Ukefest is May 20-22; early registration ends April 30

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Registration is now open for Las Cruces Ukefest 2022, which will be held Friday-Sunday, May 20-22 at the NMSU Music Building and New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum. The festival is hosted by Las Cruces Ukes, a nonprofit formed in 2013.

 Registration for the full festival is limited to 100 fully vaccinated participants. Attendance at the concert will not be limited due to the large venue, which can hold more than 500 attendees.

Early registration (by April 30) is $130. Full regular registration is $150, which includes the Friday concert, Saturday and Sunday workshops, jam session and Saturday lunch. Student registration is $75 (for full-time students with ID only), which includes all of the above. The cost to attend the concert only is $10 for ages 13 and older and free for ages 12 and under. The Saturday lunch is $23 for non-festival attendees.

Register at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4352544.

Instructors included: Del Rey, whom Ukulele Magazine called “one of the ukulele’s most important players and teachers”; and Casey MacGill, who bought his first ukulele in the early 1960s and teaches, records and performs, and leads the Casey MacGill Trio and Casey MacGill and His High Five in Seattle.

Others include: Gorton Smith, a Las Cruces Ukes board member and retired Las Cruces Methodist pastor, who has been playing the ukulele since 2014; ukulele player and vocalist Dani Joy and multi-instrumentalist Perry Stauffer, who are co-founders of Dani Joy Music Academy and comprise the Dani Joy Duo; and Los Angeles-based Daniel Ho, a six-time Grammy winner, ukulele virtuoso, slack key guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter, producer, audio engineer and record company owner.

Schedule:

  • Friday, May 20, Atkinson Recital Hall, NMSU Music Building 1075 N. Horseshoe St., NMSU campus: 6 p.m.: registration begins; 7 p.m.: concert, which will include Grammy winner Daniel Ho, Grammy nominee Casey MacGill, Del Rey and the Dani Joy Duo (Dani Joy and Perry Stuaffer).
  • Saturday, May 21, New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road: 9 a.m.: Registration, 9:15 a.m.: welcome; 9:45 a.m.: workshops begin; noon: lunch and open mic; 1:15 p.m.: workshops continue; 5 p.m.: Prize drawings; 7:30 p.m.: jam session
  • Sunday, May 22: New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum: 9 a.m.: Ukulele Swap Meet opens, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: workshops.

Las Cruces Ukes has given nearly 90 performances around the community in the past nine years and has added a teen club. Las Cruces Ukes practice weekly on Thursdays at Good Samaritan/Las Cruces Village, 3011 Buena Vida Circle. The Strum for Fun group (the best to drop in for a visit) gets together 5:30-6:15 p.m. The performance group practices 6:20-7:30 p.m.

Las Cruces Ukes held its first full-scale festival, including a sold-out concert, in 2017. More than 300 ukulele lovers attended the 2018 festival. The fourth festival was postponed from 2020 and 2021 to this year because of the pandemic.

Visit www.lascrucesukes.com and Facebook.com/lascrucesukes.