Usual hours: Wed to Sat from 6 pm. Some special events on Sundays and Tuesdays. Check event posts for details. To get in touch, email us

Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St. Hamilton. A friendly cafe-bar, live music and art venue in the heart of James North arts district. Great acoustic music, in the roots, folk, jazz, world beat and inventive mode. We have a baby grand piano, a sound system. Licensed under the AGCO for 60, cafe tables and bar stools, micro-brew on tap, espresso, light meals [all-ages venue]. Art installations on the lower level. Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator March 29, 2012 says "Artword Artbar is a cosy little licensed listening room on Colbourne at James St. N., that always features interesting live music."
Your hosts: Ronald Weihs & Judith Sandiford 905-543-8512, c:905-912-9083,

Artword Artbar Nominated for Readers’ Choice Awards

September 25th, 2014
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Hamilton Spectator's Readers' Awards Site

Hamilton Spectator’s Readers’ Awards Site

Artword Artbar has been nominated for two Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Awards: Live Jazz Club and Live Music Bar/Lounge. If you think we are deserving, then vote. You can only vote once in each category.

To vote, go on the special Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Awards voting site.

To help you figure out how to vote, we’ve created a one-page Quick Guide.

Music-Jazz, News

Stuart Laughton’s Radio Dial, new edition, Sat Nov 1

September 20th, 2014
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Stuart_Laughton_June212014_0246_680Saturday November 1, 2014, at 8 pm, $15. (Call 905-543-8512 to reserve). Stuart Laughton is back with a new edition of his Radio Dial, with Stuart Laughton on vocals, guitar, harmonica, trumpet, piano. Guest musicians for November 1 are: Rebecca Campbell (vocals), Jim Clayton (piano), Steve Lucas (bass) and Martin Worthy (drums/vocals), with lots of new tunes!
Why RADIO DIAL? Because on long car trips, Stuart scours the radio waves for interesting music, and wanted to bring a similarly eclectic presentation to the stage (think Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café, with the speaking and musical proportions reversed). Read more…

Event, Music

TBA: Wed, Thurs, Fri, Oct 29, 30, 31

September 19th, 2014
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Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Oct 29, 30, 31, 2-14. events TBA.

Event, News

Legendary rocker Bob Bryden revisits ‘Yorkville Days’, Sat Oct 25

September 8th, 2014
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BobBryden_2014-8-yorkvilledays_680Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm, $10. Revisiting ‘Yorkville Days’ with Bob Bryden (formerly of Christmas and Reign Ghost), with The Suicidal Folk-Singers. Ric Taylor wrote about Bryden’s launch of Yorkville Days last April at This Ain’t Hollywood: “His underground cult status alone makes him a Canadian music legend but Bob Bryden remains a current, topical, vibrant and important singer/songwriter today with a youthful idealism the world certainly could use.”

Event, Music

CONCERT: Richard Laviolette & Baby Eagle, Fri Oct 24

September 7th, 2014
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Friday, October 24 at 8 pm, cover $10 suggested. Special fundraising concert by singer-songwriters Richard Laviolette and Baby Eagle, both members of the You’ve Changed Records group of artists.
richardlavioletteRICHARD LAVIOLETTE: Richard Laviolette writes compassionate songs of romance, protest and political struggle. Songs full of life and mortality, sung in a clear brave voice. This show is also a fundraiser for Laviolette’s upcoming country record “A Day’s Worth of Dirt“. baby-eagleHe is excited to share some new material from that record. We encourage you to attend these shows and give extra funds if you are able.
BABY EAGLE: Steve Lambke writes songs as a staging ground for collaboration with other musicians. They are punk rock songs that don’t often sound like punk rock songs. A communion in an alienating world.
facebook event link:

Event, Music

TBA, Thurs Oct 23

September 6th, 2014
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Thursday October 23, at 8 pm. TBA

