A 35-year veteran of the music business, Joe Craven wears many hats (figuratively and literally): as an instrumentalist, vocalist, music producer, actor, storyteller, visual artist, carnival barker, noisemaker, fashion insultant, former museologist and creativity educator–mashing ideas and sound tools from a variety of unexpected places and that’s what he’ll be doing at Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay, June 6 – 10 on the beautiful shore of Lake Berryessa, with a couple of innovative and all-encompassing workshops: The Art of the Jam & Movement Games and Brainteasers. Plus, he and daughter Hattie will be giving us an intimate camp concert by the side of beautiful Lake Berryessa—simply the best way to experience live music as an audience member.
Joe is a man of many instruments and has also recorded, performed, and made music with Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Alison Brown, Howard Levy, David Lindley, Vassar Clements, Rob Ickes, and many other innovative artists and is a featured artist/educator in the PBS television Music Gone Public series. But, what’s really important to us is Joe’s work as an award-winning educator, having taught at numerous schools, universities and music camps, detention centers, civic organizations, corporations and the American String Teacher’s Association, and now, Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay! Can’t wait!
And Catfish Jack!
Don’t forget to bring your harmonica because Catfish Jack will be on hand to not only work with beginning ukulele players, but to also offer anyone hoping to expand their instrumental repertoire (without breaking the bank…or the overhead compartment on the plane the next time they travel to music camp) a few rudimentary tips and detailed instruction on the harmonica. Catfish joined us at the Kernville ‘Ukulele Blues and Harp Fest last January and we all agreed that his lovely demeanor and generosity gave all who chose to venture into the world of harmonica, a safe place to try sound like a train! “Tweet! Tweet!” He’ll be on hand for both beginning and advanced instruction and all places in between!
Plus Rhan Wilson & Rick Zeek
These guys are, undoubtedly, Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay’s Ambassadors of Ukulele Fun, in addition to being great teachers and song leaders!
Rhan Wilson is an award-winning teacher and performer and author of All in Good Time: A Book About Playing Music for the Aspiring Ukulele Musician, who also brings nearly 50 years of music study and passion along with him. “The All In Good Time Orchestra,” his growing ensemble of ukulele, guitar, keyboard, and bass players, was the opening act for The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz a few years back. He was recently voted “Best Music Instructor” in Santa Cruz County and, in addition to teaching privately, has conducted workshops at UC Santa Cruz, the Sebastopol Uke Festival, Bend’s Uke U., Burning Uke, and Carmel’s Smoldering Uke. Rhan will be bringing this and much more to Camp Oo-Ko-Lay-Lay once again.
And Rick Zeek is a man of so many talents, we lost count! He, along with Rhan Wilson, leads the increasingly popular “Matthew, Mark, UKE and John” Gospel Sing-along – a loosely structured workshop/gathering that sings and plays a variety of old and new gospel/inspirational music. But, not only is he song-leader extraordinaire, as a professional stage manager, he adds just the right amount of pizzazz to everything, including camp-fire sing-alongs. Not only will he be helping folks get ready for an Grammy-worthy Open Mic, we may get him to help us unleash our inner muse’ with a couple of song-writing and singing workshops, as well.
And Dave Egan!
What would any of my events be without our beloved Dave Egan, who not only consistently comes out on top in the eyes of his students at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat, Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat, and the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival, it turns out he makes a pretty mean pot of chili, as well! As a sound technician, Dave has worked with artists such as The Rastafarians, Everette Harp, Jackson Browne, and Gregg Rolie, and he has a carpetbag full of behind-the-scenes stories that tell all. But, what he really loves to do is teach ‘ukulele, and Dave is as enamored with teaching beginners as he is with tackling the hot shots. He has achieved “faith healer” status among those who have taken his workshop on “ukulele ergonomics” and is always paying attention in class and figuring out what he needs to teach his students next. In a rut? Take a workshop from Dave. Got a question about anything related to music, your playing, or your instrument? Bring it to Dave. Hungry? He is your guy.
And I’ll be back, too! I’m Elaine de Man, the one who answers your emails, takes your money, pays the piper, and tries to keep everyone happy. This is the fourth Camp Oo-Koo-Lay-Lay we’ve managed, but I will come to this year’s camp fresh from the ever-popular West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat, held at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula (now in its eighth year) and the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat, soon to be six years old. I also managed the eight-year run of the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival, the two years of La Semana de Uke-Culinary Fiesta and the New Uke-Culinary Fiesta in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Kernville Ukulele Blues and Harp Fest, along with the Yankee Ukulele Invasion of Great Britain. My mission is to make wonderful memories for people. The pleasure I get from seeing people smiling, stepping out of their comfort zones, and realizing their potential is what it’s all about. I also have a Master’s degree in animal behavior, which comes in handy when herding a large group of itinerant ukulele players.
So that’s it for now, but it may not be all! So, stay tuned to see who we might be adding to this list as we continue to build the program. Or better yet, throw your hat in ring and register now to join us for the most fun you can have with your ukulele on!