Great Lakes Uke Gathering 2019   

Now in its 10th year, The Great Lakes Uke Gathering is the best little one day ukulele festival in the Midwest! 

Doors open at 9am and you can expect a full day of classes, vendors, and concert (4-6pm). Formerly called: The Milwaukee Ukulele Festival, Lil Rev revamped the event to highlight a new venue change and a shift to accent a  smaller more regional flavor. Each year, we welcome 2 national acts, and 2-3 local/regional acts as well 7-8 vendors all for just $55 dollars a head (making this one of cheapest 1 day festivals in the country!) 

Our new venue at Anodyne Coffee Roasters ( in historic Walkers Point, provides a really authentic Milwaukee music space in Anodynes historic cream city brick building with hard-wood floors. The coffee, bakery and soups are amazing and the neighborhood provides a wealth or restaurant experiences for lunch and post-fest dinner options; all while being conveniently located to many downtown hotels as well as, its proximity to the hip and happing Bay View Corridor, just a few miles south of Anodyne. 

We are a very welcoming group of strummers here in Wisconsin! 

All levels welcome! 

Lil Rev - Director Since 2009


224 W. Bruce Street Milwaukee, WI 53204

Parking on street around Anodyne and in Bradley Tech School Lot 700 S. 4th Street.

Date & Time

October 13th, 2019, 9:00 AM - 6PM

Cost: $55 Full /$20 Concert Only
Tickets at:

Lil Rev will be teaching his famous Intro to Finger-Pickng Class at the 2019 Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering. Pictured here at The Las Cruces Ukulele Festival 2018.

2019 Uke Schedule 

This years event features a "Celebrate Hawaiian" theme, as we welcome 2 of the best... Steven Kahane Espaniola and Lanialoha Lee to Milwaukee to learn about Hawaiian Culture and Song. 


Doors open to attendees at 9am.

If arriving to the area early, please wait until 9am to enter the  building. 

9:15-10am Early Bird Mini Jug Band Jam Class in Roasting Room w/ Lil Rev & Hokum Boys 

10am-11am: Beginners Ukulele Class w/ Petey Mack, Roasting Room {seats 50}

10am-11am: Uke The Beatles w/ The Ukulele Kings , Main Stage {seats 75}

11am-Noon Intro To Finger-Picking w/ Lil Rev, Roasting Room {Seats 50}

11am-Noon Island PowerStrums 101 w/ Lanialoha Lee, Main Stage {seats 75} - We'll play in various keys and tempos, and we’ll throw a few strums on top of that. Not only as it speaks to the World of Music, but also Hula. Our strums can communicate different styles, moods, etc. that will change the shape of hula in the same way we can shape our music. Learn a few strums characteristic of the pacific and endless applications.

Noon-1pm Lunch at Anodyne, Food Truck (Gouda Girls) outside or many eateries in the hood! See our local restaurant list handout for ideas!

1pm-2pm Too High? Too Low? Transpose w/ The Ukulele Kings , Roasting Room {Seats 50} - Learn the easy way to transpose, or change the key of a song, to make it easier to sing and/or play. Proven techniques that take the mystery out of this sometimes confusing topic. We’ll take some popular songs and play them in a variety of keys, as well as explore using a capo to change keys while using chord shapes you’re familiar with. (Confident beginner level and up.)

1pm-2pm Hawaiian Repertoire Part 1 w/ Steven Kanahe Espaniola, Main Stage. {seats 75}

2pm-3pm Hawaiian Music in the Midwest wLanialoha Lee, Roasting Room {Seats 50} - We will be sharing music that will avail opportunities to apply strums delivered in Island Power Strums 201. Basic strum knowledge are welcome. A tour of Hawaiian music as it developed from post 1900’s including the arrival of Merrie Monarch Hula Competition that began in early 1970’s to the present.

2pm-3pm Hawaiian Repertoire Part 2 w/ Steven Kanahe Espaniola, Main Stage {seats 75}
3pm-4pm Vendors are open for business/Socializing and sound check on MainStage for 4pm concert.

3pm-4pm The Top 20 Songs of The Memphis Flash Mob W/ Petey Mack, Roasting Room {seats 50}

4pm-6pm                                   Ukulele Concert:

4pm-MC Petey Mac welcome and song, Thanks to Sponsors
4:10pm-4:30pm The Ukulele Kings {Lansing, MI}
4:30-5pm The Sheboygan Hokum Boys W/Lil Rev {Sheboygan, WI}{
5pm-5:30pm Lanialoha Lee {Native Hawaiian, Chicago raised}
5:30pm-6pm Steven Kanahe Espaniola {Native Hawaiian, CA based}
6pm- MC Thanks To Our Sponsors / Grand Finale

Thanks for coming!
Lil Rev



Anodyne Coffee Roasters

224 Bruce Street Milwaukee, WI 53204


The Sheboygan Hokum Boys 


The Sheboygan Hokum Boys hail from the North Shore area and all live in Sheboygan, WI.