Event, Music

Richard Garvey, Marina Marina, Karyn Ellis, Wed Oct 22

September 5th, 2014
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KarynEllis-MTAH-600pxWednesday October 22, at 8 pm, tickets tba. A wonderful evening of three indie singer-songwriters on tour: Karyn Ellis, Marina Marina and Richard Garvey, with new songs and new albums.
Karyn Ellis is a singer-songwriter from Toronto. Last winter she released her fourth album “More Than A Hero”, written while she lived in BC north of Vancouver, in the foothills of the Cariboo mountains. She spent two years there nestled in a country house beside a river and two babbling creeks. Although she recently moved back to Toronto to reconnect with her musical roots, the influence of BC’s stunning mountainscape has had its impact on the new album. Karyn Ellis:
Marina_Marina_aMarina Marina, a singer/songwriter who plays fingerstyle acoustic guitar, is from Vancouver BC. A packed tour schedule over the last two years has seen her performing in venues across Canada, Europe, the UK and Australia. Marina’s ‘organic free range folk pop’ has been described as being “like golden mist caught in a strong wind twisting into patterns and sparkling in the gentle muted sun.” Her music is earthy and soothing and it all sounds so effortless, like her guitar is part of her body.Richard_Garvey_To_Create Marina Marina
Richard Garvey, a regular performer at Arword Artbar, is Kitchener’s hardest working folk/roots musician dedicated to building community through music. His down-to-earth and genuine voice echoes a generation of youth that longs for environmental justice and social change. Richard Garvey:

Event, Music

Tongue Fu and their video “James Street North”

September 1st, 2014
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Video published August 28, 2014: This video is fantastic. Thanks Lou! The wonderful Lou Molinaro of This Ain’t Hollywood tips the hat to a lot of folks in the ‘hood, including us at Artword Artbar. Unfortunately we were out of town for the video shoot, so we missed our big chance to be in a rock video. Love our beat-cop Gary!

Here’s their intro from YouTube:Tongue Fu are a Rock N Roll 6-pack from Hamilton Ontario Canada. The band consists of Gord Lewis, Rob Sweeney, Dave Elley, Gene Champagne, Greg Brisco & Lou Molinaro. James Street North is dedicated to a neighbourhood that we love in our fine city of Hamilton Ontario. Melissa Marchese was our muse as we followed her along. The video also includes some of the terrific Hamilton folks who are making our neighbourhood a cool vibrant place! Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to JAMES STREET NORTH!!” For the lyrics … Read more…

Film, Special event

Steel City Jazz Festival, at Artword Artbar, Oct 15 to 19

August 30th, 2014
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SteelCityJazzFest_poster2014_680Wednesday to Sunday, October 15 to 19, 2014, the Steel City Jazz Festival week one: five nights of concerts at Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St.
(week two Oct 22-26 is at The Pearl Company)

Wednesday October 15, at 8 pm, $15
Dixieland Jazz:
Hamilton Dixieland All-Stars: Frank Musico trumpet, Don Templeton trombone, Don Hall clarinet, Matt Kennedy piano, Jimmy Howard bass and Steve Wilson drums

Thursday October 16, at 8 pm, $10, students $5
Jazz Guitar Styles:
Chris Platt and Bob Shields guitar duo, jazz standards,
+ the Jason Jones Unit, Jason Jones and Scott Taplay guitar duo, Jill McKenna bass, gypsy and swing jazz

Sean_Dowhaniuk_enFriday October 17, at 8 pm, $10, students $5
New Jazz Compositions:
The Aaron Zukewich Trio, featuring Joel Banks on bass, Joel Haynes on drums and Aaron Zukewich on piano, playing new compositions.
+ The Sean Dowhaniuk Group: Sean Dowhaniuk guitar/compositions, Riley Keller alto saxophone, Mike Rajna drums, Josh Smiley piano, Ethan Tilbury bass

Saturday October 18, at 8 pm, $15
A Night of Latin Jazz:
featuring Rob Fekete (piano), Mike Filice (flute and tenor sax), Carlos Rodriguez (drums), Fhanor Molina (bass), and special guest Ashley St. Pierre on vocals.

Farrugia_Perlman_800Sunday October 19, at 7:30 pm, $15, students $10
Special Concert by jazz duo Adrean Farrugia piano and Sophia Perlman vocals

Event, Music-Jazz, Special event

Bluegrass with the Hill Brothers Band, Sat Oct 11

August 14th, 2014
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Hill_BrothersSaturday, October 11, 2014, at 8 pm, $15. The Hill Brothers Bluegrass Band in a reunion concert! First time on Artword Artbar’s stage, and a rare appearance by the amazing Rocky Hill. Featuring Randal Hill on mandolin and vocals, Rocky Hill on guitar and vocals, Tim MacDonald on banjo and Owen Mahoney on bass. Photo left shows the band in 2009!

