Great Lakes Uke Fest  

Now in its 9th 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 $45 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 Milwaukee... So come meet members of The Milwaukee Ukulele Club, whom, along w/ Lil Rev are the heart and soul of this great little festival. 


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 14, 2018, 9:00 AM - 6PM

Cost: $45 Full /$15 Concert Only
Tickets at: 

Lil Rev will be teaching his famous Triplets Made Easy Class at the 2018 Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering. Pictured here at The Las Cruces Ukulele Festival 2018. 


Here's the schedule for the days event. 


doors open for uke-fest attendees 

10am-11am                            Q & A / Morning Demo W/Casey, Neal and Rev (We'll each be playing a couple of tunes and answering questions from attendees)
                                                     Main stage (Seats 75)

10am-11am                             Beginning Ukulele Primer w/Cherylann Kelly (Roasting Room Seats 45-50)

11am-Noon                          Hawaiian Ukulele Styles w/ Neal Chin: Strums, Song, Technique and Style. Main Stage (seats 75)

11am-Noon                            The Muted Ukulele w/Lil Rev:  Learn how to turn your ukulele into a lean, mean, percussive strumming machine.
                                                     Use Chunking, Vamping, Train Sounds, Marches and other dampened devices to fill time and space and create a  
                                                     highly effective strumming style of your own.  Roasting Room (Seats 45)
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                                 My Three Strums w/ Casey MacGill: Learn Rhumba, Shuffle, and Swing. Open to All Levels
                                                     Main Stage (Seats 75, more if standing)  

1pm-2pm                                  Intro To Blues Styles For Ukulele W/ Neal Chin. Roasting Room (Seats 45-50) 

2pm-3pm                                   Swing Repertoire W/Casey MacGill. Learn popular swing repertoire w/ swing strum.                      
                                                        Must know basic chords for this class. Main Stage (Limited to 75 Seated w/standing room)

2pm-3pm                                   Triplets Made Easy W/Lil Rev -Learn one of the most amazing strokes a ukulele player can endeavor to apply to his or her    
                                                        triplet! We'll explore a variety of ways to do this stroke and learn how to apply to a simple blues tune. Open to all levels.
                                                        Roasting Room (Seats 45-50)
3pm-4pm                                  Vendors are open for business/Socializing  and sound check on MainStage for 4pm concert. 

4pm-6pm                                   Ukulele Concert: 
4:10pm-4:30pm                       The Ukulele Sunshine Band
4:30-5pm                                     Blues Set W/Lil Rev Trio (W/Jim Liban & James Eannelli)
5pm-5:30pm                              Neal Chin (Jazz, Blues, Hawaiian and more!)
5:30pm-6pm                              Casey MacGill (Swing, Novelty, Boogie, Blues, Standards)

                                                        Post Festival Jam and Dinner at Botanas Mexican Restaurant (just 3 blocks from Anodyne)  816 S. 5th Street Milwaukee

Join us on October 14

A Ukulele Experience unparelled in the G-C-E-A Milky Way

Register Here


Anodyne Coffee Roasters

224 Bruce Street Milwaukee, WI 53204

Casey MacGill 

Teacher, Performer 

Casey MacGill performs music that swings. He plays boogie-woogie, swing, and stride piano, blows lyrical cornet, but his most unique instrumental voice is a 6 string tenor ukulele.

Casey grew up in Southern California and has pursued his musical passion well over 40 years. 

MacGill has performed on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show, the Gong Show, the movie Frances, and was in the original cast of the Broadway show Swing!, opening the show while singing and playing the ukulele, contributing five tunes to the score. 

He and his bands have toured in Australia, Japan, played swing camps in England, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and South Korea.

He teaches at ukulele camps; for Centrum in Port Townsend, the Ukulele Hooley in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, Vancouver Ukulele Festival, Uke U in Bend, OR.,and others.  Check out his cover story in Ukulele Magazine’s Summer 2018 edition.

For an exhaustive (and exhausting!) biography, check out the cover story of Ukulele Magazine’s Summer 2018 issue featuring Casey.

