Usual Hours: Wed to Sat from 6 pm. Check event posts for details and special events and occasional closings. To get in touch, email us

Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St. Hamilton. A friendly cafe-bar, live music and theatre venue in the heart of James North arts district. Great acoustic music four nights a week: roots, folk, jazz, singer-songwriter, world beat. Also theatre and dance works. Capacity 60, licensed by AGCO, all-ages, cafe tables and bar stools, espresso, micro-brew on tap, light meals. Tech info: in-house tuned baby grand piano and a full sound system.  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,

“James Street” returns May 20 to 30, at The Player’s Guild

March 28th, 2015
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James_Street_ArtwordTheatre_2015_posterWednesday May 20 to Saturday May 30, 2015. We are delighted to announce that our hit musical, “James Street”, is coming back! The Player’s Guild of Hamilton has invited Artword Theatre to remount their “mad musical dash through the history of Hamilton” at the Guild’s lovely historic theatre at 80 Queen Street South. Same show, same songs, same cast, bigger theatre!
Showtimes: Wed May 20 to Sat May 23 at 8 pm
Sun May 24 matinee at 2 pm
Wed May 27 to Sat May 30 at 8 pm.
Tickets: $25 (Fri & Sat), $20 (Wed, Thur, Sun), $10 preview May 20 only.

Hamilton`s official Town Crier from 1850 meets a modern Hamiltonian from the North End, right on James Street!

Performed by The Artword Theatre Ensemble: Charly Chiarelli as modern day Hamiltonian, Jeremy Shand as Town Crier Paola Brown, plus
JamesStreet2014_0017_c800Paula Grove, Valeri Kay, Gordon Odegaard and Ryan Sero as everyone else [Surveyor and Helper, Land Promoters, Pioneer Woman and Man, Dentist, George Hamilton, James Durand, Nathaniel Hughson, Immigrant Woman, Robert Murray Police Chief, Newsboy, Farmer, Editor, Auctioneer, Mr. Cummings, Woman, Wanzer, Mr. Ryan, Workers, Hugh Cossart Baker, Mrs. Baker and family, Billy Carroll, HSR Conductor 1906, Trolley Girl, WWI Recruiters, Marion Simpson, Soldier, Rocco Perri, Bessie Starkman, WWII soldiers from RHLI, Evelyn Dick, citizens in 40s and 50s and 60s…]

An Artword Theatre production, written and directed by Ronald Weihs, with original music by Mark McNeil and choreography by Learie McNicolls. Produced and designed by Judith Sandiford. Music performed by Mark McNeil, Ron Weihs & the Ensemble.

Event, Special event, Theatre

Marcelo Puente, Latin Music Night, Noche Bohemia, Sat May 2

March 23rd, 2015
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Saturday May 2, 2015, at 8 pm, cover tba. Noche Bohemia, an evening of Latin music featuring Chilean musician and activist Marcelo Puente with guest musicians. Join us for acoustic Latin music, Latin folk, Cuban boleros and South American New Song (Nueva Cancion). More details coming.
From Wally Brooker’s Music Notes Newsletter: “Marcelo Puente [is] one of the outstanding exponents of the “nueva cancion” tradition in this (or any) country. Marcelo Puente came to Toronto in the aftermath of the coup in Chile in 1973, bringing his songs and poetry. In the late seventies he co?founded the popular Chilean?Greek band Los Compañeros, a group of anti?fascist exiles who discovered a common musical language, and who have, after a period of inactivity, returned to the bandstand.” For more info: http://companeros?group?

Event, Music

Darryl Webster, Paul Federici, Emilio Bonito, Fri May 1

March 22nd, 2015
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Friday May 1, 2015, at 8 pm, $10 or pwyc. Maisonneuve Music, a new record label in Hamilton presents some of its artists. Featured is OLD KID (aka Darryl Webster) with a new EP release, plus sets by singer-songwriters Paul Federici, and Emilio Bonito.

Event, Music

Big Dance, Little Stage, Learie Mc Nicolls, Wed-Thurs Apr 29-30

March 20th, 2015
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Wednesday & Thursday April 29 & 30, 2015, at 8 pm, $10. Choreographer and dancer Learie McNicolls curates and hosts the next edition of his on-going series “Big Dance, Little Stage”, an evening of contemporary dance works for a small stage. Line-up for April 29-30 (more TBA):
Megan English dance/improv choreography and Dale Morningstar live music,
Learie Mc Nicolls dance, choreography and text,
Angela Del Franco dancer (choreography Learie Mc Nicolls)
Live visuals by Judith Sandiford
Learie, who has had a lengthy career in Toronto, is now based in Hamilton. In 2014, he performed his one-man show Resurrection at The Pearl Company. He was choreographer on Artword Theatre’s production of their musical play “James Street” in May 2014. Most recently his new work, “Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing”, an Artword Theatre Production, written, choreographed and performed by Learie McNicolls, directed by Ronald Weihs, performed at Artword March 25-26, 2015.

