Expand your skills, or capture the aloha spirit of the ukulele for the first time at the Ashokan Uke Fest! There’ll be workshops for all levels, a staff concert, group strums, a Camper Cabaret open mic, and lots more ukulele fun and camaraderie! You’ll meet new people, learn new techniques and styles, and gain confidence as a player.
Teaching artists include: Steven Espaniola, Neal Chin, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Eve Goldberg, Gracie Terzian, and your host Ben Hassenger!
“Loved it all! friends, woodland walks, food, peaceful environment, and ukes! The schedule was well balanced.”
“The staff was amazing and very accessible. They were able to switch things up on the fly. The location was incredible.”
“The workshops were beyond my initial expectations! The teachers were so generous with their instructions, patient, and extremely well prepared organizers.”
The above prices cover meals and tuition. Lodging options vary in price and may be selected during registration. Camping is free.
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May 27, 2023
Treat yourself to a fabulous evening concert by six fantastic ukulele players. 7:30pm
It’s rare when an artist arrives on the scene offering a refreshing new spin on a traditional genre of music. Steven Espaniola is that artist. Raised in Aliamanu, Hawai’i and now residing in the San Franciso Bay Area, Steven is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in Ki Ho’alu (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar), ‘Ukulele, Upright Bass, and Leo Ki’e Ki’e (Traditional Hawaiian falsetto). Of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and Spanish decent, his ethnicity is as diverse as his unique sound which preserves the integrity of the traditional with a flourish of the modern. His musical efforts have earned him the recognition of “New Artist of the Year” at the Hawai‘i Music Awards. Steven remains very active in the thriving ‘ukulele community. He is a contributing editor and part time writer for ʻUkulele Magazine and continues to teach across the country at many of the top ‘ukulele festivals and retreats. He also has a popular YouTube tutorial series that introduces players to the world of Hawaiian music.
Award-winning artist and Maui native Neal Chin has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of 20 years. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. He’s been nominated for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year two years consecutively, for ‘Ukulele Paintings and The Spotless Mind in 2017 & 2018. Neal has toured across North America and currently lives, teaches, and performs in Seattle, WA.
Combining soft and lilting vocals with poignant honesty and wit, Danielle Ate the Sandwich (Danielle Anderson), writes songs for the biggest and smallest moments of life. A songwriter, ukulele and guitar player, and performer, Danielle first found her place at open mic nights and coffee shops in Fort Collins, Colorado. Growing a fan base through her homemade videos on YouTube, Danielle performed and toured extensively from 2009-2018, leaving an impression on audiences across the country, and fans around the world. Danielle has released 7 albums of original music, over 200 YouTube videos, and conducts an annual 24 Hour Album project, writing and producing new songs with the help of her patrons in only 24 hours. Hard work and a lot of luck have allowed her to open for Mumford and Sons, Jake Shimabukuro, and the opportunity to write the soundtrack to the Emmy nominated HBO documentary, “Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson.”
With appearances at ukulele festivals and events around the world, Danielle has been able to share her creative and collaborative teaching style. Incorporating the same performance chops she uses to interact and engage with her audiences during shows, Danielle leads with humor and honesty to help students feel at ease, and leave with a fresh take on a new skill.
Eve Goldberg sings music that draws honey from the rock of life. A compelling writer and interpreter, Eve’s watercolour voice and solid instrumental style has made her a favourite with audiences across Canada and the US. Her performances on guitar and ukulele are intimate and relaxed, moving effortlessly from folk classics to original gems. Since 1990, she has performed her trademark mixture of folk, blues, country, bluegrass, old time, and jazz in venues across Canada and the US, ranging from small house concerts to the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Along the way she’s earned the respect of legendary musicians like Peggy Seeger, Geoff Muldaur, and Penny Lang. She has released three solo albums and one with the folk/roots duo Gathering Sparks.
When she is not performing, Eve specializes in teaching music to adults in community settings. She especially enjoys teaching beginners and strives to create a supportive environment that encourages students at any skill level to learn and grow.
Eve currently leads the Parkdale Ukulele Group and the Ukulele Orchestra of Toronto (Ukes of T). For over twenty years she organized The Woods Music and Dance Camp, an adult folk music retreat in Ontario. She has taught music classes at the James Hill Ukulele Institute (Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON), Port Townsend Ukulele Festival (Port Townsend, WA), Midwest Uke and Harmonica Camp (Holland, MI), Strathmore UkeFest (Bethesda, MD), Dock Street Ukulele Camp (Shelburne, NS), Haliburton School Art and Design (Haliburton, ON), and the Midland Uke Fest (Midland, ON), among others, and is in demand as a workshop leader and performer at ukulele events near and far. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Eve has been teaching online classes and workshops from her home studio in Toronto.
