Steve McNie has
elevated jamming to the
level of art form
Steve makes you believe the impossible is possible.
He defines the ying-yang possibilities of character: to be both charming and effective, open-minded yet tenacious, thoughtful and spontaneous, open to new ways, yet grounded in tradition, team player and solo runner, artist (he's a cellist) and pragmatist.
He really can pull white rabbits out of a hat. We think the world of him.
"Lois" of Sharon, Lois & Bram
Steve is as much music teacher as uke teacher - and it makes apparent the weakness of many approaches to the ukulele.
Ron Usher, Vancouver
| ARTS MARKETING & OVERSIGHT
Steve McNie established torontoUKES around his co-founding role in 2009 of the Corktown Ukulele Jam after 10 years in digital media with CTV and CBC and over 2 decades in entertainment marketing.
Steve managed multi-platinum family entertainers Sharon, Lois & Bram and shares an Executive Producer credit on their 52-episode CBC/Learning Channel/PBS series, Skinnamarink TV.
He worked in various marketing capacities for PolyGram, A&M Records, Walt Disney Home Video, WEA Musique (Montréal), Canada Systems Group and GRT. Steve has been awarded gold and platinum record awards for his marketing contributions to Sharon, Lois & Bram, Rita MacNeil, Lenny Kravitz, Extreme, Bryan Addams and John Lee Hooker.
Steve's extensive concert and event marketing experience includes working closely with promoters and major venues throughout North America. Highlights include 24,000 tickets sold over 8 performances for SL&B's holiday engagement at Toronto's Hummingbird (Sony) Centre; several SRO tours for Sharon, Lois & Bram in Canada and the USA represented by the William Morris Agency (Shelly Schultz) through whom SL&B's 1993 Candles, Snow & Mistletoe played Christmas week at the Palace Theater on Broadway. A broadcast special of the same name produced in partnership with Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video aired to a CBC audience of 1.4 million and the audio recording shipped gold+ (65,000 units) in Canada. Steve front-lined licensing and distribution relationships for SL&B at A&M and EMI in Canada and with A&M, Drive Entertainment, Scholastic and Educational Insights in the USA.
While a board member at the Canadian Independent Record Producer's Association, Steve founded CIRPA KiDS to address issues common amongst family entertainers. He has served on the Children's Committee of the Canadian Academy of Recording Artists (CARAS) who produce the Juno Awards, served on the board for Orchestra Toronto and is called upon from time to time to jury FACTOR funding for Canadian recording artists.
Steve has been invited to speak and participate as panelist at several entertainment, digital media and education forums.
His insightful teaching has inspired hundreds to play better and progress faster at any skill level. He's big on style, groove, feel and form. Always fun and reflective of the ukulele's inherent whimsy, Steve balances playing and singing with ear training, relevant theory, rhythm, chordal awareness, groove and musicality from charts, notation and by ear.
Steve regularly presents a variety of public workshops for adults, teens and children. He has lead ukulele workshops at festivals like Summerfolk and the Beaches International Jazz Festival where he will return in the summer of 2015 for the 7th consecutive season. Ongoing work in schools includes Havergal College, St. Clement's, Bishop Strachan School for Girls and the Mabin School.
A lengthy list of private students includes Oscar nominee, Jessica Chastain.
Steve co-produced and lead mass workshops at Canada Ukes, Ontario's first-ever ukulele festival, May 22-24, 2015 featuring Ralph Shaw, Small World Project and David Woodhead.
In partnership with the Flato Markham Theatre, torontoUKES was instrumental in selling out Jake Shimabukuro performances in 2015 and 2013. Other ukulele concert/workshop presentations include Manitoba Hal, Jim & Liz Beloff, The K and Antoine Ladué, Dan McLean Jr. and Jim D'Ville. Steve will lead workshops along with Jim Middleton, Jim & Liz Beloff and Faith Ako at the Martha's Vineyard Ukulele Festival in September, 2015.
He recently hosted and performed at a private function honouring two of his students and attended by the Governor General of Canada, a former Ontario Premier, the president of Cambridge University and top-tier leaders of the Canadian business establishment.
Under the banner of UKOPOLIS, Steve offers high impact team-building workshops to promote collaboration amongst people who share common goals: corporate, sports, public service and professional associations. Steve has taught advertising, sales promotion and elements of digital media at Sheridan College and Centennial College.
It is to the cello (University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory of Music), a supportive and creatively influential family, and to mentor Daniel Domb that Steve attributes much of his sense for music. He played cello and was a board member for Orchestra Toronto.
He is a (founding) member/cellist in the Corktown Chamber Orchestra, plays bass, banjo, melodica, cello and accordion in The McFlies, produces Toronto's popular Corktown Ukulele Jam and the Toronto North Ukulele Jam at Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill, and is called upon to record and arrange for a variety of music projects.
| COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIP AND DIGITAL MEDIA
Representing CTV and prior, the CBC, Steve has worked closely with several of the world's most recognized brands on multi-dimensional commercial partnerships like the Olympics (Sydney & Salt Lake City), FIFA World Cup of Soccer, Canadian Idol, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Hockey Night In Canada, the Juno Awards, NFL Superbowl and the Academy Awards.