Monday, April 18, 2016

The Triumphant Return of Lil Rev To The Festival Circuit

Hello Dear Friends,

This weekend marked a turning point for me as i headed out to teach and perform
at The Traverse City Ukulele Festival in Michigan.

2015 was the lowest point in my my family and I suffered with the loss of
 our dear Carol to lung cancer.

We fought valiantly for 10 months and tried everything.
In the end, carol decided home hospice was the best option, so....

I cancelled the vast majority of my work (and it was a stellar year for bookings) and
it was only thru the good grace of my fans, family and local community that we kept
afloat all those months. God Bless all of you....Thank you! Thank you for all your
help. We will always be grateful to you.

While my 2016 show will recount some of these painful moments....mostly my daughter
and I will celebrate life as we always have. For we must go on, pick up the pieces of a
shattered life and begin to make it whole once again.

I am especially proud of my daughter Mariela, she has been defiant in keeping her mom's
memory burning brightly in our home each day. She has weathered a terrible turn
that no kid should have to live thru and somehow, with grace and strength come
out on the other side resolute in her conviction that momma is now in a better place.
This kid is tough, she is a deep souled little trouper whose love and affection knows
no end. She has been my inspiration thru this dark, forbidding period in our life.
She looks to me each day for guidance, but someday when she is grown i will remind
her how she got up each morning and found the strength to go to school even as
her mom was gasping for each breath and starving to get calories in her.

Grief is the oddest of bedfellows and i did more than my share of sleeping with it.

In the end, i decided that my dear Carol was right..." love is the highest vibration"

I had, had enough crying, mourning, and being depressed. It was time, for my daughter's
sake and my own health's sake to pull it together and start breathing in the nectar of life
once again.

For me, this means a full palate of play with my daughter, Hapkido, Skateboarding, gigs,
work on a new ukulele album and getting my waylaid biz rolling again.

To honor Carol we have planned a summer tour of the west coast titled: Scatter The
Ashes Tour. Carol expressed to me a few days before she passed, that "those were the
happiest days of her life, when all three of us where on the road together and Mariela was
but a wee beansprout and we'd make our south  by southwest...west coast run each
winter for 3 months.  We made alot of friends, saw some beautiful country and had
alot of great times together. So to honor her wishes, Mariela, Jenna Lynn and I will embark
on a whirlwind 6 week tour of WA, OR and CA before returning home.

Both prior to the summer tour and after, this year is shaping up nicely.

I am booked at the following ukulele festivals and Music Camps this year....and man am i looking forward to getting back out on the i intend to be there!

Traverse City Ukulele Festival-April 16th in MI

Wheatland Traditional Arts Weekend -May 27th, 28th and 29th Remus, MI

Great MN Ukulele Gathering - June 3rd, 4th and 5th 

Midwest Ukulele Camp- June 24th, 25th and 26th  Olivette, MI

Scatter The Ashes Summer Tour of The West Coast - July 8th thru August 4th

Strathmore Ukulele & Guitar Summit- August 13th thru the 17th
North Bethesda, MD

Midwest Ukulele Festival-August 20th and 21st  Woodburn, IN

Milwaukee Ukulele Festival- Saturday October 1st -Milwaukee, WI


Lil Rev

silly faces circa 2015 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 California Uke Nation Tour

Dear West Coast Ukulele Friends,

This July 2015...

I will be embarking on my annual California  Ukulele Nation Tour.

While the length of the tour and its stops may vary from year to year...I rarely miss a beat
when it comes to touring CA.

CA has more ukulele clubs and music stores per capita, than almost any
other state in the union and for that reason, i always manage to find plenty
of receptive eyes and ears for me to ply my ukulele trade.

Over the years, i have made so many wonderful friends in this great state that
i really relish the opportunity to see all my musical pals as i traverse the state.

As an author, educator and entertainer, touring, teaching and performing
are at the top of my list when it comes to making a living doing what i love.

Thus, my annual California Tour.

