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,

THEATRE: Scroogissimo! our festive comedy, is back Nov 25 to Dec 7

October 21st, 2014
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Scroogissimo_2014_posterB_680Scroogissimo! Artword’s festive comedy returns November 25 to December 7, 2014. Hamilton’s North End meets Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
An Artword Theatre Production, script by Ryan Sero and Charly Chiarelli, direction & dramaturgy by Ronald Weihs
with the Artword Theatre Ensemble: Charly Chiarelli, Pamela Gardner, Paula Grove, Valeri Kay, Gordon Odegaard, Jeremy Shand.
This year the live music will be performed by Tim Ninehouse on keyboard (of the Beg To Differ Trio).
“Scroogissimo!” runs Nov 25 -Dec 7, 2014
Tues-Sat at 8 pm, matinées Sundays at 3 pm
Reg $25, Adv $20, child $12
Tuesday November 25 (preview), all tickets $10 at the door
Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St, is an intimate licensed cafe-bar with limited seating. Reservations are required (call 905-543-8512)

(Cast photo by Adam Carter.)

“Artword Theatre is cramming a whack of seasonal fun into their tiny package of a space. Mixing local Sicilian–Canadian storyteller Charly Chiarelli and “Charly” Dickens makes a Christmas–cracker exploding with musical and comedic goodies that will make an addition to your festive season you will never forget….” Robin Pittis, View Magazine (December 12-18, 2013):

“Great fun.” … Review by Tony Kilgannon in Ontario Arts Review, December 8, 2013:
“Charly Chiarelli and Ryan Sero have teamed up to devise Scroogissimo a send-up of the story in a uniquely Hamilton way, at Artword Artbar. … Read more…

Event, Theatre

Noche Bohemia, a special night of Latin music, Sat Nov 22

October 20th, 2014
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Saturday November 22, 8 pm, $10. Come to our special Noche Bohemia, a night in a Latin Cafe, organized and performed by vocalist Lil Acevedo and drummer David Carillo. The evening includes romantic Cuban boleros (lyrical love songs) and some high-spirited Afro-Cuban rumba music. There will be food in the Salvadorean tradition available for purchase.
What is a Noche Bohemia? I found this explanation on the web in Spanish: “Bohemia is socializing with friends in an atmosphere of camaraderie, where music, songs, poems, anecdotes and especially spontaneity, are the main element. To be Bohemian, all you need is to be in love, excited, passionate…”

Event, Music, Special event

Concert: Guitarist/singer Kyle Pacey and friends, Fri Nov 21

October 17th, 2014
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kyle_paceyFriday November 21, 8 pm, $10, call 905-543-8512 to reserve.  Back again! Grammy-nominated guitarist and singer Kyle Pacey presents an evening of original music that’s an eclectic mix of soul, roots, R & B and funk. Kyle draws on his varied musical influences and is inspired by the optimism and culture of the 1960s and 70s along with current events, personal upheavals, metaphysics… and more. A musical force, Kyle Pacey has been described as Canada’s answer to the Buena Vista Social Club. Pacey’s combination of rhythm and technique are exhilarating. He likes to push the boundaries with his unorthodox style and unique approach to the guitar.
Joe Curtis, To-nite Magazine writes: “I was totally mesmerized by guitarist Kyle Pacey’s playing technique… Kyle is the fastest, most superb guitar virtuoso I’ve ever seen. I always daydreamed that if Superboy played guitar, his hand on the neck would be a blur. This feat of musical ability was achieved by Kyle… and no foolin’ his left hand on the neck became a blur.”

Event, Music

Big Dance, Little Stage, Learie McNicolls, Thur Nov 20

October 16th, 2014
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Learie4c_680Thursday November 20, 2014, at 8 pm, $10. Choreographer and dancer Learie McNicolls (photo left) curates and hosts the next edition of “Big Dance, Little Stage”, an evening of contemporary dance works for a small stage. Line-up TBA.
Learie, who has had a lengthy career in Toronto, is now based in Hamilton, where he has opened a dance studio. Most recently he performed his one-man show Resurrection at The Pearl Company, in May and August. He was choreographer on Artword Theatre’s production of their musical play “James Street” in May 2014.


