When, Where, How much?
Every Wednesday evening, 8-11pm
In the Ukulele Lounge at Toronto's legendary
Dominion on Queen
500 Queen Street East
- at Sumach, 2nd light west of the DVP >>MAP
All nights: workshop is $6 per person, whether or not you are participating with a ukulele.
On regular nights, the Group Jam and Open Stage are FREE.
On Theme Nights, the Open Stage is $3.
Take advantage of the Dominion's excellent menu and selection of beverages.
Parking in downtown Toronto...
where and how much?
The Queen Street streetcar stops at our door (Sumach).
There is ample free parking in the Vistek courtyard behind the Dominion.
Enter this courtyard from Queen Street through the archway from about 100 feet immediately to the west of the Dominion's main entrance.
Note that the neighbourhood surrounding the Dominion on Queen is in transition. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle and excersize prudence when walking in the area.
Who is behind the Jam?
The Corktown Ukulele Jam was conceived on a whim in November 2008 and was launched on January 14, 2009 by David Newland and Steve McNie as an open-minded benevolent dictatorship.
Steve now produces the jam alone assisted by a team of several volunteers.
What is the structure of a typical Wednesday eve?
Group Jam 9:30-10:15
Open Stage 10:15-11pm
Click here for detailed information about our jam format and guidelines, including how to sign up online in advance to perform on our open stage.
I'm new and intrigued... how do I check it out?
Participation in any our Wednesday evenings and other activities begins by subscribing to our weekly eMail list from the home page of torontoUKES.com (first name, last name, email adr).
This is how we communicate about what is going on from week to week. It's through our weekly email that you how you tell us you are coming, and how you sign up for our open stage.
You need do this only once.
We will communicate with you ONLY about tU activities, we will not spam you, and we will never, ever sell, rent or make your information available to a third party.
Click to tell us you're coming within that week's email, show up and bring yer uke!
How do I sign up for your open stage?
You'll find a prominant link in your weekly eMail from us that allows you to say you're coming that wekk ans that you'd like to perform. Be sure you are very clear on our guidelines for performers. Our open stage is one of the best around because of how its organized and hosted and organized.
What is Hanakosan?
Hanako is a popular given name amongst Japanese females.
"San" is a relatively informal respect sufix that functions like "Mr. Mrs. Miss" in English.The Japanese use "Ha-na-ko-san" as a ukulele tuning reference not unlike our "My Dog Has Fleas". Each syllable represents a uke string in order from 4th to 1st. We're thankful Hanakosan was introduced to us by Warren Stirtzinger and have since adopted into our own vernaular.
What tuning do you use?
C6. Tune however you wish, but our workshops and charts are oriented to standard "C6"tuning. The most important thing is that you play IN tune. :)
What is your most important jam rule?
One voice please - and NO NOODLING!
We have a lot to play, learn and share together - and staying the course can be very challenging in a relatively small room filled with 80 uke players.
Out of respect for everyone in the room, please do not talk, whisper, play, practice or noodle while someone else has the floor.
What's in it for the Dominion?
Enjoying the jam means supporting our homeThe Dominion on Queen offers their facilities and hospitality to us for no exchange beyond the what they take in for the excellent food and beverages they serve.
In fairness to the Dominion, you should minimally spend the equivalent of a pint of beer on food and beverage for every evening you enjoy our offering.
Please be on time for workshop. If you are unable to join us tuned and ready to go by 8pm, kindly make yourself comfortable in the main room until workshop is over.
Our flow depends on minimal distraction.
No scents or perfume, please.
Some amongst us are affected greatly by scented perfumes and deodorants. For the enjoyment and health of everyone please refrain from using perfume or scented products.
What happens to the money you bring in?
We get to eat that week!
Producing a weekly event like this requires a tremendous investment of time and energy.
We are committed to producing a positive experience for a wide cross-section of people and need to recoup a small part of our investment. We also offer a weekly honorarium to our bass and percussion players who add tremendous dimension to the music we make. Tangential projects like concerts and workshops also make us a little cash. It's in our nature to see those opportunities and make something of them.
Do you welcome other instruments?
This evening is devoted to the ukulele and our aim is to keep it so.
Complimentary instruments (accordion, harmonicas, melodicas) are welcome provided that they are integrated as such and that your set prominantly features the ukulele.
Who are those Open Stage hosts?
She's Sunny Widerman and he's Brendan O'Malley. They took the reigns from CUJam Co-Founder David Newland when he went on to create Roots Music Canada. both totally rock.
Am I good enough?
It was never our aim introduce brand new players to the most basic rudiments of ukulele playing at our Wednesday jams.
We regularly conduct UKE-101 workshops that prep you enough to be able to glean from and contribute to our weekly jams.
See LEARN TO PLAY in the main menu of this site for more information about these workshops and be sure to sign up for our eMail list on the home page of this site (mandatory for all members). You can also pick up a lot from online instructional resources and YouTube videos (search "ukulele strumming" to see what we mean).
I'm intimidated... what if I can't keep up?Don't be. Seriously. Don't be.
Listen, if you are relatively new to the ukulele, like anything else that is a learned skill, you are not likely going to be able to keep up with absolutely everything that goes on - and you might not entirely grasp everything that is said. With a little practice at home and by coming often, YOU WILL - and you will be hugely surprised at how quickly.
No instrument is easy to master, but some are easier to glean more immediate satisfaction from and the ukulele owns the top of that category. You will catch on quickly and any early frustration you might feel in our midst will be offset but the fun spirit projected by a room full of cool people with ukuleles.
A little perseverance and you will experience MANY "a-ha!" moments and you will catch on quickly. The ukulele is an extraordinary neutralizer. A room full of them puts everyone on level ground, no matter what your musical background or uke playing expertise. It would be impossible to replicate what we do with any other musical instrument.
There's only one way to find out!
What are your acceptable generic terms for each other as players of the ukulele?
"Uker(s)", "Ukie(s)", "Ukette(s)", "Ukudite(s), "Ukledite(s)", "Ukulelien(s)", "Ukulette(s)", "The Ukulective", "The Ukulele Kontinuum" or "uKontinuum" ("The uK", not to be confused with the prominent European country)
New players are "Nukies".
Jam hosts are "Ukerists" and yours to celebrate (if you are are celebrating one single host, use celebrate "the ukerist").
Those who are without uke are "ukeless".
"Ukedom" refers to the universe of all things ukulele: the sum of human and non-human elements. Careful: "Ukulelia" refers to a grouping of objects that collectively could be considered uke stuff.
Do you have an official essential oil?
Bien sur! Eucalyptus.
Official Toronto street? Euclid
Preferred former Soviet republic?
From whence does the Ukulele Benediction originate?
In no way religious but in every way spiritual, the "Ukulele Benediction" brings closure to our jam. This brief poetic verse is recited by all whilst members hold their ukulele next to their heart with their right hand.