This year i am touring in support of my new ukulele instructional book titled:
Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele.  (co-authored with J. Nicholson)

I also have a new double CD of Mouth Organ music titled: Harmonica Americana
that i will be promoting at my shows and integrating into my ukulele concerts as well.

I will present a wide array of different workshops and these will vary depending on
the venue, club, or store that books me.

Here are the tour stops for this years California Trip:

July 24th & 25th- Island Bazaar 7pm,  Huntington Beach, CA
July 26th- The Coffee Gallery Backstage-7pm Alta Dena, CA
July 27th- The SLO Art Center- 6pm San Luis Obispo, CA
July 28th-Fun Strummers Group-6pm- Modesto, CA
July 29th- Cool Hand Uke's House Concert-7pm Grass Valley, CA
July 30th & 31st- The Strum Shop 7pm Sacramento, CA
Aug. 1st- Gryphon Stringed Instruments Shop (two workshops) 1pm on... Palo Alto, CA
Aug. 2nd... Homeward Bound, Milwaukee, WI

If any of you have questions about my tour, please feel free to contact me at:

I look forward to seeing you in July!


Lil Rev

                                                                 (C) Colin Coleman 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

2015 Uke Camps

Hey friends

2015 is shaping up to be a stellar year 
with a slew of great teaching opportunities.

Things are just about to get rolling...

If you are looking to catch me out on the road at a ukulele festival near you, please 
consider one of the following 11 events: 

Reno Uke Fest-May 1st and 2nd
Denver Uke Fest-May 15th & 16th 
Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival-June 5th
Folkcraft Workshop- June 26th (IN)
California Uke Tour-July 24th thru Aug. 1st
Midwest Uke Fest-August 14th & 15th
New Jersey Uke Fest-August 28th, 29th and 30th
Funky Frets Uke Fest- October 2nd and 3rd 
Port Townsend Uke Fest-October 15th, 6th, 17th, 18th
Nova Scotia, Canada-October 23rd, 24th 
Milwaukee Uke Fest-November 21st 

Stay tuned!
More to come

Lil Rev

                                                               Photo by: Colin Coleman (C) 2014 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Getaway Weekend in NJ

Lil Rev is heading to NJ for The Folk Projects GETAWAY WEEKEND
Oct. 10th thru the 12th.

Here's some info:

The  Folk Project Acoustic Getaway is three exciting days of music for
players and listeners; October 10-12, 2014 in North Jersey.   It features blues
phenom Toby Walker, international roots and jazz quartet The Jammin’ Divas,
folk super group The No Fuss & Feathers Roadshow, uke master and raconteur
Li’l Rev, flat picking and songwriting star Jim Hurst, Folk Project favorite
Chris Bukata & Friends, and folk rockers with style and joy The Yankee Caravan. 

This friendly weekend community of performers and guests share
3 concerts, nearly 50 workshops and activities, jamming, song swaps,
and more.  Food, lodging, concerts and all activities are included in one
low price.  Indoor workshops and concerts make it weatherproof.

For details visit:

We hope to see you there! 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lil Rev in Michigan this Week

Hello Friends,

This weekend I am working in Lansing, MI at the much beloved grand-daddy of all music stores, Elderly Instruments.

Teaching three ukulele workshops and a performance in old town Saturday night the 13th.

While in Lansing...
I'm Looking forward to hanging with my pals Lynn and Brian of the fabulous heftone's 

Brian and I have a grand tradition of playing lots of Uke and then making a video to share on You Tube.

On Sunday the 14th I will be teaching and performing at the Ludington Arts Center. Afternoon Uke workshop and 
Evening concert.

Monday morning I'll rise early and board 
The S.S. Badger (Ferry) which will shuttle me across the Great Lake Michigan and back to WI.

I always enjoy the ride and like the time to read and reflect on my travels. 

Ah! Life on the road or should I say, water! 

Lil Rev

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New! Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele Book Coming Soon!

Hello Friends,

I have some really exciting news!

