Ukulele lessons in Toronto | Corktown and Annex Uke Jams
democratizing the arts, one strum at a time
We create opportunities for people to experience the enjoyment of
making music as a collective.
A growing appetite for analog interaction in an increasingly digital world
makes our work compelling to a large and hugely diverse community.
Our platform for engagement is music.
There is no instrument more suitable than the ukulele to put music
in the hands of almost anyone.
torontoUKES was forged from a natural fusion of interests, experience, passion, and relentless obsession.
Decades of producing, managing, organizing, marketing, learning, teaching and performing has positioned us to offer a fun-filled musical experience that packs the house week after week.
This work has spawned countless friendships, inspired creativity and confidence, and enriched lives.
torontoUKES events are distinguished by effective leadership, fluid flow, attention to detail, buttoned down programming, fun traditions and rituals, fabulous instrumental support, dedicated volunteers, monthly theme nites, unique offsite activities, a weekly eNewsletter to all members, video projection of all charts, and a huge emphasis on musicality, expression, style and groove.
torontoUKES is active in 3 categories:
JAMS | EVENTS | FESTIVALS
Our cornerstone event was the weekly Corktown Ukulele Jam.
Every weekly program began at 8pm with a "workshop for everyone with at least some playing experience" with Steve McNie, then followed by a group jam and open stage, 9:30-11pm.
▶ SPECIFICS on the CORKTOWN UKULELE JAM
Established by Steve McNie and David Newland on January 14, 2009, originally at the legendary Dominion on Queen, then two years at the Paintbox Bistro, followed by two at the Tranzac Club in the Annex. The final weekly CUJam was held August 27, 2018 at the Tranzac, in its 10th year at the forefront of Toronto's vibrant ukulele scene.
Monday Morning Kickstart was a drop-in workshop presented every Monday morning in the Brewery Lofts at 90 Sumach.
We proudly presented Canada Ukes "Weekend at Ralph's", May 22-24, 2015 at the Midland Cultural Centre. Ontario's first-ever ukulele festival's all-Canadian line-up featured headliner Ralph Shaw, Montréal's Small World Project and Toronto's own David Woodhead.
Ralph Shaw offers this generous perpective on our approach to group jamming.
We've produced three other weekly ukulele events which are no longer active: The Annex Ukulele Jam at the Tranzac Club, CUJam West at Lula Lounge (co-hosted by Steve McNie and Dan Misener, and the Toronto North Ukulele Jam at Richmond Hill's Cosmo Music.
Jumpstart Your Jam was a 3-day intensive workshop for current and prospective ukulele club/jam/event organizers based on our experience in producing 500+ ukulele events and decades of work at the front-line of entertainment marketing.
Private lessons with Steve McNie for adults, teens and kids
Group workshops, classes and lessons for adults, teens and kids at levels of ability.
Our UKE-101 offering has provided a wonderful start for hundreds of new players.
Schools: we offer a unit that introduce the ukulele into music programs during class time, and facilitate extracurricular uke club programs after school or at lunch time (typically in 10 week blocks).
Under the banner of UKOPOLIS, we offered team-building initiatives that inspire collaboration and collective achievement for corporate, government, sports and education groups who share common goals.
Ukulele Nooner was a weekly ukulele lunch program for workplaces with large employee bases.
JAMS | EVENTS
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Private lessons, group workshops, festival engagements, schools.
Our work has inspired many people to express themselves through music with attention to groove and nuance.
IN THE MEDIA
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What we do, how we do it and that the ukulele's popularity continues to grow has attracted some attention over the years