Event, Music

Art Crawl “To the Bone” Dave Gould exhibit & performance Fri Oct 10

August 13th, 2014
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Dave_Gould_antlerposter1_cFriday October 10, 2014, James North Art Crawl, music and art and craft beer on tap. In the Gallery: special guest tonight is musician/sculptor/zany guy Dave Gould, with an installation mainly of his instruments made of bones. And in the bar, Dave will demonstrate and perform on the instruments. The show is called “TO THE BONE” – from Dave Gould’s Audiotorium Collection.
Dave explains: “I am inspired to re-purpose objects in unique ways whether it is with my electro-acoustic sculptures/instruments or visual art. It is my hope that people will be inspired to perceive their environments in new ways and find art in everyday life. I am also intrigued by the blurring of lines between what is visual and what is musical which prompts the question, “Is that a musical instrument or a sculpture?”
The installation will remain on view for the month of October.

Event, James North events, Music

Singalong with Sam and Jane, plus CD release, Thur Oct 9, 7:30

August 12th, 2014
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SamTurton_JaneLewis_6504panel_ThumbTubePocket_CDdigipakThursday October 9, 2014, at 7:30 pm, $10. Artbar favourites Jane Lewis and Sam Turton return with a special event — combining their popular Singalong with Jane’s CD release! The evening will feature a mix of original music from Jane’s new album Stay With Me, and your favourite classic tunes to sing with. Special guest Eve Goldberg will share the stage, making this a night you don’t want to miss!

Event, Music

JAZZ: pianist John Imre hosts vocal jazz jam, Wed Oct 8

August 11th, 2014
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Wednesday October 8 at 8 pm, $5/pwyc. A Mohawk Music vocal jazz jam, hosted by John Imre on piano.

Event, Music-Jazz

CANCELLED: Sherman & Lee, Sat Oct 4 at 9:00 pm

August 10th, 2014
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Saturday October 4, 2014, at 9:00 pm. Sherman & Lee — David Sherman and Nancy Lee concert cancelled.

Event, Music

Intimate evening of song with Shari Vandermolen, Fri Oct 3 at 9:00 pm

August 9th, 2014
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Shari Vandermolen_0112_enrcFriday October 3, 2014, at 9:00 pm (after the play See Bob Run), $15 regular, $10 for students/seniors/artists (call 905-543-8512 to reserve). Back again for an intimate evening of song: vocalist Shari Vandermolen, accompanied by Steve McCrae on piano and a bass player.
Shari sings with her own 6-piece jazz band Quarter To Nine and has been invited to collaborate on a number of other larger jazz and swing projects over the past couple years. It was the intimate vibe of our very own Artbar that inspired her to bring you an intimate evening of song accompanied by Steve McRae, an accomplished jazz pianist and member of Quarter To Nine, who has played with Shari for the past 5 years. They will leave the sound of the big band behind and bring you some of their favourite jazz, torch and blues standards. Come and get your jazz on!

Fans of musical theatre have been treated to Shari’s unique vocal stylings for the past 9 years. “She takes a song and gives it emotional depth and edge. She not only sings it magnificently she acts the heart and soul out of it.” Gary Smith, The Hamilton Spectator.

Event, Music, Music-Jazz

Jazz: special concert by Brenda Earle Stokes, Thurs Oct 2 at 9:00 pm

August 8th, 2014
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4PAN1TThursday October 2, 2014, at 9:00 pm, $15, students $10. Pianist, vocalist, composer and educator Brenda Earle Stokes performs a special concert with Pat Collins on bass, at Artword Artbar (following the play See Bob Run).
Jazz pianist and singer Brenda Earle Stokes has fused a passion for the piano and a love of singing into a vibrant career that spans genres easily. With her new album, Right About Now, she’s found a balance between her two instruments and very personal place from which to tell stories. Right About Now features six of Brenda’s original compositions. Brenda’s expressive vocals are framed by virtuostic piano chops and explore a range of genre-bending grooves rooted in modern jazz.
A native of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Brenda’s career has taken her across Canada and US, and internationally performing at venues like the Kennedy Center, Read more…