After a many years of hard work and 100's of hours arranging, John Nicholson
(Milwaukee, WI Based Ukulele Superhero!) and I are eagerly anticipating the release
of a our new book titled: Fiddle Tunes for Ukulele (Hal Leonard)

The book will be 48 pages in length and contain well over 40 instrumental arrangements
of both known and uncommon fiddle tunes. We've included historic photos of the
famous and some long since, forgotten fiddlers whom inspired this music, as well
as arrangements in the campanella, finger-style, single-string lead style, chordal, and
claw-hammer approaches.

This book will meet the approval of both the beginning student of old time music as well
as the seasoned picker, looking for a real challenge.

There tunes are derived from an array of different old time dance traditions including:
Marches, Polkas, Reels, Jigs, Waltzes, Novelty, Rags, Schottische, Breakdowns, and more!

We'd like to think of this book as one of the most comprehensive collections
of fiddle tunes arranged for ukulele currently on the market.

A Bit About My Co-Author: 

While John Nicholson isn't widely known on the international ukulele scene, i suspect it
won't be long before he is.

He is a great musician, finger-picker, strumming maniac and all around stellar musician
equally adept on Guitar, Banjo, Tiple, Mandolin, Jaw Harp, and Ukulele. 

John and i met in Milwaukee back in the early 90's, back in our early busking, bar-room
free-wheeling days.

John  started playing Ukulele just about the same time i did. Back then, the ukulele
was very uncool! Never the less, we both loved the sweet, sultry and happy
sound of dem 4 strings and quickly set about performing: Hokum, Blues, Jug Band,
Tin Pan Alley and Fiddle Tunes on the ukulele.

John is especially adept at the banjo-uke and tiple.  Matter of fact, if you own any of my
recordings, chances are you'll hear John on many of them including Uke Town, Fountain of
Uke Vol. 1 and That Old Madness to name a few.

John has taught at the prestigious Milwaukee Irish Festival Summer School, University of WI-Milwaukee Adult Ed, Wheatland Traditional Music Camp, Ear Full of Fiddle and many
other places. His instrumental prowess is unbounded and his genuine enthusiasm for the material
in this book shines thru. Thus, i am proud that this book (my first to co-author), was lovingly
co-written with John Nicholson. I think you'll soon agree.

                                           John Nicholson Circa 2013- Courtesy of The Lil Rev Archive

John is also the author of a number of ukulele books thru Hal Leonard including:
Play Ukulele Today DVD, Play Ukulele Today Book 2, and Classical Tunes for

When Will The Book Be Out?

The word from the publisher at present is that it will hit the streets in late fall.

Here is a link to Hal Leonard for follow up:

Here is a link to John & Susan Nicholson's Band page:

Lastly, here is a cool little interview that i did with Uke Maestro Jim D'Ville of Three Questions Fame

Fiddle Tunes For Ukulele: 3 Questions W/ Jim D' Ville

                                                      Lil Rev and John Nicholson
                                                                  (C) Deone Jahnke

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Albuquerque Ukekopelli Festival

 As many of you know, i have often toured NM on my Winter
Uke Tours.

Over the years i have performed for Chabad of Santa Fe, Yoga related
events, The JCC of Albuquerque, and numerous music stores and workshops
for regional ukulele clubs.

Thus, I have always had a fascination with the High Desert and NM.


I am thrilled to let all my fans know in the High Desert Region of NM, AZ,
CO, TX that i will be teaching and performing at The African American Arts
Center, as part of a weekend festival also featuring Heidi Swedberg and Daniel

This is the first year out and i am eager to see how this great little festival will
blossom!  The event will showcase numerous workshops, vendors, raffle,
concerts and more!

Here is the link to their homepage:

The event is being sponsored by a number of fine ukulele company's including Ohana,
Kala and Mya-Moe (Which is what I will be playing while i am there)

Whether you live in the area, or perhaps you are looking for an opportunity to travel,
i hope you'll consider attending this fine event. Don't meet me there! Beat me there!

Lil Rev