Dance, Event

Koopa Troop, jazz arrangements of video game music, Wed Nov 19

October 12th, 2014
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Wednesday November 19, 2014, at 8 pm. Jazz bassist Tom Altobelli has a new project, Koopa Troop, a new group who play their own jazz arrangements of classic video game music. Songs from Mario, Tetris, Pokemon, Metroid, and Banjo Kazooie. The band members, all Humber alumni, are: Chelsea McBride flute/tenor sax, Wilson McLeish guitar, Chris Bruder keys, Tom Altobelli bass, Tyler Goertzen drums.
The Matthew Pullicino Tercet will open the evening.

Event, Music

Concert: Euphonic reunion concert + The Plain Steel, Sat Nov 15

October 9th, 2014
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EuphonicSaturday November 15, 8 pm, cover tba. An acoustic / folk show with The Plain Steel (folk set), and the return of Euphonic. Euphonic is an eclectic trio of instrumentalists, Bob Wegner guitar, Vince Waters drums, Geoff Ball cello, perform original songs influenced by classical, spanish, folk, ragtime, and jazz.
The Plain Steel is a “Folk and Roll” band featuring Ross Lizotte guitar and vocal; Geoff Ball cello; Kyle Rayner guitar; Tim Friesen bass; Jason Sanislo drums.

Event, Music

Art Crawl Fri Nov 14: Jazz and Jewellery – Gallery: Janice Peshke, bar: Jonas Pearson Paavola group.

October 9th, 2014
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Janice_Peshke_cFriday November 14, 2014, James North Art Crawl, music in the bar from 8 pm., tip jar. Jazz with bassist Jonas Pearson Paavola and his group.
In the installation gallery, on exhibit and for sale, jewellery by Janice Peshke and Debbie Long. The artists will be present between about 7:30 to 10 pm

Event, James North events, Music-Jazz

Scott McIntosh and band, Thurs Nov 13

October 8th, 2014
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ScottMcIntosh_cThursday November 13, 2014, at 8 pm. Jazz guitarist Scott McIntosh takes over the bar. Details coming.

Event, Music-Jazz

Wordcrafters Meetup, Wed Nov 12 at 7:30 pm

October 7th, 2014
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Wednesday November 12, 2014, at 7:30-9:30 pm. Free admission. Wordcrafters Meetup. The event will be an opportunity for writers, editors and other publishing and communications professionals to meet, network, explore collaborations, socialize, and participate in what promises to be a lively panel discussion about electronic self-publishing. Special guest Mark Leslie, a Hamilton author and director of self-publishing and author relations for Kobo, will take part in the panel discussion. Co-hosted by the Hamilton-Halton Twig (HH Twig) of the Editors’ Association of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, Crime Writers of Canada, Professional Writers Association of Canada, and The Writers and Editors Network.

Event, Literary, Spoken Word

New Cumberland Bluegrass Band, Sat Nov 8

October 6th, 2014
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Saturday November 8, 2014, at 8 pm, $15. Back again (their shows sell out, so reserve early!) New Cumberland, a bluegrass band from London Ontario: Tom Burns – vocals and guitar,  Blair Heddle – vocals, mandolin and dobro, Paul Hurdle – vocals and banjo, Tom Rutledge – string bass. [To reserve, call Artword Artbar 905-543-8512, or BUY TICKETS ON-LINE].
Featuring inventive solo work, driving rhythms and three part vocal harmonies, New Cumberland’s musical integrity and joy in playing together resonates in every performance.   Proficient in the straight ahead driving bluegrass of… Read more…

