Anu Grace - Uke Nomad

Anu Grace Bio  As Lead singer & flautist for The Chocolate Fish Band on Waiheke Island for 17 years, Anu never played uke!  It took moving to Australia to gather courage to write, record and perform her own material on tenor uke. She founded  Halelujah Baby, a five piece festival band & two albums followed, ‘Love from Woodfordia’ & ‘Tell me a Story.’   She is now touring NZ with Folk/Jazz Duo UKE NOMAD & Uke bass player Laurie Bycroft, teaching & performing House concerts.  There are still openings in their South Island Itinery thru-out Feb March - Check it out at   Anu taught ukulele when it was first rolled out in NZ schools around 12 years ago but it’s only in the last 7 years  she has taken to task mastering the instrument. While certainly not there yet, self confessed uke nerd Anu Grace  is now a fully accredited James Hill Uke teacher and encourages others to play and sing through private & group  lessons and The Pop-Up Ukestra’s - immersive educational uke experiences in mastering songs to performance level.   


Paul Jonson

  Paul Jonson - 2018Musician/Tutor/Facilitator Paul was hoping for a guitar for his 8th birthday but got a ukulele instead, and when his father saw how disappointed he was, he promised to get him a guitar as soon as he could play his uke well enough – a week later Paul won the school music competition playing his uke; word spread quickly, and that night his Dad brought him a guitar. 59 years later Paul shares his personal passion for music with many, and focuses on teaching intermediate and advanced ukulele players; folk blues, boogie and ragtime. Paul has only been playing ukulele seriously for 5 years but has already delivered hundreds of workshops and performances, and is now on a path to present fun ukulele experiences using the many unique ukuleles he has built and set up. His new book on, “muscle memory magic for ukulele” will be out this year and contains many special learning tools and techniques to play ukulele without the cumbersum task of any music theory. Paul plays several instruments, and he says that one of the best parts of that experience was leading the youth camp fireside sing-a-long in a Northern Canadian kids camp-out at -35C, try keeping your instrument tuned in those conditions... Paul is the Managing Director of Sing’n Uke Ltd for his performances and tutoring. His mission is to inspire personal development on a ukulele while making it so enjoyable participants ultimately grow their abilities and natural pizzazz. He has been a member of the Devonport Folk Music club since 1971 and has run the Hibiscus Coast Folk Music Club in his own region since 2012. He attributes a great deal of his wonderful friendships and his own personal balance and unique style and energy to his indulgence in music. “We don’t stop playing because we get older, we get older because we stop playing.”

Wanaka Ukuleles (Wanaka)

18 members strong at the last count, Wanaka Ukuleles is a band of merry uke players and singers who live in and around the beautiful alpine resort town of Wanaka, Otago. 

Wanaka Ukuleles started out as a bunch of enthusiastic learners attending workshops held by music teacher Rachel Pearson-Irvin. Now an incorporated not for profit society, we play frequently at charity and community events and are also available for hire for private functions. 
Due to the variety of events we perform at we have had to develop a large repertoire of songs for every occasion and aim to add different textures, layers and harmonies rather than all strumming the same thing.  
We thoroughly enjoy our annual trip to the Lauder Ukulele Festival.

Secret Lives of Ukuleles ( Christchurch )

"Nothing if not eclectic!" "The Secret Lives  of Ukuleles play everything from Hank Williams to Kylie Minogue" "The Secret Lives of Ukuleles play whatever they want - especially for you!" "They have Ukuleles and they are not afraid to play them!" "From out of the primordial swamps and fault lines of Otautahi-Christchurch The Secret Lives of Ukuleles bring you the future of ukuleles  - and cigar-box guitars!"    

Pic'n Mix (Invercargill)

  The mixes are a 7-8-piece retro uke group who have been persevering since 2010. They make a claim that they, being based at Oreti Beach are the most southern ukulele band in the world. They have hit the road for charity and regularly play in retirement homes, festivals and on the street. Most of their repertoire is made up of tunes from the 1950’s which they play in their own irreverent manner. They play with all sizes of ukes including a bass and usesome percussion and sound effects.  

LX Ukes (Alexandra)

LX Ukes is a group of enthusiastic and talented musicians with an eclectic repertoire of material. We try to surprise with neat harmonies tied into strong rhythms and clever lead ukulele. If everyone is available we number fifteen, but that doesn't always happen. in the time that LX Ukes has been together we have raised close to $6000 which been donated to various charities. We were recently nominated for a Central Otago District Trustpower Community Volunteer Award. We were thrilled to win the Art and Culture section. Members of LX Ukes have been strong supporters of ukulele events in Lauder, Alexandra and the. wider area of Central Otago, and are pleased to help support the growth of the ukulele phenomenon worldwide.

