Dani Joy

944937_10151509345313650_1262970488_nYep. This girl is going places! There was nothing but thumbs up after Dani Joy’s workshops at last year’s Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival!  And her stage performances just knocked our socks off!  From the ecstatic faces and comments of her students, to the music she made both on our stage and at the Open Mic, this was someone we definitely wanted to come back to Wine Country this year.

Dani is a performing artist and ‘ukulele instructor in Roseville, California. Her musical style has been dubbed, “Bluesy Lounge,” and her crooning vocals are have been compared to those of Norah Jones. She is also one of the  leaders in the River City Ukulele Orchestra and a teacher with the Ukes for Schools program, currently leading a classroom of 35 eight-year-olds in Del Paso Heights…surely she can handle a room full of itinerant ‘ukulele players at Wine Country!

Dani at NammDani’s musical influences are as diverse as her sock drawer is colorful, and complimenting each lesson plan with her student’s musical taste is the foundation of her method. Influences include Amy Winehouse, Peggy Lee, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Norah Jones, The Beatles, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Rolling Stones, and many more! Multi-talented to the core, she also has a BA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design.

We just love this girl and think you will, too. Here’s what she’ll be teaching for us this year.


What does “Crazy” have in common with “Do-Re-Mi?”  Like every single song in Western music, they are both built off a center tone and a diatonic scale. “Yikes!” you’re thinking.  “This smacks of music theory!” Indeed it does, but Dani Joy has a developed a way to make this necessary bit of musical understanding both fun and enlightening. Take “Crazy,” for example, written by Willie Nelson and made famous by Patsy Cline.  All it is is a center tone + scale + chords + melody. Go ahead, challenge Dani with any familiar song in one of five  popular keys (C, G, A, D, F) and she’ll find the melody without any effort at all.  And by the end of this workshop, you will, too.  It’s a valuable tool to have in your arsenal.  And who knows?  No matter what your ‘ukulele skill level, you just might find yourself writing your own songs.  Now that’s just crazy.  (All Levels)


Once you’ve got a few of the basics under your belt, it’s time to try some simple right-hand patterns that will give your music the twist and flavor that you (and your audience) have been craving! All you need is a handful of easy-to-learn techniques–rolls, taps, outside pulls, and chucks, that you can apply to music of just about any genre, and you will wow yourself in no-time. Well…..not exactly “no” time—because in order to master any of these techniques and pull them into play without having to think about it, you’ll have to practice them at home. But you will come away from this workshop with all the tools you’ll need to kick that muscle memory into gear and launch your playing to a new dimension. (Level 2 – 3)


Picture this. You’re sitting there minding your own business when a song comes on the radio that simply sings to you. Pretty soon your head’s bopping and your fingers are drumming in tune with your tapping foot. “Shoot,” you’re thinking, “if I just knew how to play it on my uke!”  But here’s the deal: after taking this workshop with Dani Joy, you will! Just five Little Boxes will reveal the mystery of just about every song ever written and it comes with a laminated, “easily digested,” color-coded cheat sheet to take home with you. So the next time that tune comes on, you’ll find your fingers gliding deftly over the strings, each familiar shape gliding painlessly into the next, while your mind takes flight, and the song becomes yours alone. (Level 3 – 4)

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