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James Hill and Anne Janelle |

"The perfect mix of tunes, stories and musical virtuosity." - Wellington Dominion-Post

An award-winning Canadian songwriter who “gives the ukulele its dignity back without ever taking himself too seriously” (Songlines), James Hill “proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that in the right hands the uke can be a formidable axe” (Ann Arbor News).

Featured Audio

Other Promo Materials

PDF Files

Click on the link titles to view the file and click the Download link to download the file.

James Hill One-Sheet | Download
All Aboard the Ukulele Express - Teacher's Study Guide | Download

Voodoo Child (Hendrix Ukulele Cover)

James Hill and Anne Janelle EPK

She's Still Got It

If Wishes Were Horses


How does a kid from Canada become what the Honolulu Star-Bulletin calls a “rare peer” of Hawaii’s premier ukulele players? James grew up nearly three thousand miles east of Honolulu in the town of Langley, British Columbia, where ukulele instruction has been mandatory in many schools since the late 1970s. To his fourth grade classmates, the ukulele was a means to an end, a way for them to dip their toes into the vast ocean of music. For James, the uke was a sea of possibilities unto itself and inside its tiny wooden shell he saw his life in music. He was hooked.

During his teenage years James honed his skills as a key member of the renowned Langley Ukulele Ensemble and as a student at the Langley Community Music School.  He continued his study of music at the University of British Columbia where he earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in 2003.  In a full-circle plot twist, James – also a passionate teacher – went on to co-author the Ukulele in the Classroom method book series with J. Chalmers Doane, the trail-blazing teacher who pioneered the use of ukuleles in Canadian schools.  In 2010, James and his father Barry, a retired school teacher, launched the JHUI Teacher Certification Program, the first of its kind in the world.  His most ambitious educational offering to date is The Ukulele Way, a ground-breaking learning method that combines print, video, audio and its own social media platform.

James Hill has come a long way from that fateful day in fouth-grade music class.  A seasoned performer with a fan base in North America, Asia and Europe, he has garnered wide acclaim for his ground-breaking approach to a chronically-underestimated instrument.  Over the course of his first three genre-defying albums – Playing it like it isn’t... (2002), On the Other Hand (2003) and A Flying Leap (2006) – he re-wrote every rule that had previously kept the ukulele in the realm of novelty and obscurity. Then came the Canadian-Folk-Music-Award-winning True Love Don’t Weep (2009), his collaboration with cellist/singer Anne Janelle Davison, an album that pushed the budding singer/songwriter into new territory, topped folk radio charts in North America and opened doors to festival stages across the continent.

Man With a Love Song (2011), reached a new plateau yet again.  “An album for troubled times," wrote TRAD magazine, "joie de vivre, tenderness and musical perfection."  “Stellar," proclaimed Exlaim! Magazine, "A fantastic album from a man who makes songwriting seem effortless.”  Seemingly overnight, Hill had made the delicate transition from instrumentalist to songwriter.

A singer, songwriter, educator and virtuoso instrumentalist, James Hill is a man on a musical mission.  It's a mission that reaches beyond the concert stage and into communities, homes and classrooms around the world.  After all, what's left when the applause fades and the bright lights go dark?  Perhaps only the sound of ukuleles strumming happily into the night...

Reviews Coming Soon ...





3/27/2017 - 3/30/2017 Menucha Ukulele Band Camp
Corbett, OR
4/01/2017 Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall
Durango, CO
5/26/2017 - 5/29/2017 Ashokan Center
Olivebridge, NY
5/30/2017 Club Passim
Cambridge, MA
5/31/2017 Watermelon Wednesdays
West Whately, MA
6/04/2017 - 6/07/2017 Kerrville Folk Festival
Kerrville, TX
9/05/2017 - 9/10/2017 Sisters Folk Festival
Sisters, OR
9/14/2017 - 9/17/2017 Tunes in the Dunes
Westwind, OR
10/05/2017 Al. Ringling Theatre
James Hill and Anne Jenelle
Baraboo, WI
10/07/2017 Funky Frets Uke Fest
Boyertown, PA
ALL ABOARD THE UKULELE EXPRESS! is an engaging and energetic 55-minute concert that demonstrates the surprising versatility of the four-stringed ukulele. Students of all ages will enjoy a mix of popular songs, folk tunes, classical melodies, and jazz favourites as they experience the music of various cultures. The concert is fun, entertaining, up-beat, and calls for lots of audience participation.
Tech requirements are the same as our regular duo concert setup.
Here are some raves (about the show and the optional workshop):
  • "Your skills as a player of the ukulele are a marvel, to be sure... and your teaching talents are well honed. You have a particularly gifted way of inspiring young children and adolescents to focus and do their best." - Blair Lawrence BA BEd MA, Learning Specialist, School District 2, Moncton, NB
  • "Wow! You bring the uke to life. It is one thing to be so amazing on the ukulele... but to also connect and bring the magic to the hearts of our young students, that's wonderful." - Chris, Music Teacher
  • "I'm super-impressed by your teaching, organization and caring. As an ex-public school music teacher I realize how much you've invested in developing your teaching skills." - Ellie, Retired Music Teacher

    Here are some raves from KIDS!
  • "I thought that your performance was outstanding. You were awesome. I think everybody wishes you could stay longer." - Kevin, grade 5
  • "The music was awesome... You want to dance when you hear James Hill's music." - Katie, grade 3
  • "When you were playing I could feel the beat inside. It was amazing." - Hayley, grade 4
  • "We really enjoyed your time with us. I didn't think anyone could play AC/DC on the ukulele." - Morgan, grade 7