Ukes In Thyme ( Alexandra)

Ukes in Thyme are a really enthusiastic group of singers and ukulele players based in Alexandra, New Zealand. They  all (or most!)  started as pupils of KiwisCan Ukulele!, a ukulele school run by Barry (Baz) Bemrose In our now famous basement Music room (currently splitting at the seams!) We have performed in a wide variety of locations - the Thyme Festival, various senior homes and most memorably in entertaining a group of golfers after a well-lubricated golf tournament. Birthday parties have also been catered to! We had a great experience a couple of years ago in the Alexandra Blossom Festival Parade when we entertained thousands of people from the back of a truck with our "Ukuleles for Peace" float. All the better to promote the ukulele and our festival! We continue to grow in numbers and in musical repertoire - long may we prosper!

Lauder Ukes ( Lauder)

The Lauder Ukes started with Uke lessons from our leader, Bruce MacDonald. We originally met in the lounge of the Lauder School B&B. We now  have a group of eight - we meet bi-weekly at the home of Sue Murpy and spend our time finding, learning and practicing new songs to suit our various choices, singing voices and style. Five of our group live around Lauder, two are ex-pat Lauder-ites and one is a complete ring-in, but our love for uke - playing  and singing binds us together to entertain at the local pubs, rest homes and other functions that call for light entertainment.


Keith Lightfoot

     Keith is a grandfather, songwriter, a musician, a singer, an author and a powerful motivational speaker His original songs are about life, love, family, home and heaven, and his words often describe what many people feel and what most are reluctant to talk about. Keith’s enthusiastic stage presence is well documented through videos and live performances. When he was seventeen years old Keith learnt to play the ukulele and the guitar. Music education came via live rock concerts, excessively loud parties, treasured vinyl records and ridiculously oversized bedroom based speakers. Keith's ukulele training videos and speaking videos are very popular on youtube. He has performed live and inspired audiences locally and internationally.  In recent times he has crafted a ukulele based genre of music using personal experiences to share his heart and to pose deeply emotional questions.  Keith is an Endorsed Artist for Boulder Creek Guitars (Riptide Ukuleles). Keith Lightfoot Music Website: New Zealand Album:           

Valley Chicks - ( Dunedin)

1st photo:            Left to right:  Ann Taylor, Marley Bray, Donna Thomson, Jo Field, Margie Davis, Greg Hings,Marita Purchase     2nd photo:      Left to right:   Marita Purchase, Margie Davis, Ann Taylor, Marley Bray, Jo Field, Donna Thomson ,Greg Hings . Pic taken at Cambodian festival with friends from the Cambodian community as back up players   We are a bunch of friends who have been together a year or two having fun and laughter with our ukulele jams and events.  We recently found Greg Hings through the New Zealand Ukulele Network and are delighted he has joined us to add his bass to our sound. We are looking forward to the next mini Woodstock ......oops,Lauder uke festival in sunny Central Otago.    See you there friends .

Mama D'Ukes - (Fairlie)

  Mama d’Ukes, from Fairlie/South Canterbury, are returning to Lauder after performing here in 2017. They are a ukulele and voice duo (Deborah Tipa and Mary Anne Ward) now combined with bass/rhythm (Nikki Hall).  These women play and sing songs, in harmony, from the 50's through to the 80's, across all genres. They love playing in cafes around South Canterbury and recently performed in two concerts at Iona Church, Port Chalmers.        

Ukonz - (Christchurch)

  We are Ukonz from Ch. Ch. and have been ukeing together for many years.  Carol and Jack play in the New Brighton Ukelele Pirate Group,and  play Jazz and BluesNgaire & Trevor play  and sing in country groups , Tom has been sharing bass duties for Silverbacks Craycroft since it was formed 5 years ago. and plays in social gigs around Ch. Ch.  Together we are looking forward to another wonderful weekend in Lauder.

The Flukes (Dunedin)

The Flukes, a 3-piece ukulele band from Dunedin, have been fluking it in Dunedin since 2016!  As ‘first day’ members of the University of Otago ukulele group, Uni Ukes, the group was formed when Su White (concert and tenor uke), Tushar Robins (tenor uke) and Fiona Stuart (soprano uke) thought it would be a good idea to further challenge themselves, and to perform the songs they really wanted to.   Their early performances were busking on the streets of Dunedin, moving on to busk at their local supermarket and playing 2-hour stints at the Otago Farmer's Market. The Flukes have played for friends and family, have been booked for the odd private function, and have developed a solid fan base.   The Flukes were invited to open for Canadian ukulele virtuoso James Hill in Geraldine in November 2017, and most recently were on the big stage at the Geraldine Ukulele Festival in July 2018, playing before the American folk duo, The Quiet American.   To The Flukes, every song is a uke song – and they are happy to play and sing songs from a wide range of genres. They particularly like to surprise people by performing songs that no one expects from 3 middle-aged women! They love to incorporate different strumming patterns, picking and plucking to add texture to the musicthey play, and their intricate vocal harmonies bring richness and vibrancy to their performances.   

Angelfish - Christchurch

Ukes.Crom - Cromwell

The Tuesday Pickers - Christchurch

Tutor Group and Mayor Tim Cadogan

A group led by Keith Lightfoot comprised of all the workshop tutors at Lauderukefest 2019 as well as CODC Mayor  Tim Cadogan, an accomplished musician in his own right.