I had the opportunity to visit a brand new acoustic jam in Orangeville. Nando, owner of the Orange Café, seemed to really enjoy the music and his son was the by far the youngest (and bravest) participant. Hosted by Mark Ostrowski, the format is that of a song circle: everybody gets a chance to lead and this moves around the circle evenly. Once a song gets going, people join in with harmonies, instrumental breaks, whatever the song calls for. There were plenty of proficient musicians there, making it a lot of fun.
The menu includes a fresh pasta bar and local brews on tap.
This was just the second time the group had come together. The plan is to have an acoustic jam the third Thursday of every month; check the Orangeville Live Music Scene website to confirm the next date. And – one good thing leads to another – I learned about an open mic that will be happening in Acton starting this spring/summer. Details to follow!
[Acoustic Song Circle, Orange Bistro, 20 Dawson Road, Orangeville; third Thursday of the month (usually); no cover]
After visiting the Corktown Uke Jam in December, I thought I’d follow up with another ukulele event, a little closer to home. Since the fall of 2009, Heather Katz and Michael Griffin have hosted a Sunday afternoon ukulele workshop and jam at their music store in Orangeville. While both events share an enthusiasm for the diminutive instrument, the Orangeville jam has a much more laid back feel than its larger Toronto cousin. Heather led us through a song as a group before inviting individuals to share or lead songs they have been working on. And there was time at the break to peruse a selection of ukuleles, trade tips with other participants, or have some refreshments. This is a great place to learn about ukuleles and uke-playing in a relaxed but music focussed atmosphere. I have to admit that I left there with a new ukulele of my own. Now I’m looking forward to the strum along when “The Mighty Uke” visits Elora on January 30th (email me if you want details on this event).
[Orangeville Uke Jam, 232 Broadway, Orangeville, 2nd Sunday, 2-4pm, most months]