Tag: ukulele (page 2 of 3)

Summer Jams

“Summertime and the living is easy…” But maybe not so easy to find a place to play music.  Many regular open stages and jams take a break over the summer in anticipation of people being away and to give their hard-working hosts and volunteers a reprieve from their duties.

But their are a few that just keep on going. So if you are in the mood to play music here are some summer events to check out. If you have a summer jam you want to promote post the info on the Open Stage Adventure FB page.

  • London Bluegrass Music Association

Thursday night jams 7 – 9 pm

Pine Knot Golf and Country Club at Dorchester

The club boasts a good restaurant and bar, as well as numerous locations to jam.  Further details: www.londonbluegrass.org

  • Elora Acoustic Café – Fri Aug 9th

Open Stage followed by feature performer, David Ross MacDonald; doors open 7:30, $5 cover

Elora Centre for the Arts, 75 Melville Street

https://www.eloraacousticcafe.com/shows.html

  • The Moonshine Café (137 Kerr St, Oakville)

Sun Aug 11th – Ukulele Night 7 pm

Tuesdays – Acoustic Open Mic 8 pm until close

http://www.themoonshinecafe.com/

  • Corktown Uke Jam (Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, Toronto)

Every Wednesday 8-11 pm: workshop 8-9 followed by group jams, theme nights and open stages, depending on the date; Sign up for the open stage ahead of time on-line.

For sign up details & theme night dates: http://torontoukes.com/

  • Open Stage at Frank’s Pasta & Grill

426 King St E, Cobourg

Wednesdays 7 – 10:30 pm

Musicians, Artists, Comedians, Vocalists & Poets – All are welcome

Hosted by Nelson Denis

http://frankspastagrill.com/club-scene

Venue: Open Mic at the Magnolia Café, Guelph ON


MagnoliaMany new open stages have a modest start, a few people come out, words gets around and the event gradually builds a following. Not so with this newest addition to the Guelph “shared music” scene. The inaugural open mic at the Magnolia Café, hosted by Ian Reid, was launched with a full complement of players and listeners – every seat filled! If the first night is any indication, this is definitely a “listening room”. The audience was everything you’d want (attentive, appreciative, supportive), the music was entertaining and the food was delicious.

Mo n Mike Peter L 2

The open mic will continue every Tuesday 7-9pm (sign up starts at 6:30), $2 cover if you’re not performing. Congrats, Ian, on a great opening night!

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[Magnolia Café, 88 Yarmouth Street, Guelph; Tuesday 7-9 pm, $2 cover unless performing]

Music to Warm your February

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Looking for some music to chase away the midwinter chill? Want to let a  hibernating song out to see its shadow? Southern Ontario has a lot to offer  – here is just a sampling (including two uke events):

Brantford Open Stage – Friday, February 1st @ 8 pm  – 19 Holiday Drive, Brantford; Admission $4 (performers free)

Hamilton Folk Club – Tuesday, February 12 @ 8 pm – The Pheasant Plucker, 20 Augusta Street, Hamilton; Admission $4 – This will also mark the club’s 31st birthday!

Uke Club #2, Saturday, February 23 @ 1:15 pm – Long & McQuade in Guelph, 30 Arrow Road; Admission $6

*NEW* Open Mic at the Magnolia Café, hosted by Ian Reid – Tuesday, February 12 @7-9 pm; Admission $2 for non-performers (“pay or play”) – 88 Yarmouth Street, Guelph

Corktown Uke Jam – While the Dominion on Queen boasts a weekly uke jam, Wednesday, February 13 @8-11 pm is a special N’Awlins Theme Nite, Kevin Fox as host; Admission $5 – 500 Queen Street East, Toronto

Random Acts of Music at Schinbein’s Studio in Mitchell – Country/folk open mic & jam on Saturdays (1-4:30 pm) and Blues open mic & jam on Thursdays (7-10 pm) – 117 St. Andrew Street, Mitchell

Tuesday night acoustic jam (7-11 pm) in Elora is alive and well at the Café Creperie (no cover) – 40 Mill Street West, Elora

One Year Anniversary of the Open Stage Adventure

After one year of Open Stage Adventuring I have visited 23 musical events (some of them multiple times) in 16 cities/towns/hamlets. While some of those expeditions were solo ventures I also had musical/moral support at different times from: Peter Balka, Trish Brubacher and Genny Grier.

As part of my one year anniversary celebration I’d like to showcase some shining stars in the vast sky of open musical spaces.  Some pride themselves on attracting high calibre music, while others have created space for musical collaboration and expression that otherwise would not have happened.  Here are a few events that stand out. (Click on Stages, Circles & Jams and go to the city of the event to find the original post.)

Corktown Ukulele Jam, TorontoFor the most ukuleles I’ve ever seen together in one room and for providing multiple ways to participate.

In addition to the large group workshop to brush up on your uke skills and build some repertoire and the full house uke jam, uke players can sign up on-line to perform or lead a song. Beyond the weekly uke jam, host Steve McNie also offers workshops (ukulele high school 101) and promotes all manner of ukulele focussed happenings.

Groundswell, AllistonFor the impressive array of youth talent

(and the great snacks and micro-brews available)

A predominantly young crowd showcased an array of musical styles and instruments

Free F’all Sundays, TorontoFor the greatest number of musicians

Considering this event at the Supermarket is relatively new, the turn out is astounding: 50-70 performers each week keep the music going from 8 pm until the wee hours of the morning.

The Black Walnut Folk Club, Kitchener  – For the longest track record (1994)

This monthly club has a loyal following and has been going for 16 seasons.

The Elora Acoustic Café, Elora – For the high calibre of music at both the open stage and feature performance

In addition to featuring musicians ranging from Ian Reid to Kevin Breit to Sue Smith, the Elora Acoustic Café boasts an open stage full of talented regulars and delightful surprises.If you are reading this thinking “I go to an open stage that has been running longer than that” or “Why wasn’t [insert open stage here] mentioned? It’s the best!” then  go to the bottom of this post and click on the comment button (just to the right of “Read the whole story”) and suggest a venue that should be on my list for Year Two of the Open Stage Adventure. (The OSA FB page is another place to post info about your venue or event.)

June 2010, the first full month of theopenstageadventure.ca welcomed 152 visitors. This has climbed to 842 in the past month and some of those visitors have given me tips for new venues to explore and featured musicians that are not to be missed. I am looking forward to visiting some old favourites and discovering new gems in the year to come.

Venue: Uke Jam @ Broadway Music, Orangeville

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]

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