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The 2014 NZ Ukulele Festival will be hosted on Saturday, November 29th at the Trusts Arena in Auckland.

The NZ Ukulele Festival is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world. Last year a record crowd gathered to enjoy non-stop entertainment from international and local musicians and to have fun making music together.

This year’s festival is the grand centrepiece of what is shaping up to be a ‘grand slam’ ukulele weekend in the city with related events happening on Friday and Saturday evenings.

NZ Ukulele Festival guest artists cover a range of musical styles appealing to a variety of tastes. Local legend Will Crummer plays with The Rarotongans, who includes daughter Annie Crummer on harmonies and pa’u (traditional Rarotongan bass drum) and son Pat on guitar and ukulele. Will Crummer is a living Pacific treasure: a master singer and encyclopaedia of Polynesian song.

Filling this year’s international guest artist spot is talented is U.S uke/pop singer-songwriter, ‘Ted Talker’ and ‘mouth trumpet’ player Victoria Vox.

It’s been five years since the popular Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra delighted the festival crowd with their quirky ukulele covers. New Zealand’s popular professional ukulele ensemble return to headline on the festival’s main stage at the end of their national and international tour.

The Kiwileles, New Zealands uber massed schools’ ukulele orchestra, will again fill the grandstand singing, smiling and strumming their way into the hearts of the crowd. This year they will perform predominately NZ set, including Make you Mine by Benny Tipene, the APRA Top 100 New Zealand Song of All Time Nature and the crowd favourite Everythings Gonna be Alright by The Babysitters Circus (complete with new raps composed as part of a festival competition).

The charity smash hit Feel Inside, a collaboration by 2013 NZ Ukulele Festival Ambassador Bret McKenzie, his Flight of the Conchords partner Jemaine Clement and New Zealand children promises to be a highlight of the Kiwileles set.

All ages are catered for. There will be an Afternoon Tea Jam for the ‘greyer’ ukulele players where a play and sing along will be hosted over tea and gingernuts. The under fives will be kept entertained by award winning children’s songwriter Kath Bee.

Iconic kiwi entertainer Jackie Clarke is back to hold it all together as MC.

As well as staging the festival the New Zealand Ukulele Trust supplies instruments, teacher training and resources to schools with the aim of giving as many children as possible their start in music. “The festival gives the children an exciting performance goal. Over the year they learn to play an instrument and how to perform an hour-long set to a crowd of thousands. It is an exhilarating, transformative and unforgettable experience. They feel like rock stars and witness first hand how music connects people and brings lifelong joy”.

The New Zealand Ukulele Festival, Saturday 29th November, The Trusts Area, Auckland, 11am-4pm: Nonstop music on four stages with local and international acts, workshops, food, stalls, competition and giveaways. All ages, all welcome, family friendly and FREE.  Rain date: Sunday 30th November

For further information about the festival visit: http://www.nzukulelefestival.org.nz/

When: Saturday 29th November (Rain date: Sunday 30thNovember)
Where: The Trusts Area, Auckland, 11am-4pm
What: Nonstop music on four stages with local and international acts, workshops, food, stalls, competition and giveaways. All ages, all welcome, family friendly and FREE.

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