Continue the Saturday’s activities after the program finishes on the Esplanade by walking from Fogarty Park on Spence Street to the Union Jack (see map below) for a huge night of entertainment!
7.30pm: Craig Chee (Hawaii) and friends
8.30pm: Bustamento (Melbourne)
10pm – midnight: open ukulele mic
Born in Hawaii and resident in Oregon, Craig is one of the fastest rising stars on the international ukulele circuit. His musical training is classical, with a strong background in both cello and piano. It is the uke, however, that occupies a special place in his heart.
Shortly after moving to Oregon a couple of years ago to study at university, Craig saw his first ukulele festival. It was love at first sight. Since then he has spent all his spare time learning as much as he can about his chosen instrument. With muso pals Sean Ponder, Theo Halpert and Joey Hepner, he formed the Craig Chee Band, which delivers an amazing amalgam of island rhythms, rock and funk. The band is in high demand in the US, and finds Craig playing everywhere from local juke joints to massive State Fairs. Craig was also asked by world famous uke luthiers Mya-Moe to help develop some of their instruments – a process he said also helped to improve his already formidable playing skills.
Craig will make several other appearances during the Cairns Ukulele Festival. He will be one of the hosts of the Eddy Finn Ukulele Mystery Tour on July 6. He will also be on the bill for the massive closing concert at the Tanks Arts Centre on July 8. He also will conduct a workshop at the Hilton on Saturday 7 July. And of course, Craig will be part of the party night at The Jack on Saturday July 7th. He will be backed by local musicians Ryo Montgomery (bass/guitar) and Jonathon Barbagallo.
Formed after a pilgrimage to Jamaica, this tropical shaking quartet pays homage to the upbeat rhythms of the Caribbean. Founding member Nicky Bomba has sourced both classic and rare tunes covering the Calypso, Mento, Early reggae and Ska styles.
Four part harmonies, Ukuleles, Double and Ukulele Bass, Trumpets , Bongos and Congas for days, this groupcaptures the uplifting and cheeky spirit of this wonderful music.
Nicky has built a solid reputation in the music industry via many projects including conducting the 30pce Melbourne Ska Orchestra to playing drums on John Butler’s award-winning ‘Sunrise over Sea’ to being the Artistic Producer for the Multicultural Arts Victoria “Visible” project. Over the years he has formed and played with bands purely for the love of the music and the adventures they create.
“I’m always aware of the active energy of a crowd. Believing in the moment and kind of steering that spontaneous beast can result in something really special. Absolute positive vibrations.”
Anyone that has seen Nicky in action knows that every performance is a party! From the early days with his band Bomba at Johno’s Blues Bar to recent performances at Reggaetown World Music Festival with the Nicky Bomba All Stars, and with John Butler at the Kuranda Amphitheatre, every time Nicky comes to town, Cairns smiles!