This website exists because of the COVID pandemic.
I performed an online concert for my dear and very elderly Aunt and Uncle who were locked down in their apartment. It was early 2021. I hit the right notes, they recognized many of the songs, despite our musical interests being a generation apart. They appreciated the performance and regretted we could not do this in person – yet. The concert evolved to recording and posting online video for them every Monday morning. My uncle may be over 90 but he is very Internet savvy. The audience for these videos has expanded to family friends and additional relatives.
Also in early 2021, a close friend shared a video he had posted on York Region Virtual Open Mic, the alternative to live open mics by this community to deal with the pandemic. I began sharing my videos on this forum as well and am thankful to have made many new friends as a result. When lockdowns are lifted, I meet with them at our live Open Mic sessions at Turtle Jacks’ Vogel in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
From the early days to now, the videos have changed. I acquired improved recording equipment and began adjusting for bad room acoustics with recording studio software. My recording setup also changed. And it quite obvious when, during the pandemic, barber shops were locked down and when they were allowed to open.
Most of the videos are ukulele music. I started playing ukulele in June 2019, attending a ukulele jam night with a friend. The ukulele is a very social instrument – it fits in your lap and normal seating accommodates people holding the instrument just fine. Jam nights became a twice a month event until February 2020 when the pandemic stopped them cold. In April 2020, 4 friends and I (The Fab Five, we call ourselves) agreed to jam online, weekly. This experience became the source of songs feeding my videos in 2021. I still play six string acoustic on occasion and also 4 string tenor cigar box guitar, both of which appear in a few of the videos. And the Fab Five continues to meet, monthly now, allowing us time to take lessons in various venues, practice, and share what we are learning.
In addition to the open mic performances, the confidence I have gained through these experiences has led to a regular appearance at the Woodbridge Village Farmers Market. The Fab Five have also performed a few gigs at a neighbourhood bar in the Junction in Toronto, and weather permitting, we get together at local Woodbridge park gazebos and play open air, honouring the “keep your distance” rule.
Thank you for stopping by to watch.