter their age or ability. www.cynthiakmusic.com
Whimsical, soulful and sweet are just a few of the words that can be used to describe country/folk singer-songwriter Olivia Borkosky. She hails from the artistic hub of Guelph, Ontario, and performs everything from 50′s and 60′s classics, to current folk gems, to her own original material. Olivia’s soaring vocal melodies, twinkling ukulele and introspective lyrics leave even the most discerning listener captivated. Her love and passion for music and songwriting extends itself to her teaching career as well. Olivia has been teaching private lessons at Long & McQuade for 2 years. She can also be seen fronting her up-and-coming indie/folk band, Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies. https://www.facebook.com/oliviaborkoskymusic/
Tamara Williamson has been a mainstay in the Toronto music scene since the early 90‘s. She released 3 album’s with her band Mrs.Torrance on the major label BMG. She then launched her solo career which included touring in Europe with Feist, and releasing 8 solo albums. Patty Ewaschuk played bass and sang lead vocals in the post-punk grunge band Yellowbelly, on Kingston's Proboscis Funkus label with the Inbreds. Ewaschuk played the drums in Lonnie Claire, a roots rock band in Washington D.C. and had a short spurt with an Eritrean reggae band.