Ukulele wizard bringing a rare show

James Hill is performing at the Errington Hall with his wife cellist Anne Janelle April 6

Intriguing ukulele performer James Hill is performing a concert this Sunday with his wife and cellist player Anne Janelle at the Errington Hall.

James Hill thrills audiences with his unconventional style of ukulele playing, but he also literally wrote the book.

The school book that is. Hill attended elementary school in Langley, B.C. where learning the ukulele was part of the curriculum.

Years later he co-authored the Ukulele in the Classroom method book series with J. Chalmers Doane, the teacher who pioneered the idea of using the ukulele for music instruction in Canadian schools in the ’60s.

Hill had met Doane when he was 16 and then reconnected with him in the Maritimes, along with other teachers who assisted in creating the ukulele school program.

“It seemed like the right thing.  It was time to update the Doane method with fresh ideas and new repertoire,” said Hill in an email while on tour in Ontario. “The Doane teaching philosophy is still the core of Ukulele in the Classroom.  But we’ve mixed in a lot of new strategies, concepts and arrangements.”

Hill is performing a show at the Errington Hall this Sunday, April 6 at 8 p.m. with his wife and cellist player/singer Anne Janelle.

Hill started playing the ukulele in Grade 4 and as a teenager he was a key member of the renowned Langley Ukulele Ensemble. He followed his passion of playing music and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia in 2002.

Today he’s turing heads around the world with his remarkable playing of the ukulele, like his arrangement of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, where he plays as if he’s accompanied by an entire band.

Hill and Janelle married last year and the two have been touring a lot of late, Hill said.

“It’s getting kind of crazy,” he said. “So far this year we’ve been on tour in Canada, the US and Mexico.  We just finished a two-week England tour and we’re off to Italy, Germany and Sweden soon.”

Hill, who resides in Nova Scotia, recently raised money through a crowd sourcing website to assist in creating a new album called The Old Silo. He needed $20,000 for all the studio fees, promotion and to hire a Canadian indie rock hero as the producer.

“I’m a big Joel Plaskett fan so I was over the moon when he agreed to produce it at his New Scotland Yard studio in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia,” he said. “It’s more a more rockin’ sound for me; a fun departure from some of my other stuff.  My fans and friends really came through… they made it happen.”

Hill is conducting a ukulele workshop at the McMillan Arts Centre this Sunday but it’s been sold out for weeks.

The show at the Errington Hall is his only stop in B.C.

Tickets are still available for the show in Erringotn, and cost $20 available at Cranky Dog Music in Parksville, Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach, and the Errington store. Tickets for youth are $5 at the door, and the event is free for children under five.


Just Posted

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

Crime Report: Oceanside RCMP receive 328 complaints in one-week span

Vandalism and theft of a wheelchair among listed incidents

Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

Parksville advocate to discuss harm-reduction measures for addicts

Morris, along with a panel of professionals, will be at the PCC on May 21

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Most Read