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Bernice Lewis

2023 Ukulele Workshop Faculty

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Bernice Lewis

With almost four decades of performing festivals, concert halls, coffeehouses, colleges, and house concerts, along with a half dozen acclaimed CDs, Bernice Lewis has built a solid national fan base. She is also a published poet, a producer, and an educator extraordinaire. Lewis — who studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin, guitar technique with Alex DeGrassi and Guy van Duser, and songwriting with Rosanne Cash and Cris Williamson — has been a featured performer on NPR’s Mountain Stage program, as well as at the Kennedy Center. In 2008, she was awarded an Artist in Residence position by the National Park Service. In 1987, she was a finalist in the prestigious New Folk Songwriting Contest at the Kerrville (Texas) Folk Festival, where she continues to be a main stage favorite. Her ballad, “Bridges That Hold,” was included in Peter, Paul and Mary’s Lifelines video (PBS). She was featured in Yoga Journal for her work with sound and yoga, and has shared the stage with many renowned artists, including Dar Williams, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Pete Seeger, Ellis Paul, Rory Block, Livingston Taylor, Odetta, Christine Lavin, Marty Sexton, Patty Larkin, Catie Curtis, Mary Gauthier… it’s a long list. She has a forty-year old daily yoga practice, loves good coffee, and her religion is the Grand Canyon.

​​Bernice is The Artist Associate in Songwriting at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.  She is a faculty member at Schreiner University’s Songkeepers Program  in Kerrville, TX, and has taught at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO, Rock On Camp at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA, The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, Kripalu Center for Yoga in Lenox, MA, and Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.

“Bernice is a voice full of light and hope. She is one of the keepers of the flame of Real Songwriting.” – Rosanne Cash

“Bernice’s life is filled with beautiful, deep things, and she writes beautifully and deeply about them. ‘Good Kind of Love to Be In’ is wonderful; spoke right to my heart! Great, jazzy cover of ‘A Case of You.’ Musically and vocally, she has new wings with the genres she’s been exploring.” -Dar Williams

“An enlightening presence…” -Steve Morse, Boston Globe

“It is impossible not to have a good time listening to Lewis sing.” – Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

“Bernice Lewis may well be the frosting on the cake!” – Rod Kennedy, Director, Kerrville Folk Festival

Mariah Lewis
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Mariah Lewis

​At 14, Mariah Colorado Lewis was the youngest member of The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra. She recently graduated from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA and currently works at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has been playing piano since the age of 3, started writing music when she was 8, and has always loved singing. In 2012, as part of her Bat Mitzvah service project, her EP "Temporary" raised over $600 for Hearts of The Fathers, a charity that feeds and houses over two hundred hard to place children in three countries. In college, she was part of the university chorus and the a capella group “Rather Be Giraffes”. In 2019, she released "By The Way I Breathe" with Bernice Lewis on YouTube.
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Washtub Jerry

​The farther you live from what some people consider civilization, the more self reliant and innovative you have to be.  You have to admire a guy who enters a field and actually creates his own genre by making  a musical instrument with which to conquer a niche that any other mortal is afraid to even challenge.  That is exactly what Washtub Jerry has done.  He is the only “tub-bass” player in the field of cowboy entertainment today.   Not only that, he may very well be the hardest working man in the business.  Go to any show where Washtub is performing and you’ll find performers lined up to get him to play backup bass for them.  I have yet to see him turn one of them down.  In addition, he understands more about music theory than any music teacher I know and can illustrate it to you on his unique instrument with the skill of a philharmonic surgeon.  And, to top it off,  Wash was named "1999 Instrumentalist of the Year" by the Western Music Association.

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