Carl Ventis: Bend’s Basics Master

Carl Ventis has 25 years experience, and is an invigorating, inspiring, and talented teacher.

Carl’s teaching skills expand across multiple instruments, including Ukulele, Guitar and Bass. Carl believes learning to play Ukulele is Fun, Easy and Uplifting.

Carl is the Ukulele Instructor for Bend Parks and Rec and Redmond Parks and Rec, and a long time Member of the Bend Ukulele Group (B.U.G). He is also the owner of Snow Dukes Ukes, Central Oregon’s Kamoa Ukulele Dealer.

In Carl’s classes:

You will learn the common strumming patterns to many of your favorite songs, and take your understanding and playing to a whole new level! The Ukulele has been used to write so many of the songs we hear, due to it’s beautiful and simple note structure. This class will take away the mystery, and you will learn you really can play ukulele too!

Basic Picking will provide players with an understanding & grounding of basic picking patterns and the songs that use them.

Craig Chee

Wanting to bring something to share on the mainland, Craig chose to focus on the ukulele before leaving Hawai’i for college. Although Craig had grown up playing the cello and piano, he wanted something that gave a little more distinction of coming from the islands.

During Christmas and summer breaks of his Freshman year at the University of Oregon, Craig has had the pleasure of studying under Jake Shimabukuro and Troy Fernandez. Ever since then Craig has been trying to further experiment with the ukulele in settings that aren’t typically associated with the instrument.

From workshops to individual lessons, Craig has been teaching throughout the past 4 years and couldn’t be happier. Craig often remarks “if I’m not playing at any given moment, I hope to be teaching!” Playing at local venues, to the Oregon Country Fair,  to ukulele festivals around the world, Craig hopes to continue to travel and share his passion for the ukulele and expand on how people view the instrument!

James Clem

James has been a performer of American Roots Music for over thirty years. Starting as a blues guitarist he has expanded over the years into rockabilly, ragtime, swing and added ukulele to his bag of tricks several years ago. Rock legend John Fogerty calls him “A great guitar player. I’m a fan!” In 2010, he did a tour of England and has played uke festivals worldwide. He is currently recording a new CD and lives in Portland, Oregon.

More about James Clem at his website –

Jim D’Ville: The “Ear Whisperer”

Jim D’Ville is a music educator and facilitator who is on a mission to get ukulele players off the paper and playing music by ear. He has taught his Play Ukulele By Ear workshops to thousands of players in the United States, Canada and Australia. Jim is the author of the Play Ukulele By Ear DVD series and hosts the popular Play Ukulele By Ear website.

Comments from Jim D’Ville’s Play Ukulele by Ear Workshops:

“Jim’s Play Ukulele By Ear workshop is a high-energy roller coaster of learning and laughs. He’s one-of-a-kind. Buckle up!” James Hill

“A fabulous, logical and freeing way to approach music.”

“Now I will use my ears! Duh-why didn’t I think of that?”

“I learned more in an hour from you than I have in one year of trying to learn by myself.”

“I’m a music minor in college, and I went through music theory classes, but I just never thought about music like that!” “Lots of ‘Ah-ha’ moments!”.

Jim’s workshops will include:

Play Ukulele By Ear (All Levels)
Get the most out of your ukulele experience by learning to Play Ukulele By Ear. This entertaining and informative workshop will give you the tools you need to tap into your innate musical abilities. Playing by ear is easy, fun, and it will propel your understanding of how music works to a new level. This workshop will make you a better listener and student! For all skill levels, however, knowledge of basic chord shapes (C F G7) is helpful.

Strumming The Ukulele By Ear (All Levels)
Free yourself from memorizing Down-Up patterns! Starting with the basic index finger strum, Jim will quickly have your muscle memory absorbing fun strums like The Gallop Triplett, The Chunky Chop and many more strumming techniques that will spice up your playing.

Hank & Buck By Ear (All Levels)
Hank Williams and Buck Owens were masters of the three chord form. Jim will lead you through country standards from each artist including Jambalaya, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Hey, Good Lookin’, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail, My Heart Skips A Beat, Together Again, Foolin’ Round and more. You’ll not only learn the chord progressions to these classics by ear, you’ll learn about the hooks that made these songs famous. This workshop will also teach you about basic song structure and the Nashville Number System.

Neal Chin: Maui Native Son Come to Oakridge

Neal Chin has been playing the ukulele for fifteen years and teaching for fourteen years. He was born and raised on the island of Maui, and he began taking ukulele lessons at the age of nine.

One year later, Neal started teaching ukulele lessons to family and friends, and he started competing and placing in ukulele competitions. This led to the beginning of his performing career, as Neal started playing with other local musicians. At the age of fourteen, Neal taught himself how to play the guitar, thus broadening his musical scope. For all four years in high school, Neal played both ‘ukulele and guitar, solo and with other local musicians. His group of private ʻukulele students widened, and he also taught large groups of students at the Pomaikaʻi Elementary School. Neal directed fifty of his Pomaikaʻi students in his first ʻukulele ensemble, and simultaneously self-produced and wrote his first album titled Who I Am.

Neal moved to Honolulu at the age of eighteen to continue his career as a performing musician and to continue to teach. Neal taught in a variety of venues throughout Hawaiʻi, including private practice, teaching centers, ukulele schools, ukulele retail shops, and English schools. Neal’s students performed throughout the islands at small events, such as volunteering for the Shriners Hospital for Children, and at large events, including the annual Ukulele Picnic of Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival. Many of Neal’s students have also competed and placed in ukulele competitions, such as the Duke’s Ukes Contest.

In his six year span in Honolulu, Neal co-founded two bands and played with over fifty musicians, including Benny Chong, Dean Taba, David Kamakahi, Noel Okimoto, and Steven Inglis. Neal has credits on many recordings, including the Na Hoku Hanohano award winning album, The Akira Project. Neal also has writing and playing credits on the self-titled album Broke Aesthetic, and also on the albums Things to Break and Seasons Greetings From Soul Sound 2. Neal received his A.S. in Music Business from the Honolulu Community College in May 2014. He currently resides in Eugene, Oregon teaching at Pacific Winds Music, performing with Olekona, and writing music at home.

Patty Sage

After 30 years teaching elementary school, Patty has rededicated her life to spreading the joy of the ukulele. Patty has taught over 200 students how to strum while working with the Willamalane Parks and Recreation After School Programs. Her #1 rule is “SMILE!!! You’re playing a ukulele!”

Richard Colombo

Richard Colombo has been teaching, performing and spreading the love of the ukulele for the past ten years.  He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Portland Ukulele Choir and teaches many different ukulele classes throughout Portland.  During his years at Artichoke Music he literally taught hundreds of folks how to play the Ukulele and created the new nonprofit music school.  He is also a gifted singer-songwriter and guitarist and has penned many great songs including “Everybody Needs To Sing and Play Ukulele”.

He is a remarkable songwriter and his stories cover a lot of ground. They feel as old as the hills yet new and rich with themes of love and poignant passages. Often told in the voice of a character he has created, his songs are honest, courageous and bold giving us a glimpse of a world that is not often visible.

Stephen Yant: Evergreen Ukulele Trio

Stephen Yant of the Evergreen Uke Trio out of Salem will be teaching at the Oakridge Ukulele Festival this year. Stephen will be sharing Finger Picking Chord Melodies as well as Playing by Ear. You can find his trio on YouTube.