They will be leading the early bird jug band jam and performing in the 4-6pm concert. 

Bio: Brought together by a love for pre-war blues, rags, and "that weird old America," this string band power trio features guitars, mandolins, harmonicas and ukuleles. 

Mike Ammons on Guitar, Slide and Vocals: A stalwart of the traditional blues scene in WI. Mike is the real deal! His love of early blues styles keeps him busy teaching and performing all over WI. Catch him with his Hot Shots at The Water Street Pub on Sunday nights in Sheboygan. 

Jim Ohlschmidt is a writer, educator, entertainer and world class guitar picker. Watch for Jim to wow you with his ukulele skills as well! Jim busy calendar keeps finds him performing all over WI with a wide variety of musical partners. 

Lil Rev 
Educator & Entertainer

Lil Rev is a nationally renowned ukulele instructor, author and entertainer.

 Lil Rev is the director of the Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering. He is a Founding member of The Milwaukee Ukulele Club & The Sheboygan Ukulele Club. Rev is a sought after, world renown ukulele educator who's books, classes and uke cruises keep him way too busy for his own good.

He's published a dozen books and numerous articles relating to the ukulele, its history, and is well known for his vast knowledge of strum-hand techniques. His love for old songs, early blues, vintage tin-pan alley and folk-roots comes thru in his books, concerts and articles.

Steven Kanahe Espaniola

“Steven is keeping the tradition and making music that flows from the heart and soul. He is part of the next generation of our legacy”— Cyril Pahinui

It’s rare when an artist arrives on the scene offering a refreshing new spin on a traditional genre of music. Steven Espaniola is that artist. Raised in Aliamanu, Hawai’i and now residing in the California Bay Area, Steven is a self taught multi-instrumentalist Hawaiian artist specializing in Ki Ho'alu (Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar), ‘Ukulele, Upright Bass, and Leo Ki'e Ki'e (Traditional Hawaiian falsetto). Of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and Spanish descent, his ethnicity is as diverse as his unique sound which preserves the integrity of the traditional with a flourish of the modern. 

The Ukulele Kings

Hailing from Lansing, MI, The Ukulele Kings bring an eclectic mix folk, pop, rock, and sing-songwriter sensibilities to their on stage delivery. Rock solid original songs, tasty instrumentals and moving songs rooted in the midwestern experience make up the Ukulele Kings credo. 

Led by Michigan's Premier Ukulele Maven, Ben Hassenger, there is a wealth of experience that shines brilliantly when the Kings take the stage.

The Ukulele Kings will be teaching a class on the Beatles for Ukulele as well as a Transposing Songs class.

Pete McCarty Aka Petey Mack

Facebook Notes Say This About Pete...

 He LOVES photography and the Ukulele. He is often found sitting on his front porch with the missus (when the weather permits) playing his Uke and enjoying life. 

From Rev...
Pete is a great song leader, with a big heart and an infectious smile, Petey Mac has become one of the most sought after Jam leaders in the U.S. He is friendly, fun, and always creates a welcoming atmosphere for anyone in his presence. You simply haven't been to a ukulele song swap until you've hung with Pete! We are super excited to have him as a teacher, Jam Leader and MC for the 2019 Festival.

His Memphis Flash Mob Uke Jams @ Central BBQ in Memphis, TN are standing room only provide an online platform many on Facebook to be a part of a group whom otherwise could not have strummed along!

Lanialoha Lee 

Lanialoha Lee, a native Hawaiian born and raised in the Chicago area, and, third generation descendant of the first Polynesians who migrated to the Midwest.

Her continuing work as a professional performing artist of music and dance encompasses chanting, vocal work, instrumentation characteristic of both Western and Pacific Island cultural traditions.

It was ultimately the `ukulele that proved to best serve her musical mission of realigning the Western world’s perception of Pacific Island music. She's traveled nationally and internationally, educating audiences at `ukulele festivals, workshops, concert performances and recordings. Her work as an artist and advocate for the Pacific Island arts has been featured on NPR, WBEZ, Chicago’s Tribune and Reader, Where Magazine, CAN TV and Chicago’s local broadcasting stations. 

The past thirty years she's taught thousands of `ukulele and hula students. She's refined her curriculum and cultivated a new generation of artists with a refined sensitivity to the culture, bridging the Midwest to the islands through shared repertoire.

We Proudly Present The 2019  Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering Sponsors: 

Brass Bell Music Store:

To Visit Brass Bell Online

To Visit Kanile'a Online '



Vendors present at the 2019 Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering:

Mya Moe Ukuleles 


Kevin Mason Ukuleles 


Lil Rev 


Thom Pallozola

See Thomdawg's Music on Facebook 


Brass Bell Music -Milwaukee 


Todd Korup 

The Uker of Oz 


Mainland Ukuleles 


Dave's Uke's 

See Dave's Ukes on Facebook 

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