Event, Music

Party: Artword Artbar’s 5-year anniversary, host Dave Pomfret, Friday Nov 7

October 3rd, 2014
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Dave_Pomfret_2014Klyde_Broox_adjFriday November 7, 2014, at 8 pm, no cover. We’re celebrating Artword Artbar’s 5-year anniversary with a party and some special friends. We’ve invited our favourite singer-songwriter Dave Pomfret to host the evening. Dave got us started back in Fall 2009 with a regular singer-songwriter evenings. Special guest is another friend who jumped on board with us in 2009: dub poet Klyde Broox who ran regular PoeMagic spoken word sessions once a month for 4 years. More details coming. There is a rumour that Ron the Fiddler might be making pizza!

Event, Literary, Spoken Word, Music, Special event

Singalong with Sam Turton & Jane Lewis, Thurs Nov 6, at 7:30 pm

October 2nd, 2014
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SamTurton_JaneLewis_650Thursday November 6, 2014, 7:30-9:30 pm, pwyc ($10 suggested)
SINGALONG with Sam Turton and Jane Lewis, singer-songwriters from Guelph. Come out and SING! They’ve got songbooks full of classic favourites — YOU request the songs, and we all sing them together. Led by Jane Lewis and Sam Turton.
Tell your friends because — the more, the merrier. Hundreds of songs – songbooks provided: Over 100 great artists, including The Band, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Elvis, Bob Marley, Read more…

Event, Music

Event TBA, Wed Nov 5

October 1st, 2014
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Wednesday November 5, 2014, at 8 pm. Event TBA. Details coming.

Event, Music

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

September 21st, 2014
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Stuart_Laughton_June212014_0246_680Saturday November 1, 2014, at 8 pm, $15. 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! [To reserve, call Artword Artbar 905-543-8512, or BUY TICKETS ON-LINE].
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

Zula presents Epps/Charuest & Barwin/Lee, Fri Oct 31

September 20th, 2014
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ellwoodepps_yvescharuest_c680Friday, October 31, 2014, at 8:30 pm, $10-$15. Something special coming our way, organized by Cem Zafir (part of his Something Else 2014-2015 Creative Music Series): 2×2 –>Epps/Charuest & Barwin/Lee
Montreal improvisers, perpetual explorers and searchers of the sound, trumpeter Ellwood Epps and saxophonist Yves Charuest are joined by two of Hamilton’s literary and musical greats, writer/poet/saxophonist Gary Barwin and writer/double-bassist David Lee for an evening of scary good music and text. Call 905-543-8512 for reservations.

Event, Music

Beg To Differ Trio, Thurs Oct 30

September 19th, 2014
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Thursday October 30, 2014 at 8 pm, pwyc. Tim Ninehouse_ccAn Artword favourite, the lively high-energy Beg To Differ Trio playing blues / jazz / funk — Tim Ninehouse on keyboards, vocals; Doug Sikma on guitar; Steve Foster on drums. Unique renditions of blues, jazz and funk songs, drawing from a large musical repertoire from early blues roots to jazzified contemporary songs.

Event, Music

Film screening: “Cowspiracy” plus discussion, Wed, Oct 29 at 7 pm

September 19th, 2014
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CowspiracyWednesday, October 29,  2014, at 7:00 pm. Green Cottage Industries presents a screening of the film Cowspiracy followed by a discussion facilitated by Michael Nabert and Peter Ormond. Cowspiracy describes some of the world’s challenges and how they relate to animal agriculture. Yet our meat-eating habits are rarely mentioned as an obstacle to a more sustainable planet. The film Cowspiracy turns this silence on it’s head. Veganism and healthy dietary choices are a major part of the solution to a greener planet. Screening at 7:00 pm, discussion following the film 8:30 pm.

