Hyram Twang! (Ballard)
Born in a small industrial town on the south side of Los Angeles, Hyram grew up with Merle Haggard, George Jones and Buck Owens ringing in his ears while trying to learn to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix and Joni Mitchell. He
played in various bands while growing up but eventually put aside music to focus on his university studies. He completed a BA in Geology in California, worked in the industry for a few years then eventually landed at the University of Otago. While studying
for his PhD he began playing music again and fell in with the New Edinburgh Folk Club crowd. Since then he has been a sound operator for bands and concerts, a concert promoter and playing in various folk, country and jazz bands. In 1994 he opened Twang Town
in Dunedin and has spent the last 20 plus years selling, repairing and advising on instruments and sound gear. Hyram can sing as well as play acoustic and electric guitar, steel guitar, mandolin, bass, ukulele and fiddle (a wee bit!)
Besides performing in NZ and Europe with the long running (25 years!) folk band The Chaps, in the last few years Hyram has been seen performing solo at the Canterbury, Tui, Whitestone and Whare Flat Music Festivals; the Dunedin and Christchurch Folk Clubs; with his new six-piece band Dr T and the Twang Tones; and as performer and backing musician in a number of stage shows and even a major movie. Earlier this year he released a CD recording of his acclaimed "Eureka" solo concert show and, along with wife Adrienne and daughter Amélie who sometime perform with him, they are working toward a CD release of songs for kids which will be bearable to listen to 40,000,000 times as an adult.
Facebook: Hyram Twang
Website: DrTwang.com (under construction)
Pic'n Mix (Invercargill)
The Pic 'n Mix group started in Invercargill four years ago with numbers ranging from 6 to 10. The group prides itself in playing with a country comedy leaning with a bit of music hall thrown in. This involves some costuming at times and as the members of the group are either teachers or diversional therapists they tend to play at retirement homes or festivals. They use many sizes of ukes including a ukulele bass to present a full sound.
Wanaka Ukuleles (Wanaka)
We are a group of about twelve very enthusiastic ukulele players who meet weekly in Wanaka to enjoy singing and playing together..
The original group started about six years ago under the leadership of Ken Bagely and met in his shop, Selectrix - only one member, Barry Scott, remains from this original group.
Four years ago Rachel Pearson Irvine took over the leadership, teaching us challenging songs until she had to leave last year. So we have no regular weekly leadership but we enjoy Rachel teaching us new more difficult songs once a month. we welcome new members especially those who can play and sing!!
Well, notably we have changed the name from Aspiring Ukuleles back to Wanaka Ukuleles and we have recently become an Incorporated
Society. We are currently 17 members strong, but getting every together at the same time is rare. But if there's 6 or more of us available then we agree to gigs.
We are a not for profit group but we are in the process of fundraising for a sound system so that we can be heard better, especially outdoors. We primarily play at community events but we are excited to be booked for one of our first paid gigs this New Year at the Hawea Hotel.
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 enthusistic 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 in this year's 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.
Lady Friday (Invercargill)
"Lady Friday" formed when Renee, Nic and Kylie decided to get together each Friday to play, sing and learn what they enjoyed - music." Lady Friday" play anything they like the sound of - old time, rock and roll, modern, country and bluegrass to name a few.
FrIday has become the regular day for these three ladies to get together to enjoy jamming and eating good food. Dave is the fourth member of "Lady Friday" and joins them when he is able to make it. Renee, Nic, Kylie and Dave all play ukuleles from different families including ukulele bass, ukulele banjo and ukulele 8 string. Additional instruments also include a variety of percussion instruments which are played mostly by Kylie. "Lady Friday" are based in Invercargill (Murihiku) and have been playing for about three years.
Cool Az Kids (Alexandra)
Cool Az Kids are a group of enthusiastic singers and ukulele players representing all of the primary schools in the Alexandra area under the guidance of Baz Bemrose. We have entertained the ladies competing for the position of Senior Blossom oFestival Queen, grandparent school volunteers and joined Ukes In Thyme in the Thyme Festival. Some of us even played on the Ukes in Thyme float in the Alexandra Blossom Festival parade this year. They are a joy to work with and bring a real freshness to the instrument that we all enjoy playing. You are in for a treat!
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!"
The Paculeles are a group of Christchurch Nurses who used to work together in PACU (Post Anaesthesia Care Units).
They have been playing together for three years. Many of the group were new to music when they began at fun and social meetings.
The Paculeles are led by Jill Fasick, the teacher and lead singer, whose enthusiasm has kept the group moving forward.
Highly Strung (Alexandra)
Highly Strung was formed in 2015 with a few girls having a casual after-work strum and debuted at Alexandra’s Little Big Day Out.
The group has almost doubled in size this year, in numbers and musical accessories, and its recruited a few blokes post “LaudStock” 2016.
The band regularly packs out venues (and by venues we mean small lounges and living rooms) though it can lay claim to playing to audience members from Cape Reinga to Bluff after its gig at the 2016 National i-SITE Conference at Wild Earth near Cromwell.
Highly Strung has eclectic taste and will play anything that takes band members’ fancy, with no shortage of ideas on its future playlists.
Check us out at www.facebook.com/highlystrungcentral
Keith Lightfoot writes about life, love, family, home and heaven. His words and his music describe what many people feel and what most are reluctant to talk about. Keith’s stage presence is well documented and his ability to immediately connect with his audience has people tapping their feet and singing along even if they have not heard his songs before.
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 is a songwriter, a musician, a singer, an author and a powerful motivational speaker.
Keith's ukulele training videos and speaking videos are popular on youtube and using his enthusiastic attitude 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: http://www.keithlightfoot.com
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 .
Weaveleles - (Napier)
Mama D'Ukes - (Fairlie)
Cracroft Ukulele Group - (Christchurch)
Cracroft Ukuleles was formed about three years ago, We meet every Thursday night at Silverbacks Cafe in Christchurch, Our members at the Lauder Ukefest are part of that Thursday night jam session group. We play and enjoy a wide selection of music and welcome uke players to come and join us if they are in Christchurch on a Thursday night.