Uketoberfest 2023

Why Attend This Ukulele Workshop

Whether you are an absolute beginner or an intermediate ukulele player, you will have the opportunity to meet others in the ukulele community and develop or enhance your skills on this dynamic instrument.

Join fellow ukulele players for Uketoberfest 2023, a one-day ukulele workshop on Saturday, Oct. 28, for all skill levels. The event will kick off in the morning with a fun open-group strum and will lead into a day of elective master class sessions specific to the uke player. During lunch, which is included with your registration, an open mic opportunity will be available for the enjoyment of participants and audience alike. 

This year's Uketoberfest guest artists include: Eve Goldberg, Gerald Ross, Pat Malloy, Steve Szilagyi, Chuck Deyo, and John French.

The day will conclude with a late afternoon faculty concert and group strum. An optional post-event gathering off campus will provide you with an opportunity to apply your new skills as a part of an open jam with others. 

A limited number of ukuleles will be available for those who do not own their own. Please indicate your need to borrow a ukulele as a part of the registration process. 

Course Dates: Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 
Registration Fee: $149 (Includes Lunch) 
Registration Deadline: Oct. 21, 2023

Register Here 

Eve Goldberg (Featured Teaching Artist):
Imagine a kitchen party where Mother Maybelle Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Mississippi John Hurt, Bessie Smith, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Patsy Cline show up, and you begin to get a sense of what it feels like inside songwriter Eve Goldberg's head. Never one to restrict herself to one genre of music, Eve has performed her trademark mixture of folk, blues, country, bluegrass, old time, and jazz in venues ranging from small house concerts to the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Eve's watercolour voice and solid guitar and ukulele style have become a favourite at festivals, folk clubs, and concert series across Canada and the US. Her performances are intimate and relaxed, moving effortlessly from folk classics to original gems, all wrapped up in her clear, pure voice and dynamic playing. In addition to being a fine performer, Eve is an experienced teacher who excels at passing on her skills and knowledge to others through private lessons, workshops, and classes. She has taught at colleges, music camps, schools, and festivals, and specializes in teaching adults in community settings.

Gerald Ross (Featured Teaching Artist):
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. 

Patrick Malloy (Teaching Artist):
Patrick is a ukulele enthusiast from Portland, Michigan. As a member of the Ukulele Kings, he has performed throughout Michigan making that sweet ukulele sound in new and unexpected ways. Patrick has been playing and exploring music his entire life and loves to share his understanding with others.

Steve Szilagyi (Teaching Assistant):
Steve plays bass, guitar, ukulele, and clawhammer banjo. His musical interests have led to him playing bass in cover bands, an alt-country roots band, an old-time square dance band, a Hawaiian ensemble, and more. His main gig these days is providing the bottom for the Ukulele Kings.

Ben Hassenger (Uketoberfest! Artistic Director and Teaching Artist):
Ben’s musical career began in the early 1970s when he was arrested for playing “Smoke on the Water” on accordion and singing in animal sounds in the cafeteria at Lansing Community College. It was the start of something special, for sure.

In 2009, on a trip to Hawaii, Ben stumbled upon Roy Sakuma’s legendary “Ukulele Festival Hawaii” and was captivated by the diminutive but dynamic instrument and the communal aloha spirit of the people playing it. His life changed that day.

Ben is now well-known as the “Ukulele Ambassador of Michigan,” teaching students young and old, in schools, libraries, senior centers, and other community venues. He is also in charge of festivals such as Mighty Uke Day, Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp, Uketoberfest! at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Ashokan Uke Fest (Olivebridge, New York). Ben co-founded the Lansing Area Ukulele Group (LAUGH) and established the Music is the Foundation 501(c)(3) to help bring the joy of the uke to Michigan classrooms and communities. He performs solo and as a member of The Ukulele Kings and is also a prolific songwriter, with two of his songs about the Detroit Tigers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 


Ben Hassenger

Instructor of Ukulele, Artistic Director for Uketoberfest