London [Easy Listening, Gospel, Americana]

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5 Rating | 6 Votes | 8184 Views |
Ukellettes at Covent Garden Market Sept 02 2011
Two line bio:-
The Ukellettes are a diverse group of women of varying ages and musical experiences who came together in their love of the ukulele. This simple, yet complex and highly portable instrument bestows the gift of music, and the reward of pure joy.

Expanded bio:-
The Ukellettes are a five piece (4 to 6, actually, depending on the season) all female ukulele ensemble, a diverse group of women of varying ages and musical experiences, who came together in their love of the ukulele, playing a variety of different ukes (soprano, concert, tenor, banjolele, baritone), of all shapes and sizes. They play mostly old time or traditional type songs from by gone eras.
Current group members (in alphabetical order) are: Anna Chamberlain, Annie Grindstaff, Jo-Ann Lawton, Karen McLaughlin, Amber Raymond & Libby Wheeler.
Libby is the most recent member, singing with the group for the first time in late September of 2013. Annie spends her winters in Hawaii (poor Annie) so the group is undermanned (or is that underwomanned?), during winters.

Mini Bio for each band member :-
Anna Chamberlain: When I heard about S.O.U.P., I was not even sure that I knew what a ukulele was exactly. I wandered in, had a ukulele put in my hands, and started strumming. I have been strumming ever since! I call it my happy machine. Really, give it a try; you just might surprise yourself...

Annie Grindstaff: Being fortunate enough to spend winters on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, it was not long before I became immersed and in love with the local music and their major instrument - the ukulele. I started learning from chord charts & books and from listening & playing along with the Hawaiian songs. At home, in London, especially with the Ukellettes, I realize how this wonderful instrument can be used to play every kind of music, and that it always brings a smile to the face & the heart.

Jo-Ann Lawton: With almost three decades of playing guitar, singing, songwriting and combining talents with others, in a variety of groups, trios and duos, I was musically battle weary. Then one fine day along came the ukulele. This supposedly silly little instrument brought its many layers of musicality with it, and opened a timely and welcome door for my ongoing creativity... Jo-Ann’s Website

Karen McLaughlin: Music has been a part of my life since I first heard the haunting use of a mandolin in PEI. I started to take mandolin lessons, eventually playing and composing songs on this instrument that became my “soul” instrument. Looking to expand my abilities and to find simple joy in music, I started learning the ukulele. Then I fell in love with the baritone ukulele which is my “heart” instrument and my joyful musical journey continues. Beothuk Green Maiden of Newfoundland ...... Shining from the Inside

Amber Raymond: I had wanted to learn to play a musical instrument for a long time so when the opportunity came up to learn ukulele I decided to try it. After my introductory evening at S.O.U.P. I bought my first uke first thing the next morning and I have been hooked ever since.

Libby Wheeler : In early summer 2012, a friend suggested that I try playing the ukulele. The idea “struck a chord”, and the very next day I bought my first ukulele, even though I knew very little about music. I avidly searched for free online lessons and spent hours learning to strum this magical instrument. The rest of the story is an ongoing musical adventure.

History of the band:-

In the spring/early summer of 2009, June Cole started a ukulele group in London {Southern Ontario Ukulele Players} [or SOUP] which met (& still meets) once a week at the Old East Studios to learn and play together. Several of the women in SOUP were invited by June, with her vision of an all female ukulele ensemble in mind, to back her up in her self produced variety show (Diversities). Subsequently a decision was made by all of them to continue as a separate entity and after several meetings and practices, the Ukellettes were born.

During their time together, the Ukellettes have played lots of gigs at a variety of venues, and continue to develop their talents as a group.

Satisfying a large group of women with very different lives and schedules has presented a constant challenge to the band, for everything from practice times & places to choice of music & arrangements. As in most groups, change of personnel is inevitable and several members have moved on and some new members have come along. Regardless, the group as a whole, continue it's passionate love affair with the ukulele.

In February of 2011, the Ukellettes started a regular Friday evening gig at the East Village Coffeehouse (EVC), (from 7:00 to 9:00) which they have played more or less consistently, ever since. The EVC is currently moving to a new location, and is closed for renovations. Since the fall of 2012, the Ukellettes found another venue at which to play regular gigs at, and currently play the 1st Friday of each month (7pm-9pm) at the Life*Spin Living Room, with all proceeds going to Life*Spin.

Every time they perform, someone new gets to listen to their joyful music, and doors are being opened …… Libraries, private parties, county fairs and festivals are all showing high interest in bringing the Ukellettes combined talents to new venues.

Where the Ukellettes have played
(In no particular order):
Life*Spin Living Room (ongoing)
East Village Coffeehouse (ongoing)
Aeolian Hall (for Old East Live VI)
Ailsa Craig Town Hall (senior’s club)
ANAF #229 Legions BBQ
Artemisia (Celebration of Women) Festival in Ingersoll
BanjoMania 2010-2012
Banner MusicFest
Covent Garden Market
Delaware Legion for the Chili Cookoffs
Diversities variety shows
Hilton Hotel (Chocolate Sunday, Fundraiser for Life*Spin)
Home County Folk Festival
Knollwood Presbyterian Church, Christmas dinner [in support of 45th Scouts]
London Public Libraries Culture Days
London to the Max
Lorne Ave. Block Party
On Broadway (Broadway St. Wyoming) Car Show & Party
Parkwood Veterans Hospital (New Year Bash)
Retirement Residence: Horizon Place
Retirement Residence: Kensington
Retirement Residence: Richmond Woods
Retirement Residence: Royalcliffe
Retirement Residence: Windermere On The Mount
St. Lawrence Presbyterian Church, Pancake Supper [in support of 45th Scouts]
St. Pauls Cathedral (for Brio Music London)
Stoney Creek Library, Ukulele Jam
Wolf Performance Hall (for Maude Barlow event)
Private parties.

Contact info:
Add Comment (max length 255 characters)
Jotek Marcin J\\\
{ 06-22-2013 11:29 }
Oksy Moron
{ 04-17-2013 23:30 }
You guys must have a lot of fun. :) A great concept, great sound. Keep going gals.
Quiet Class
{ 11-11-2011 13:02 }
You ladies are just great. What makes it so wonderful is that you all look like your having a good time, I think thats what it's all about. 5 from Quiet Class.
{ 09-06-2011 09:54 }
Hi all, I enjoyed listening to your showcase. A worthy 5, keep up the good work. Best wishes. Lynn
Col. Joe Austin (M.I.A. Vietnam Hero)
{ 09-04-2011 18:52 }
Excellent Voices/Singing/Music & Playing! Welcome and Keep enjoying your Group/Friends, cos it's was fun for me too. Thank You all! Dee Jay Silverheels