May 25, 2017 – The Mariposa located at 5434 Cote St-Luc Road in Montréal, was the place to be last night. This small café has a really nice ambiance and the talent of the open mike performers was nothing short of amazing. Musical arrangements were tastefully done. I especially enjoyed the incredible jazz numbers. Several of our members came with friends and spouses just to observe and to be part of the audience. Freda was the first to perform. She sang Mancini’s “Moon River” and was accompanied by Eliezer, on the tenor ukulele. The audience really enjoyed Freda’s stylish rendition of the song. Mariposa technicians efficiently set up the microphones and amplifiers for each performance. The four time-slots used by ADUS members were distributed between guitar, voice, harmonica, and violin performances. The audience sang along with us during “Jamaica Farewell” our group song. Later on in the evening, Eliezer played and sang. “I’ve Got a Crush On You” and “Seduced”. His repartee was great and was well received. Claudio played Johnny Cash’s “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town” on his banjolele. He looked great in his ADUS ukulele hat. He then borrowed a guitar and played and sang an Argentinian tango in honour of the birthday of that country. It came as no surprise that Claudio is a great performer. The Mariposa doesn’t have a cover charge, per se, but they do require a 7$ minimum food purchase. Great food, great ambiance, and a wonderfully entertaining and enjoyable evening. What could be better?
December 25, 2016 – The Hawaiian themed children’s Chanukah party at the Spanish & Portuguese Synagogue, was a successful event due in part to the presence of the After Dinner Ukulele Society. The event was well attended by children, their parents, and friends. Each person entering the hall received an Hawaiian lei, Hawaiian pizza (pineapples on top) and as much Hawaiian punch as they could drink. There were lots of other foods too such as fruit, and of course, sufganiyot. Sufganiyot are round jelly doughnuts eaten in Israel and around the world on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The doughnuts are deep-fried, filled with jelly or custard, and then topped with powdered sugar. Yummy! There were many stations where people participated in various arts and craft activities. The After Dinner Ukulele Society provided some of the background music. After this, the concert began. Schachar Orenstein the Synagogue’s Rabbi, sang the appropriate blessings as he lit the Chanukah menorah. This was followed by several children singing two traditional Chanukah songs. Freda played the Lava Song on her soprano ukulele. Everyone loves her voice. We played many Chanukah songs during the course of the evening but our rendition of Peter Yarrow’s “Light One Candle” was especially well received. Peter, Paul & Mary would have been proud. Rabbi Orenstein played his guitar and sang along with us during this and other songs. He is quite an artist in his own right and is learning to play the ukulele, at least when his daughter allows him to use her uke. The evening was successful and everyone had a really great time.
September February 5, 2016 – Our first annual “Picnic in the Park” was a great success! The picnic was called for noon but several of our eager members arrived about an hour earlier. The event was held at Rembrandt Park in Côte Saint-Luc. The park itself is beautiful and is suitable for people of all ages. Watching people interacting with their children and grandchildren left me with a warm feeling of nostalgia. This park is a place where memories are made. We set up by the picnic tables next to the toddler’s splash pad and began playing after feasting on our picnic lunches. Kosher cotton candy and snow cones were provided at no charge to everyone in the park compliments of the After Dinner Ukulele Society. Even Ryan of the CSL Parks and Recreation Department, was seen waiting in line for some cotton candy. The songs we played were varied and plentiful. Helen and Issie knew and sang many of the songs found in our songbook. They will be joining our club the near future. Both had never played the uke before. Brenda, who also joined us for the first time today, played and sang beautifully. Everyone enjoyed plugging their ukuleles into our amplifier and singing solos using our microphone. Guy’s wife helped Guy and Claudio sing a song about chasing a mosquito away from a burrito in three languages no less. My wife who professes to dislike the ukulele, was spotted on a park bench clapping her hands, smiling and singing away a short distance from the performers. The weather was beautiful and everyone in the park had a wonderful time.
February 20, 2016 – The annual Gravy On The Side variety show was simply put, an amazing and fun filled evening. This was the “Leave your Hearts at the Door, After Valentine’s Aftermath Edition”. There was singing, comedy, musical stylings, magic, ventriloquism and of course, ukulele. The show was held on a Saturday evening at the Greenspon Auditorium in the Côte Saint-Luc City Hall. There was an admission fee of five dollars for non-performers. We arrived at the theater at about 7:15 PM for sound checks etc. The show was really fun to do and we enjoyed watching all the other acts from within the audience and from backstage. For the group songs “I’m a Believer” and “Blue Moon”, Claudio used his banjolele . We sounded great and the audience sang along with us. After the first song, I told Loraine that I couldn’t hear her singing. She replied that she was. The audience found this to be quite funny. Claudio played and sang “El Muerto Vivo” as a solo. He was a bit nervous because they forgot to plug his ukulele into the amplifier. No problem though. The stage microphones and the intimacy of the hall allowed him to be heard quite well. He did a wonderful job and he looked really great in his hat. I played “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” and dedicated the song to my wife who was in Boston at the time. This ballad allowed me to express how I missed her and set a somewhat nostalgic and romantic mood. It was well received. The audience enjoyed the fun we were having too. I also performed some magic in both the first and second part of the show. There was a lot of audience participation as well. If you were not there, then you missed something really special. Oh well, there’s always next year.
February 8, 2016 – Forward House is a non-profit organization designed to help special needs adults attain an autonomous lifestyle and relative independence within the community. Our concert there was for residents only. Performers arrived at 5:30 PM in order to get to know the audience and to set up. The benefit concert was informal in nature and was held in the home’s parlour. Audience members were between the ages of 21 and 70. The concert was really fun and was thoroughly enjoyed by both clients and staff alike. Several songs were requested and we were happy to add them to our set list and to have our audience sing along with us. We did experience a problem however. Local parking was for permit holders only and we had to walk about two blocks in the freezing cold while carrying our equipment. The concert was really good though, and we did enjoy performing.
July 20, 2015 – Our Concert at the Farmer’s Market in Côte Saint-Luc on Sunday the 12th was a great success. There was plenty of positive feedback from the people visiting the market. It was almost to hot to play though and I would have liked to gone swimming in the beautiful out-door pool at the CSL Aquatic Centre. (Check out the “Feedback” page under the Members heading above.) Speaking about the Aquatic Centre, we are changing our location and will be moving there for our next meeting. The facility is wonderful and we wish to express our gratitude to the city for their generosity and support. Check out the “Next Meeting” page for the address. This concert was great fun.