Gracie Terzian is a billboard-charting singer/songwriter, ukulele player, and music teacher based in NYC, originally from the Washington, D.C. area. She plays the harp ukulele, as well as other types of ukuleles, and has toured and performed at top venues all over the world. Terry Teachout, music critic and author of Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington, says, “Gracie Terzian is a deep-dyed romantic who tells her tales of modern love with quiet delicacy and an inborn musicality that’s impossible to overlook.” Gracie also has a growing YouTube channel with 80K subscribers where she performs original music, covers, and teaches music theory.
BEN HASSENGER (Artistic Director and Teaching Artist)
Ben Hassenger is no stranger to the Ashokan Uke Fest; working as a teaching artist and assistant to former Director Gerald Ross before taking over from Gerald in 2020. 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. He is now well-known as the “Ukulele Ambassador of Michigan”, teaching students, young and old, in schools, libraries, senior centers, and other community venues. Ben is also in charge of festivals such as Mighty Uke Day, Midwest Uke & Harmonica Camp, Uketoberfest at Interlochen, and the Michigan Ukulele Extravaganza. He 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. Ben is also a prolific songwriter, with two of his songs about the Detroit Tigers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
This protocol meets or exceeds current CDC and NY State Department of Health guidelines and is subject to revision based on changing conditions and changes in those guidelines. We’ll notify registered campers if there are any significant changes before camp begins. We trust our caring community to find the right balance of caution and fun within these parameters, to make safe decisions, and to treat fellow campers with respect.
Everyone is required to test negative for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival.
If you test positive, do not attend.
If you have COVID symptoms, do not attend regardless of test results.
If you come in close contact with someone COVID positive within 6 days of the start of the event, do not attend regardless of your test results.
If you’ve recently recovered from COVID and have been symptom free for 5 or more days without the use of fever-reducers, you may attend.
All refund requests due to COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored.
Longhouse bunk rooms will be capped at 1/2 occupancy.
Overall camp attendance will be limited to provide ample space for distancing.
The Ashokan Center will provide onsite rapid testing upon request or as needed.
Anyone who tests positive or develops symptoms consistent with COVID will be asked to leave the event and will be entitled to a refund.
Masks are recommended while gathering indoors (except when eating or performing.) N-95 masks can be provided on request.
Whole room exhaust fans in the Performance Hall & Dining Hall will draw a constant stream of fresh air.
Daily cleaning includes disinfectant for all door handles, tables, and any frequently touched surfaces.
You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of $200 per person. If making a deposit, full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. If you register within 4 weeks of camp full payment is required.
To cancel your camp registration, email email@example.com
• We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date.
• We retain $200 per person between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.
• We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.
You may choose to pay up front or pay a deposit and balance. Balance payment is due 4 weeks before the event.
Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.
Children under 5 attend for free. Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
All meals are included. You may indicate your dietary restrictions when registering. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.
The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.
LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 12 people (50% capacity) and are designated women, men, or all gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are available, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance.
PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are available, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are light quilts in each private room.
CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.
If you’re lodging with us please remember to bring a blanket and linens (or sleeping bag), towel, toiletries, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and we have a small number of light blankets for bunkhouse residents who can’t bring one of their own. Let us know well in advance if you’ll need one.
Flashlight, recording device, camera (or maybe those are all your phone!)
Comfortable informal clothing for wet and dry weather. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the camp.
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.
Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance
477 Beaverkill Rd,
Olivebridge, NY 12461
Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.
Music & Dance Camp Phone (845) 657-8333 x 3
Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.
High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings.
Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461
Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19.
From traffic circle take Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill).
In 12 miles (shortly after Mobil & Citgo) turn left onto Reservoir Rd.
Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at the Tee.
Head down the hill, pass the first left (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West.
Take next left onto Beaverkill Rd.
Follow Beaverkill for about one mile, then turn right into the Ashokan Center driveway and follow the signs.
AIRPORT Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.
If there are no camp spots or private rooms available above, you may add your name to this waitlist. If space opens up we will contact you.
The Ashokan Center builds community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art. We have hosted traditional Music & Dance Camps at our 385 acre nature preserve for over 40 years. In 2020 we learned how to host them online and in 2021 we began to reimagine how to gather in person once again.
Come join the Ashokan family to celebrate, learn, connect, deepen your music, make new friends, and brighten your day. Our events are open to all folks, all ages and all orientations.