Event, Film, Special event

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

September 18th, 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. Psychedelic lighting by Dan Zen. 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 17th, 2014
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Richard_Lavioletteposter_680  richardlavioletteFriday, 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.
RICHARD 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

Jazz with Matthew Pullicino Tercet, Thurs Oct 23

September 16th, 2014
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MatthewPullicino_cThursday October 23, at 8 pm, $5/pwyc. Jazz with The Matthew Pullicino Tercet, a trio of past and present Mohawk Jazz/Contemporary music students from the Hamilton area. The Tercet likes taking standards and adding a modern twist. Matthew Pullicino is an up and coming second year drummer with a solid drive to learn and play in the Hamilton music scene. Studying under the wings of Kevin Dempsey, and Ted Warren, he has developed a bright, dynamic sound. Emmott McFadden is currently studying with guitar gurus Bob Shields, and Mark Ucci. Inspired by Canadian Jazz guitar icons Lenny Breau, Sonny Greenwich, and Ed Bickert, playing single note lines whilst accompanying himself with harmony. Jonas Pearson-Paavola on bass is a Mohawk music alumni emerging in the Hamilton music scene. Playing in a variety of styles such as Fusion, Rock, Hip-Hop and more, Jonas studied under Will Jarvis, Kevin Dempsey, and Pat Collins to name a few.

Event, Music

Richard Garvey, Marina Marina, Karyn Ellis, Wed Oct 22 at 7:30 pm

September 12th, 2014
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KarynEllis_MarinaMarina_800Wednesday October 22, at 7:30 pm, $10. A wonderful evening of three indie singer-songwriters on tour: Karyn Ellis, Marina Marina and Richard Garvey, with new songs and new albums.
KarynEllis-MTAH-600pxKaryn 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 11th, 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

Artword Artbar Nominated for Readers’ Choice Awards

September 10th, 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

Steel City Jazz Festival, full schedule, all venues, Oct 15 to 26

September 9th, 2014
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SteelCityJazzFest_poster2014_680PRESS RELEASE: The 2014 Steel City Jazz Festival is almost here! The Steel City Jazz Festival is a Hamilton-based music festival celebrating the city’s talented and diverse jazz community. Now in its second year, the festival kicks off on October 15 and runs until October 26 at two of Hamilton’s premiere jazz venues, Artword Artbar (15 Colbourne Street) and The Pearl Company (16 Steven Street).
Performers: Sophia Perlman and Adrean Farrugia, the Brad Cheeseman Group, Quarter to Nine, the Hamilton Dixieland All-Stars, The Carlos Rodriguez Latin Jazz Group, the Jazz Connection Big Band, the Aaron Zukewich Trio, Spanjazz, Chris Platt and Bob Shields, the Blank Quintet, Colin Fisher and Mike Gennaro, the Sean Dowhaniuk Group, the Jason Jones Unit, the Messore-Palka Quintet and Eschaton.

Week One events:
Wednesday October 15, at 8 pm, $15. The Steel City Jazz Festival at Artword Artbar.
The Hamilton Dixieland All-Stars kick off the 2014 Steel City Jazz Festival with traditional New Orleans jazz: 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. The Steel City Jazz Festival at Artword Artbar.
Jazz Guitar Styles: Chris Platt and Bob Shields guitar duo, playing jazz standards, plus the Jason Jones Unit, Jason Jones guitar and Scott Taplay guitar, with Jill McKenna bass, playing gypsy and swing jazz

Friday October 17, at 8 pm, $10, students $5. The Steel City Jazz Festival at Artword Artbar.
New Jazz Compositions: The Aaron Zukewich Trio, featuring Joel Banks bass, Joel Haynes drums and Aaron Zukewich piano/compositions, plus 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. The Steel City Jazz Festival at Artword Artbar.
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.

Sunday October 19, at 7:30 pm, $15, students $10, The Steel City Jazz Festival at Artword Artbar.
Special concert by jazz duo Adrean Farrugia piano and Sophia Perlman vocals, with an adventurous and playful approach to jazz standards, and an uncanny ability to read each other’s musical minds.

Week Two events: … Read more…

Event, Music-Jazz, Special event

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