Month: January 2011

The world of house concerts: Ian Reid

We just hosted our first house concert – and I am a convert to this way of experiencing music.  Although a house concert is not a public music sharing event, allow me to promote this style of musical interaction. The intimate venue allows the audience to see a favourite musician up close, maybe chat with him or her at the break.  There is no competition for sound from a noisy bar crowd – everyone is there to hear the music.  Because of the low overhead (no need to rent a hall), the proceeds going to the artist are maximized. It seems to be growing as a way for smaller communities to host live music events or for musicians to fill in dates between larger gigs.

Our first concert featured Ian Reid, singer-songwriter from Rockwood. I was introduced to Ian’s music at the Elora Acoustic Café open mic – one of those “you never know who might show up at the open mic” moments. Ian’s captivating stage presence and sense of humour were perfectly suited to the house concert environment.

After the concert we finished off the evening with a small group of us jamming and singing together while Ian gave his attention to audience members.

I really hope this is only the first of many events we host – it was a perfect introduction to the world of house concerts.

If you have room to seat 25-30 people and would enjoy inviting your friends and neighbours to share an intimate concert, there are websites that walk you through many of the details:

If you are invited to such an event, it is an opportunity not to be missed.

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]