Performers & Instructors
Daniel Ward is a gifted musician who has taken his 30 years of experience performing world music, jazz, rock, and most notably flamenco and focused it on an unlikely instrument: the ukulele. Born in the Atomic City of Los Alamos NM, he holds degrees in classical guitar and composition. As a guitarist, he toured with Dance España, Maria Benitez, and Yjastros, Skümbaag (heavy metal vaudeville!), and went around the world with Ottmar Liebert.
Heidi Swedberg is passionate about people, which is why she loves the ukulele—the people's instrument. Encouraging all ages to engage and connect through music, she teaches, writes, lectures, and performs for the youngest children to older adults. She has been a performer for more than 30 years, working in music, film, and television, and is known for her role as "Susan" on Seinfeld. Heidi is a contributing editor at Ukulele magazine, where she writes about community and connectedness.
Gerald Ross blends the sounds of jazz blues and swing, creating a ukulele style uniquely his own. Whether he is playing jazz standards, popular favorites, delta and urban blues, Tin Pan Alley melodies, New Orleans rhythms or boogie woogie, it's bound to be a delightful surprise to any listener. He has the rare ability to transmit an infectious good humor to his audience through a tasteful combination of outstanding instrumental talent and an eclectic repertoire. An experienced musician, Gerald Ross is equally at home in a concert hall or on a small club stage.
Rachel Manke has been called one of the brightest stars in the ukulele universe, and loves sharing her astounding technique and beautiful singing with audiences young and old. She has a penchant for Tin Pan Alley and old-time music, and is a master of the old-school uke chord solo. In an evening she'll traverse from jazz to old-time country, with parodies and a bit of humor mixed in.
Christopher Davis-Shannon's music is the essence of honest simplicity. Bringing together influence ranging from Fats Waller to Chet Baker, he creates an atmosphere that will instantly transport you back to jazz clubs and speakeasies of the early 20th century. Not content being labelled a traditionalist, he forges ahead breathing new life into old classics, weaving together a sound that is enjoyed by both young and old.