Event, Music-Jazz

Theatre: “See Bob Run”, starring Laura Ellis, Sept 30 to Oct 5

August 7th, 2014
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Laura_Ellis_30_c680THEATRE: Six performances (Sept 30 to Oct 5, 2014) of See Bob Run:
Preview Tues Sept 30, at 7:00 pm,  $5
Wed Oct 1 to Sat Oct 4 at 7:00 pm, $10, Sun Oct 5 matinee at 4:00 pm $10.
Performer Laura Ellis and director Tyler Brent (Hamilton’s As You Were Productions) present Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor‘s breakthrough play See Bob Run, written in 1986 for a solo actress.
Bob is on the road. Bob is on the run. But from what, or whom, is she running? Follow Bob as she hops from car to car telling her story to unsuspecting drivers as she tries to put her life in the rear-view mirror. Will she make it to her destination, and what will she find when she gets there? …”the ironic name stands in sharp contrast to this perceptive and thoroughly engrossing one-woman show.” Toronto Star
Running time is 60 minutes. On Thurs, Fri and Sat, concerts at 9 pm (with separate admission) follow the play.

Event, Theatre

Concert: Michael Vallely, Randal Hill, Matt Coleman, Sat Sept 27

August 6th, 2014
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Vallely_Hill_ColemanSaturday September 27, 2014, at 8 pm, $15. Back again for another wonderful evening: Michael Vallely, Matt Coleman and Randal Hill. Singer-songwriter Michael Vallely presents an array of heartfelt original songs and a few interesting covers. Violinist Matt Coleman brings a deft touch to each piece, injecting soulful phrasing or blazing fiddle when required. Multi-instrumentalist Randal Hill rounds out the group, playing his unique banjo stylings and providing harmony vocals.

Event, Music

Concert: Mike Almas and Guilty Pleasure band, Fri Sept 26

August 5th, 2014
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Mike_Almas_Guilty_Pleasure_900Friday September 26, 2014, at 8 pm, $10. The great bluesman Mike Almas with a special new band Guilty Pleasure. The band members: Steve Hilbert (bass), Joanne Augustyn ( vocals, percussion), Jack Pedler (drums, vocals), Mike Almas (guitar, vocals). Collectively from bands such as Groove Corporation, Teenage Head, Rhythm Works, and The Mike Almas Band, together they bring influences and experience to this original band, primarily drawing on 70s rock , with the focus on musicianship and fun. Selected cuts from the discography of cousins Jack Pedler and Mike Almas will also be featured, giving the listener an earful to go home with.

Event, Music, Music-Blues

The Muted Note: Songs Based on Poems by P.K. Page, Susanna Hood & Scott Thomson, Thurs Sept 25

August 4th, 2014
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MutedNote_SusannaHood_c680Thursday September 25 at 8 pm, $10. The Muted Note: Songs Based on Poems by P.K. Page, created and performed by Susanna Hood (voice & dance) and Scott Thomson (trombone). Artword Artbar is one stop on Susanna and Scott’s tour performing The Muted Note as a duo in small venues across Canada.
The Muted Note is a suite of songs composed by Scott Thomson, settings of poems by P.K. Page, for Susanna Hood’s singing voice. As a duo, Susanna, in addition to singing the lyrics, improvises on the songs both vocally and in dance, a synthesis for which she is singularly acclaimed in Canada. Scott, on trombone, both underpins Susanna and solos on the songs in a wide-ranging style that reflects his broad experience as an improviser. Throughout, P.K. Page’s stellar poems are at the core of the work and, in both dance and music, Scott and Susanna seek to animate and activate the verse as they play. Their extensive Canadian tour this autumn will help to promote their new duo disc on &records.
Susanna Hood is a compelling and virtuosic performer in dance and music. Read more…

Dance, Event, Literary, Spoken Word, Music

Green Drinks & Conserver Society get-together, Tues Sept 23 from 5:30 pm

August 2nd, 2014
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014, from 5:30 pm. This month’s Green Drinks is hosted by The Conserver Society, at Artword Artbar. Tonight’s mini-presentation is on personal Stormwater Management. A relaxed get-together for anyone interested in environmental issues and socializing with like-minded people.

Event, Special event

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