Tag: Kitchener (Page 4 of 5)

Monday Night Deliverance @ Little Bean Coffee Bar, Kitchener

I picked a perfect night to return to Monday Night Deliverance, this time accompanied by my daughter, Genny. The musical line-up was stellar: Ken Brown kicked the evening off followed by Douglas Watson. Spoken word from Alice was rounded out by Ken’s improv guitar. The lovely and talented Alysha Brillinger brought some polished and high energy covers accompanied by her Dad on bass. Hosts Christen Zuch and Michael Downing kept the show moving and contributed their own sounds: some original tunes from Christen and a sweet rendition of Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat by Mike. The closer for the evening was cellist and high tech aficionado Nick Storring using computer generated loops and effects to create a sound all his own. How nice to happen upon an evening of such great music!

This gathering has picked up momentum since I last visited (May 2011). There are now two nights a week dedicated to open mic music and spoken word. This fall Kristen is hosting a songwriting competition called “Beans Got Talent”. Prizes include a songwriting session with Ian Smith and 10 hours of studio time. Contact Wendy Hearn for details ([email protected]) – register by September 14th.

[Monday Night Deliverance, Little Bean Coffee Bar, 417 King St W, Kitchener, Mondays and Wednesdays 8:30 – midnight]

The Only Constant is Change

The good news: I met a musician at a jam who found out about the event via the Open Stage Adventure! It’s gratifying to know that people are finding music through the site. The bad news is that he also went to another venue based on info posted on the website and the event was no longer happening.

So – I’d like to thank Richard from Orangeville for visiting the Fergus jam and providing some musical updates. I am dedicating this post to changes in venues/events that have happened since I visited them. Like Richard, I have also shown up somewhere based on what looked like current info from the internet to find the venue had closed or an event had changed time slots.

Groundswell Café, Alliston

This establishment closed its doors August 2011. One less music-positive space in the world. May the tradition be picked up by someone else for the musicians of Alliston. In the meantime, there is always the Songwriters’ Showcase if you want to see some live music locally.

Molly Blooms, Guelph

The songwriters’ open stage on Monday nights isn’t taking place anymore but there is now a Saturday afternoon jam (2:00-5:30) hosted by Daniel Richard.

The Sandbox, First Unitarian Congregation of Waterloo (in Kitchener)

This song circle has stopped meeting as the space was needed for other purposes.

Thursday night open mic @ the Shepherd’s Pub, Elora

The hosts have talked about moving to an every other week format and a later start time of 9:30 – that’s when everyone was arriving anyway – so phone the pub to double check before making the trip (519-846-5775).

ANY OTHER UPDATES? Drop me an email if your event or one you have attended has made any changes and I’ll be sure to keep the listing current. Also – wherever possible I have contact info for either hosts or venue. A quick call or email is a good idea to make sure you don’t arrive to do a solo performance.

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: Monday Night Deliverance @ Little Bean Coffee Bar

Having just enjoyed a way-too-shortl Amelia Curran performance at the Jane Bond, I decided to extend the musical evening a little longer by visiting “Monday Night Deliverance”, a new open stage at Little Bean Coffee Bar. Hosted by Christen Zuch and Michael Downing, this event has been running since March and already seems to pull in a good audience.  Says Christen: “The idea behind the Monday Night deliverance is that anyone can get up and have their 15 minutes, whether it’s spoken word, folk, rap or rock. Anything goes. We invite anyone to come share their heart.” On this particular night I had a taste of the wide variety performers which ranged from rock & roll to spoken word to a compelling voice/guitar/cello collaboration. The venue is spacious and high-ceilinged, with low comfy chairs and café tables in the front and a bar complete with hockey-game-on-TV a little farther back. The start (8:00-8:45) and end (11:00 – 12:00) times are somewhat flexible depending on who shows up and when.
[Monday Night Deliverance, Little Bean Coffee Bar 417 King St W, Kitchener, Monday nights 8-ish to 11-ish]

Venue: Old Chestnuts Song Circle

Song circles are real examples of community music making, like a campfire or family sing along but with a broader invitation list.  Old Chestnuts has been meeting since 1995 to give people the opportunity to sing together.  Here, the merit of the song lies less in the performance than in the ability to get people to sing along.  This song circle is held in someone’s home, giving it the feel of a family gathering where you are the welcome guest.

This week the group was asked to come up with songs with women’s names in them.  There were many familiar folk tunes sung but participants also brought lyric sheets to teach new songs to the group.  If needed, there were Old Chestnuts binders full of lyrics and many “Rise up Singing” books around for reference.  In addition to guitars, fiddle, mandolin, banjo and whistle all added layers to the songs.  Songs could be humourous, tragic, old standards, contemporary or originals – the only rule is that they have to have some sing along component.

The host, Jack Cole, is a local champion of folk music.  He hosts a web page promoting the various places people come together to play music:  http://www.grandriverfolk.org/ Old Chestnuts also has a hand in organizing Folk Night at the Registry, an award winning series of concerts in Kitchener.

[Old Chestnuts, 4th Saturday of most months, Sept-May; call 519-578-6298 for location]

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