Gatherings, Cruises, and Retreats: Check Out These 2023 Winter Ukulele Festivals

Even though winter is always a slow period for ukulele festivals, there are still some fun events taking place during the cold months both in-person and online. In our Spring 2023 issue, we’ll be previewing events in April, May, and June. Please send us details about festivals near you to by December 20.

January 20–21 | Nashville, Indiana
Held at the Brown County Inn in semi-rural Nashville, Indiana, this two-day event will feature workshops, performances, and open mics with instructor/players including Lil Rev, Michael August, The Blue Dahlia (Dahlia Dumont), Petey Mack, and Shruti Nadis

February 11 | Virtual Event
This third annual celebration of the baritone ukulele will take place on Zoom and include three workshops, one concert, and a jam session featuring Marcy Marxer, Cathy Fink, Ginger Johnson, and more TBA. A great place to learn more about the sometimes neglected but glorious baritone! For more, email

March 3–12 | Tampa to Costa Rica to Grand Cayman Island to Tampa
Leaving from Tampa, Florida, this Caribbean  cruise aboard the giant, modern Carnival Pride will take you to the port of Limón, Costa Rica, then do a partial transit through the Panama Canal before heading over to paradisiacal Grand Cayman Island. What’s the ukulele part? Onboard will be master uke teachers Daniel Ward and Heidi Swedberg, who will offer eight unique workshops over the course of the cruise, plus performances and jam sessions. Sounds like big (and educational) fun!


March 5–10 | Honolulu, Hawaii
This intimate, nearly week-long retreat will be held at the Ala Moana Hotel in the heart of Honolulu, and will focus on Hawaiian-style music. There will be daily workshops and jam sessions throughout. The main staff will be Craig Chee, Sarah Maisel, and Neal Chin, with guest instructors including Bryan Tolentino, Mika Kane, Kala’e Camarillo, Cory Mau, and Petey Mack.

March 16–18 | Gaithersburg, Maryland
A truly international gathering about 25 miles north of Washington, DC,  this giant festival will feature performing and workshop pros from England, Italy, Australia, Austria, Brazil, and, of course, the good ol’ USA. Among the participants are Peter Moss, Arden Fujiwara, Bob Tigert, Vinícius Vivas, Gracie Terzian, Kirk Jones, Kevin Carroll, Aline Kelly, Jim D’Ville, and more. Many different packages for the workshops and concerts are available.

March 25 | Santa Barbara, California
This one-day fest being held at the Elks Lodge in neighboring Goleta will feature a full day of workshops, performances, a ukulele marketplace, food vendors, a raffle, an open mic, and group jams. Guest teachers and performers include Daniel Ho, Victoria Vox, Jack Maher, Dani Joy, and Perry Stauffer. Kids under 12 get in free. Also, to kick off the festival, there will be an evening concert on Friday, March 24th, featuring Jack & the Vox and the Mood Swings.

March 27–31 | Menucha, Oregon
Held at the scenic Menucha Retreat and Conference Center in Corbett, Oregon (in the lower Columbia River Gorge about 18 miles east of Portland), this gathering brings together advanced-beginner, intermediate, and advanced players for four nights and three days of “intense fun and learning in an exceptionally beautiful place with exceptionally talented instructors.” In that group are Aaron & Nicole Keim, Neal Chin, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Avery Hill, Larry Wyatt, Nova Devonie, and Matt Weiner.