April 6-9, 2017 • Nugget Resort, Sparks Nevada


Concert tickets will go on sale soon through the Nugget Box Office.

If you live in Canada, please email for purchasing info.

Gerald Ross • Abe Lagrimas, Jr. • Victor & Penny with The Loose Change Orchestra • Michael Powers • Peter Luongo & the Luongo Ukulele Experience • Faith Ako • Steven Espaniola • Jim D’Ville • Julie Holloman • Dani Joy

Gerald Ross • Abe Lagrimas, Jr. • Victor & Penny with The Loose Change Orchestra • Michael Powers • Peter Luongo & the Luongo Ukulele Experience • Faith Ako • Steven Espaniola • Jim D’Ville • Julie Holloman • Dani Joy

I can’t believe that this will be our 9th year! The Reno Uke Fest has grown from a small, home town event to The Biggest Little Uke Fest In The West, with a huge roster of talent, lots of workshops where players of all levels can hone their skills, a huge vendor marketplace, and three nights of music and ukulele mayhem!

For those of you who will be attending for the first time, it works a bit like a trip to Disneyland:

• Purchase a 1Day++ or 2Day++ Pass and choose from any of the Workshops on Friday, Saturday, or both. Plus++ attend the Thursday evening reception and Sunday morning Strumoff/Sendoff!

• If you’re brand new to the ukulele, you can purchase a Newbie Pass, which permits you to take up to four Newbie Workshops, also plus++ the Thursday evening reception and Sunday morning Strumoff/Sendoff!

• If full days of learning to perfect your ukulele chops aren’t enough, you can also attend our Celebrity Showroom concerts on Friday and Saturday nights! Tickets for those will go on sale through the Nugget Box Office around the second week of February.

Finally, if you’re not into the above, you can hang out at our Public Stages and shop our large Vendor Marketplace for free! Come enjoy the Biggest Little Ukefest In The West, April 6-9, at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada.

Hotel Rooms

Discount Rooms at the Nugget are available now! Call 800-648-1177 and use group code GUKE17.


A limited number of booth spaces are now available to reserve in our Festival Marketplace, open 9-5 Friday & Saturday, April 7-8, 2017 with optional hours Thursday from 12-5PM. Booth rental includes one 6 foot table and two chairs in 10×10 space with Wi-Fi. You bring any additional display materials. If you are a ukulele vendor, we also consider in-kind trade of instrument(s) for booth space. Email playukemail@gmail.com for more information. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

New to the Uke?

We will offer two classes each day, Friday and Saturday, for those new to the ukulele. You may attend the classes both days if you like. You’ll know your stuff by the end of the weekend! That’s up to four classes for only $59! Click here to register.

Our Performers and Instructors for 2017:

Abe Lagrimas, Jr.

Abe is another master musician that took me way too long to book to one of our festivals. He is a stupendous multi-instrumentalist, equally comfortable on drums, vibraphone, and of course, ukulele. He lives in the jazz world, but he teaches techniques that cross all genres. At the 2016 Reno Uke Fest, he teamed with Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel in an outrageous, glorious, instrument swapping concert that had the audience roaring. Be sure to check the workshop schedule when it gets posted and circle one or two of Abe’s classes. And watch for him on stage. I’ve got plans for the lad, that’s for sure!

Victor & Penny

Victor & Penny are Jeff Freling and Erin McGrane, from Kansas City. They are so much fun, and such spit-shined, dang good entertainers, that I try to not let too many fests go by without an appearance. This year, for the first time, we’ll get to see them with their “Loose Change Orchestra” in the Celebrity Showroom for our grand finalé. And we’ll have the dance floor out! I hope that some of you will dress in your finest 20’s to 40’s fashions as we enjoy an evening of vintage, antique pop!

Victor & Penny are also favorites as workshop instructors and are putting together a special new class on the art of performing as well as their popular, persuasive rhythms workshop.

Gerald Ross

Gerald is a virtuoso on many instruments. At our festival, in addition to his own gigs on ukulele, you may see him on Hawaiian steel guitar, lending the trademark sound of the islands to other performers. His style is an entertaining mix of swing, blues, Hawaiian, American roots, (which earned him a couple of appearances on A Prairie Home Companion), and Tin Pan Alley.

Gerald is also one of the finest instructors in the business. You’ll want to explore his unique workshops throughout the weekend.

