First artist announcement 2012


First artist announcement

Blues, Roots and all that Jazz at the next Cairns Ukulele Festival

We have a new year’s resolution to share with you!

We have resolved to bring to you again an exciting world-class line-up and range of events, full of surprises and diversity; a unique festival that will be imprinted in your memory.  The 2012 festival will continue the tradition of showing the versatility of the ukulele, the power of the uke when it comes to bringing people together, and presenting established as well as emerging artists from around the globe, with as backdrop the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rainforest and the Pacific Ocean!

In this light we present to you:

Manitoba Hal is a blues musician from Canada, with a repertoire so large that it could fill a whole festival! Manitoba Hal has released seven albums, including four ukulele blues albums filled with dozens of originals and some classics, such as ‘The Thrill is Gone’ and ‘Baby, please don’t go’. Hal’s “Poulet Shack”, was voted “ukulele video of the year” in 2010 by the popular ukulele web site, Uke Hunt. Hal will perform solo as well as with a smokin’ hot blues band.

US musician, luthier, historian and songwriter Aaron Keim is a roots music renaissance man.  As The Quiet American, Aaron performs traditional and original folk music Inspired by depression era string band music, old timey gospel, lo-fi garage rock and the modern indie-folk scene.  The Quiet American is a compelling mix of old and new. In addition, Aaron is one of the most popular ukulele instructors around. His workshops receive rave reviews at every ukulele festival. He will be sharing his skills in Cairns in no less than three workshops!

Finally, we are proud to introduce the Paul Hemmings Uketet, a new jazz combo featuring Paul Hemmings from New York on ukulele. A jazz guitar player by training, Paul’s love affair with the ukulele started in 2005 after purchasing his first uke while visiting the island of Maui for a friend’s wedding. His fresh and original approach to both jazz and the ukulele is exciting and we’re looking forward to the release of his self-titled debut ukulele album – which features original compositions as well as jazz standards and rearranged contemporary (popular) works.

Workshops by the above artists will take place on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 July, allowing festival attendees to not only enjoy the music but also to walk away with a wealth of new knowledge, including jazz, blues and roots ukulele skills and theory.

The 2012 festival is shaping up to be big one, with many more artists and also some new and re-invented festival components yet to be announced, so stay tuned!

More information (and videos) about the above artists can be found here.

Interested in performing at the festival? Follow this link and fill out the form.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Please send an email to

The Cairns Ukulele Festival core dates are 5-8 July 2012. For a brief overview of the contents of the festival, follow this link.


About cairnsukulelefestival

The Cairns Ukulele Festival is held in Cairns, North Queensland Australia. The festival runs for several days and comprises a range of events, such as tours of the region and concerts by ukulele royalty from around the globe. Venues are on the Great Barrier Reef, in tropical rainforest and have views over the Pacific Ocean.

2 responses »

    • Hi Rhonda,

      Thanks for your comment. More artists will be announced in due course – that is all I can say at the moment! We will try for a world record again, of course!

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