Visit his website for more information:

NeAl Chin

Ukulele Master, Educator 

Neal Chin has been playing the ʻukulele for sixteen years and teaching for fifteen. Born and raised on the island of Maui, he began taking ʻukulele lessons at the age of nine. One year later, Neal started teaching ʻukulele lessons to family and friends, and he started competing and placing in ‘ukulele competitions. This led to the beginning of his performing career, as Neal started playing with other local musicians. At the age of fourteen, Neal taught himself how to play the guitar, thus broadening his musical scope.

In high school, Neal played both ‘ukulele and guitar, solo and with other local musicians. His group of private ʻukulele students widened, and he also taught large groups of students at the Pomaikaʻi Elementary School. Neal directed fifty of his Pomaikaʻi students in his first ʻukulele ensemble, and simultaneously self produced and wrote his first album titled Who I Am.

Neal moved to Honolulu at the age of eighteen to continue his career as a performing musician and to continue to teach. Neal taught in a variety of venues throughout Hawaiʻi, including private practice, teaching centers, ʻukulele schools, ʻukulele retail shops, and English schools. Along with the teachers at the 'ukulele school 'Ukulele Hale, Neal’s students performed throughout the islands at events such as volunteering for the Shriners Hospital for Children, The ʻUkulele Picnic of Hawaiʻi and the Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival. Neal’s students have also competed and placed in ʻukulele competitions, such as the Duke’s ʻUkes Contest.

In his six year span in Honolulu, Neal co founded two bands and continued to constantly play with over fifty musicians and acts, including Benny Chong, Erika Elona, David Kamakahi, Illisit, and Steven Inglis. Neal has credits on many recordings, including the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winning album, The Akira Project. Neal also has writing and playing credits on the Broke Aesthetic album House of Bones Ep, and also on the albums Things to Break and Seasons Greetings From Soul Sound 2.

After receiving his A.S. in Music Business from the Honolulu Community College, Neal moved to Eugene, Or where in junction with store Pacific Winds Music started a lesson program offering private and group instruction alongside workshops and demonstrations. In Eugene, Neal continued recording and featured on the Hawaiian group Olekona's selftitled ep, The Thirds Oahu (Ohtoro), and Kumamoto (Ohtoro). 

Lil Rev 
Educator & Entertainer a nationally renowned ukulele instructor, author and entertainer.
Lil Rev is the founding director of The Milwaukee Ukulele Festival and one of the club's founding members.
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.


Cheryl Ann Kelly Is one of the founding members of the Milwaukee Ukulele Club and Festival. She teaches a legion of ukulele students in the Milwaukee area and her local concert series House Concerts MKE are well attended showcases for some of Milwaukee's finest performers.

The Ukulele Sunshine Band 
The Ukulele Sunshine Band formed in 2015, with all 5 members coming from the ranks of the Milwaukee Ukulele Club. 

Over 10 years of fun and practice playing together in the Club at meetings and Club events gave them the experience and desire to form a Ukulele based performance band. 

"We love playing the uke and singing together, and thought we could entertain people with an eclectic mix of songs- oldies, folk, country, rock, pop, and even some originals" said Dave. The band has been playing over the past 3 years at private parties, coffee houses, farmer's markets, restaurants and bars, and festivals. "We've worked hard to develop a fun set list, one that audiences love to sing along with!" said Dave. 

Cheryl Ann adds "My husband Thor learned the uke bass to help round out our sound,  Jack plays great lead ins and instrumentals, Dave, Mark and I strum and sing..... and we add some fun percussion on some songs too!". 

All agree that it's been wonderful to be in an all Uke band, something not seen before in Milwaukee area bars and events, and providing audiences with a night of pleasurable music that is unique, energetic, fun and participatory.  Come sing-a-long with us! 

We Proudly Present The 2018  Great Lakes Ukulele Gathering Sponsors: 

Brass Bell Music Store:

To Visit Brass Bell Online

To Visit Kanile'a Online '