Peter Luongo

Click on Peter’s photo and watch what he’s done with kids and young adults over the past 30+ years. Well, he’s now doing that with adults, through our new partnership, the Luongo Ukulele Experience. You can read all about it on our LUE page. For now I’ll just paste in the first few lines… Awaken The Musician Within! There’s nothing like the LUE anywhere else in the ukulele world, and there is no better word for it than experience. Peter Luongo directs an inspirational, high energy, two-day program for adults that extracts musical skills and achievement beyond what the participants ever thought they could accomplish. If you’re at a time in your life where you want a challenge, a purpose for getting good at the ukulele and music in general, and have the drive, resources, and time to indulge your interest, this is the program! You can test drive a 90 minute segment of the LUE at the festival.

Steven Espaniola

Steven Espaniola will transport the audience to the Hawaii of yesterday with soaring falsetto vocals, nahenahe slack key guitar and rhythmic ‘ukulele, during our Ukulele All-Stars night on Friday evening in the Celebrity Showroom. He and Faith Ako provided a wonderfully contrasting set last year, but Steven was fighting a sore throat that limited his versatility. I’ve asked him back this year so that the audience can hear what they missed!

He will also teach traditional Hawaiian ‘ukulele workshops during the weekend. If you want to learn the rhythms of the islands, check the upcoming schedule for Steven’s workshops!

Michael Powers

I met Michael in 2002, long before the ukulele was just a glint in my Daddy’s eye. No wait, I mean long before the ukulele took over my life! I was the booking partner in a small live music theatre and Michael came to town as part of a show. He played great guitar, then piano, then trumpet, then flute, and more, without ever leaving his guitar. He blew me away. I still remember one song, Swamp Club, in which he played the blues behind a cage, like those sweaty, grimy, seedy clubs where beer bottles are thrown at you in admiration. We became friends and several years later, when the uke entered my life, I asked him if he could do the same music on 4 strings. The rest is history. If you want to learn funky blues, smooth jazz, or thump on the bass uke, take his workshops! And catch him on stage too!

Faith Ako

Faith Ako was also part of our 2016 Ukulele All-Stars concert and the only problem was that her set was too short! Faith brings a mix of contemporary Hawaiian tunes and a wry sense of humor that thoroughly entertained the Celebrity Showroom crowd. She is a delightful performer who also teaches Hawaiian ukulele techniques in her workshops.

Faith and Steven Espaniola will be the Hawaiian portion of our Friday night, Ukulele All-Stars performance.

Jim D'Ville

Jim D’Ville will teach his worldwide phenomenon, “Play Uke By Ear” throughout the festival, as well as assisting on the DaSilva Open Mic Stage. If you are early in your love affair with the uke and haven’t taken his workshops before, do it! It is a must. Your eyes and ears will be opened to a whole new musical world!

Dani Joy

Dani Joy is Danielle Herreid, third generation music teacher, charming vocalist, and daughter of everyone’s friend, the late Stu Herreid of The Strum Shop. Dani will follow in her father’s footsteps, teaching our beginner’s track as well as one of her most popular classes, the Peanuts classic Linus & Lucy. She is well qualified, having taught our Beginner Track at our festivals for the past few years and having assisted Stuart in his teaching for several years.

Dani is also a fine vocalist. She’ll be performing at our Thursday Reception, (poolside if weather permits!)

General Schedule

Thursday, April 6
(Subject to change)

1:00: Registration Opens
2:30: Earlybird Workshops
6:00: Earlybird Reception with Michael Powers & Friends

Friday, April 7
(Subject to change)

8:00: Registration Opens
8:30: Workshops Begin
4:30: Workshops End
Celebrity Showroom
7:00: Doors Open
8:00: Ukulele All-Stars In Concert

Saturday, April 7
(Subject to change)

8:00: Registration Opens
8:30: Workshops Begin
4:30: Workshops End
Celebrity Showroom
7:00: Doors Open
8:00: Victor & Penny Dance Concert with The Loose Change Orchestra & Special Guest!

Sunday, April 9
(Subject to change)

9:30: Strumoff Sendoff
11:00: See you next year for Number 10!

Cancellation policy:
Festival passes for the Reno Ukulele Festival may be cancelled and refunded through March 6, 2017, (30 days prior) without penalty.

Within 30 days of the festival, cancellations will incur a 20% cancellation fee, as many fees with the venue are based on attendance reservations and are no longer refundable to us.

No refunds will be made the week of the festival. Concert tickets are non-refundable as they are a separate item sold by the Nugget.