Archive for the ‘Uke events’ Category

Just a reminder that we will meet this month on Monday, January 4 from 7-9 pm at the Celtic Corner.


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Here is the letter I sent to Stuart McLean of CBC’s Vinyl Cafe:


Greetings from Halifax, Nova Scotia!

My name is Jonathan and I am, for lack of a better description, second in command of the Halifax Ukulele Gang, or HUG as we like to call ourselves. (Our fearless leader, Mike, prefers to call us the Halifax Uke Gang as he feels that sounds tougher. He likes to stress the “gang” end of it.)

HUG is a ukulele strumming group that has been meeting monthly since early 2008. We started with a handful of people and have since grown to a regular turnout of 30-50 ukuleles per month, packed into a tiny room in a pleasant little pub on the Dartmouth side of the Halifax Harbour.

Some of our members are amazing musicians. Many, like myself, are learning (and enjoying the company and atmosphere along the way). Every month brings someone new with their first ever ukulele or the battered old attic uke they or their parents used as part of Chalmers Doane’s famed ukulele program of the 1970s and 80s. Whatever the skill level, we always try to send the person away at the end of the night with a couple of songsheets, a bit of a song they can hammer away at, and an invitation to next month’s gathering. It is always a joy to see them arrive the next month, uke in hand, and ready to strum away another night.

Our members range in age from those in the latter part of their teen years to well into retirement age. The music we play is a mix of anything and everything – traditional folk and camp songs, songs from the 20s, 30s and 40s, old rock and roll, country, show tunes, new pop, rock and alternative. We’ll try anything at least once. And the best part is that everyone is singing along!

If you were to visit our monthly gathering, you would see a happy throng strumming away in a tiny room to some of our club favourites like ABBA’s “Mama Mia”, AC/DC’s “Shook Me All Night Long”, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and the Bonzo Dog Band’s “Urban Spaceman”. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is absolutely mind-blowing when played by 40 ukuleles. Our night always ends in true Canadian-Rock-Anthem style with Andy Kim’s “Rock Me Gently”.

And now to the reason for my letter: ON BEHALF OF THE HALIFAX UKULELE GANG, I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO A HUG GATHERING. Please join us for a relaxed opportunity to strum, learn and laugh!

I know you have made a commitment to learning the ukulele and you have been singing its praises for years on the Vinyl Cafe. Come out and join us when you are in Halifax later on this month. Bring your ukulele (or if you – heavens forbid – don’t have one, we can lend you one – we have lots) and come out for a relaxing strum. Normally we meet on the first Monday of the month, but I know that many of our members would love to throw together an extra gathering just for you.

All you need to do is tell me when you might like to get together and I will contact the rest of our group and arrange for the location. If you come, we will build it!

Thank you,
Jonathan Grady


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The 4th International Ukulele Ceilidh takes place in Liverpool, NS from October 20th-23rd, 2011.

All Ceilidh activities will be held at White Point Beach Resort.

The Ukulele Ceilidh features workshops and performances from some of the best and brightest in the ukulele world including:

  • Chalmers Doane
  • James Hill
  • Ken Middleton
  • Manitoba Hal (Hal Brolund)
  • Lil Rev
  • HUG’s own Rev Hank (Mike Diabo)

…and many more!

This is a great event, and one not to be missed!

For complete event details, go to the 4th International Ukulele Ceilidh  website at http://www.ukuleleceilidh.ca/

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HUG has been invited to play with Ryan MacGrath at The Seahorse on Saturday, February 12.

I have sent out an online sign-up list through a Facebook and email message. Please sign-up if you plan to go so I can give Ryan some sense of the numbers.

Here are the details:

  • Please arrive by 10:30 pm.
  • Ryan plays a set from 11:00-11:30.
  • Then HUG plays for for three to five songs – Ryan may join us on a few.
  • At 11:45, Ryan will start his next set with “Celebrity Death” which we will play along with.
  • The show ends at 12:30

Please bring and be ready to play from the following songs for our mini-set:

Just in case, it would be helpful if a few people brought a small music stand and clips to hold the music. I don’t know how much space we will have, but I am going to assume it is very limited.

Ryan will play along with us on “All I Have to do is Dream” and maybe a couple of others!

Ryan has asked us to play along with him on Celebrity Death. The audio recording can be found here:


I am working on getting the songsheet out to you. I will forward it ASAP.

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HUG at Nocturne

We were like rock stars: after a while we weren’t even sure what city we were playing in.

What a great turn-out by HUG members. At one point, there were about 30 ukuleles! The audience were great.

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*** Another schedule change:

We are going back to our original time slot, starting with the 8:15 ferry from Halifax and playing until 9:12. If possible, we have also been asked if we can play a little longer (for another two ferry rides, ending back in Halifax at 9:42).

I say we go for it. Remember this as the day that that a group of ukuleles was asked to play LONGER!

Set up is at 7:45pm on Halifax side (If you are coming from Dartmouth, hop on the ferry at 7:30pm)

***There has been a change to our performance time!! Please note the NEW times listed below.***

HUG will be performing as part of the Nocturne Festival on Saturday, October 16, 2010 on the Halifax / Dartmouth Ferry  from 7:45-8:42 pm

 Set up is at 7:15pm on Halifax side (If you are coming from Dartmouth, hop on the ferry at 7:00pm)

 Please bring:

  • your ukulele (and maybe an extra)
  • a music stand (if you have one)
  • stick tack and / or bulldog clips to hold your sheet music

 Here is our set list for the show

 See you at the show!

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Upcoming HUG Events

Next HUG Gathering: Our next HUG ukapalooza is Monday, October 4th at the Celtic Corner (7-9pm). Bring your friends and bring your ukes!
The HUG gig for the Nocturne Festival is:
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry 8:15-9:15pm
Set up at 7:45pm on Halifax side (If you are coming from Dartmouth, hop on the ferry at 7:30pm)
Night of the Ukes II
Saturday, November 27, 8:30pm
The Company House
featuring: Manitoba Hal, Rev Hank, and hopefully…Ukulele Mike
bring your ukes! 

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Don’t miss this great Uke event on Friday, May 7 at the Company House on Gottingen Street.

The gig starts at 8:00 pm and features the talents of Manitoba Hal, Ukulele Mike and Rev Hank

  • $8 without a uke
  • $6 with a uke

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James Hill will be giving a free public ukulele workshop in Halifax and you’re invited!

When: Saturday, March 27, 2010. 3pm-4:30pm
Where: Long & McQuade Music, 6065 Cunard Street, Halifax
You’ll meet like-minded people, learn at least two great arrangements and pick up new tricks and ideas along the way.

See you there!

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The Halifax Ukulele Club has been invited to play a song with Matt Mays at the big Canoe ’09 concert on Friday night (August 14). It’s very short notice, but Matt and the boys would love to have as many uke players out as possible. And when I say as many as possible, I mean as many as possible. Ideally there would be HUNDREDS, but even a handful would do!

The song is off Matt’s first album and is called “Your Heart” It has just four chords over and over: G, Bm, C, and D. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoc6zL9JhAQ

The concert is outside, beside the Mic Mac AAC on Prince Albert Rd in Dartmouth. It starts at 8pm, and there will likely be a soundcheck/rehearsal around 5 or 6pm which would be good to attend, but not mandatory for all the players. Please let us know ASAP if you would like to play.

Here is a quick chord sheet (Your Heart – Matt Mays) of the song. There are probably a few errors in it, but it should get you started. Here is a PDF version (Your Heart – Matt Mays)

Contact us on the HUG Facebook page or use the Contact form on this site if you plan to go.

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