Hal Brolund, "Manitoba Hal"
Manitoba Hal is a guitarist, songwriter and ukulele player. Using a combination of looping technology and effects he creates a performance that is one-of-a-kind. His combination of finger picking and strumming creates an instantly accessible sound that compliments his fresh and inventive originals and arrangements of traditional blues.
Manitoba Hal is a consummate blues man, having toured Canada extensively with a ukulele. Picturing him in his 100 year old cottage in Nova Scotia, one can’t help wonder how someone can sound like he grew up in the Deep South of the States and play raw, swamp, delta, Cajun and zydeco style blues. Hal developed the blues sound when he lived in Winnipeg Manitoba (where he also got his name). “Winnipeg, often referred to as the Chicago of the north, is situated in a delta between the Red and Assiniboine rivers. I was born at the blues and when I found that music inside me, I came alive and my soul started expressing itself in songs that flowed with that music. The blues is where my soul came into this world. Where it will end up I don’t know but I’m ready for the journey”.
About why he made the switch from guitar to the ukulele, Hal replies, “I noticed that sonically it occupied this space that was in pitch above my voice. This gave my vocals a lot more room in the song without colliding with the notes of the accompaniment as they did when I played guitar also I noticed that people seemed amazed at the sounds I was producing with the ukulele. The last thing that clinched my decision to switch to uke full time was that for all the years and concerts I’ve given as a guitarist, people usually didn’t tell me stories of their life when I play guitar. [However], people seemed compelled to communicate about their life when the uke is played. I like that.”
Peter Hodgson of Mixdown Magazine writes “Manitoba Hal has created something wholly unique and idiosyncratic out of several elements that already existed. He’s not the first guitarist to switch over to ukulele. Nor is he the first musician to use looping pedals. And he’s certainly not the first guy to play the blues, but the way he approaches the combination of those elements, and mixes it with his own musical sensibilities, is just perfect. A tireless live performer, ambassador for the uke, and all-round great musician.”
Stuart Fuchs is an internationally touring performing guitarist and ukulele artist who performs and teaches fun & innovative ukulele workshops at music festivals throughout North America, the Caribbean & Europe.
Stuart is passionate about sharing music as a practice for self-care & wellness and keeps a busy schedule as a teaching artist in the ukulele circuit, in school residencies and beyond. Stuart blends mindfulness and music at his annual “Ukulele Zen” retreat held at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY - his YouTube channel “Ukulele Zen” offers weekly ukulele lessons to over 30,000 subscribers.
Fuchs, an accomplished guitarist in many styles, has arranged and performed the gypsy jazz guitar music of Django Reinhardt for full symphonic orchestras and was featured on PRI’s "The World” with his award winning gypsy jazz band “Babik”. In 2014 Stuart was awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for his work bringing healing music to cancer patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY, where he was a professional artist in residence for eight years.
In 2017 he was awarded the Ewing Arts Award from the Keene Sentinel for his heart-centered performing & teaching style. Stuart has toured to three continents playing classical guitar with the internationally acclaimed new age Kirtan artist Snatam Kaur. Stuart's meditative guitar playing was featured on Snatam Kaur's Grammy Award nominated Best New Age Album "Beloved".
Sum of the Parts:
Jane Jelbart and Mark Jackson
We teach ukulele. More importantly, we help you connect to a community that values music in their lives. 'we' are Mark and Jane, and friends and co-workers.
Every week of the year (exceptmaybe Christmas) The Sum of the Parts (Music) helps around 200 people (adults and kids) to make music and learn, together. Why do we do this? Because people need music in their lives, they need it to be fun, and people need to connect in healthy social situations and spaces. We help make this happen.
Magnolia Buckskin members Corry Ulan, Emily Triggs, Natasha Sayer and Kathy Cook are excited about sharing their new CD titled "Die Laughing."
They have been winning the hearts of audiences for more than half a decade with their intriguing lyrics and captivating arrangements. A flavorful blend of grassroots, folk, and acoustic pop music highlights sweet harmonies, laced with banjo, accordion, clarinet, mandolin, bass and guitar. Songs from Magnolia Buckskin's last self-titled CD have placed within CBC's top 100 playlist.
"...alive and infectious with beautiful melodies and astonishing harmonies and songs that stay inside your heart and head long after they're over...." (Calgary Sun)
"These ladies are not only accomplished singers and songwriters but are fabulous musicians to boot ... a fine group of multi-talented females! They have beautiful singing voices...." (Calgary Country News)