Dance, Event

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, Sat April 25, 2015

March 14th, 2015
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Diana_Braithwaite_c680Saturday, April 25 2015, at 8 pm, $20 (call to reserve 905-543-8512). diana_braithwaite_chris_whiteley-06-400A special concert with Diana Braithwaite, vocalist (left), Chris Whiteley, guitarist, with an intimate evening of soulful music: roots and blues, early jazz and gospel. (This concert was postponed from Jan 31, 2015.)
Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley, eight-time national blues award winners, have recorded five albums together with Electro-Fi Records and have toured all over North America, UK and Europe winning numerous awards for their songwriting and albums together. “It’s a rare and good thing when two talented performers join forces”. Downbeat Magazine.    Read more…

Event, Music, Music-Blues

Kyle Pacey, guitar extraordinaire, Fri Apr 24

March 13th, 2015
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kyle_paceyFriday April 24, 2015, at 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. Guests TBA. 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. 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.
Read more…

Event, Music, Music-Blues

Zula Presents Craig Petersen Quartet, Thurs Apr 23

March 12th, 2015
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Craig-PedersenThursday April 23, at 8:30 pm, cover $12/$10. The Craig Pedersen Quartet, a fiery, inspired avant-jazz quartet made up of younger mavericks and led by Craig Pedersen trumpet, with Linsey Wellman saxophones, Joel Kerr bass and Eric Thibodeau drums. They’re on tour with their new CD Ghosts.
Part of the Something Else! Creative Music Series hosted by  Zula Presents and Cem Zafir.

Event, Music-Jazz

Klyde Broox hosts a special on Chinese poet Xu Lizhi, Wed April 22

March 9th, 2015
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Xu-Lizhi-Foxconn-suicideWednesday, April 22, 2015, 8:00 pm. Host Klyde Broox returns to Artword Artbar with a Poetry Month special edition of PoeMagic. Klyde Broox  hosts I SPEAK BLOOD, an open community poetry reading in memory of Xu Lizhi, the late Chinese poet, and worker at FoxConn, an electronics factory in Shenzhen.

“I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron”
I swallowed a moon made of iron
They refer to it as a nail
I swallowed this industrial sewage, these unemployment documents
Youth stooped at machines die before their time
I swallowed the hustle and the destitution
Swallowed pedestrian bridges, life covered in rust
I can’t swallow any more
All that I’ve swallowed is now gushing out of my throat
Unfurling on the land of my ancestors
Into a disgraceful poem.
— 19 December 2013

Event, Literary, Spoken Word

Poetry Month special, host James Deahl, Sun Apr 19 at 2:30

March 8th, 2015
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Sunday April 19, 2015 , from, 2:30-5:30 pm. A Poetry Month Special hosted by poet James Deahl. “Established in Canada in April 1998 by the League of Canadian Poets (LCP), National Poetry Month (NPM) brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets from across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture.”
The readers at Artword Artbar (they didn’t mention “bars” in the above quote or whether beer qualifies for the “food” theme) are:
James Deahl, Sarnia                G.W. Down, Hamilton     David Haskins, Grimsby
Laurence Hutchman, Oakville     John B. Lee, Port Dover             Norma West Linder, Sarnia
Bernadette Rule, Hamilton       Lynn Tait, Sarnia       Anna Yin, Toronto

Event, Literary, Spoken Word

Jazz with the Tom Altobelli Group, Sat April 18

March 7th, 2015
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Saturday April 18, 2015, at 8 pm, $10. Jazz with the Tom Altobelli Group with a set of original compositions by bassist Tom Altobelli, arranged for his quintet: Andrew King sax, Chris Bruder piano, Scott McIntosh guitar, Jordan Snider drums, and Tom on bass.

Event, Music-Jazz

Jazz with the Kite Trio from Montreal, Fri April 17

March 5th, 2015
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Kite_Trio3_c800Friday April 17, 2015, 8 pm, $10. Kite Trio, an innovative jazz trio from Montreal, are coming back to Artword Artbar — guitarist Eric Couture, drummer Eric Dew, and upright bassist Paul Van Dyk.
Review of Strange Beast by Kite Trio: “Maîtres de leurs instruments et repoussant leurs limites, ils nous offrent un jazz métissé aux couleurs progressives avec une touche post-moderne, parsemé de classique et de rock.  Masters of their instruments and pushing their limits, they offer a jazz mixed with progressive colours and a post-modern touch, dotted with classical and rock.” Read more…

Event, Music-Jazz

Singer-songwriter Mark McNeil, new CD Flashbacks, Sat Apr 11

March 3rd, 2015
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Mark_McNeil_Flashbacks_coverSaturday April 11, 2015, at 8 pm, $10. Mark McNeil is an acclaimed singer-songwriter and award-winning Hamilton Spectator journalist with a new CD called Flashbacks that celebrates the character and characters of Hamilton. Join him on a musical romp of heroes and hoodlums; victors and vamps; time-travelling soldiers, trolley-car lovers, mad scientists and a homicidal monkey named Jacko. The show will feature Mark on vocals, guitar and ukulele, with bass player Mike Hickey, drummer Paul Panchezak and multi-instrumentalist Mark Volkov along with some surprise guest appearances. For more information about Mark, his new CD, and his four other recordings, check out:
Many of the songs on the CD were created for and/or formed part of Artword Theatre’s hit musical play “James Street” (to be remounted in May 2015 at The Players Guild Theatre).

Event, Music

Art Crawl: Psychedelic jazz with Doug Murphy’s quartet, Fri Apr 10

March 2nd, 2015
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Doug Murphy_ItIsWhatItIs_5014c_900Friday April 10, 2015. James North Art Crawl. Music in the bar from 8 pm, tip jar. A return appearance of “It Is What It Is” — fusion psychedelic jazz featuring the far-out fabulous Doug Murphy guitar, with Tim Kulakowsky guitar, Brian Ropcean drums, Alanna Gunn bass.

Event, James North events, Music, Music-Blues, Music-Jazz

no events from April 1 to 9, 2015

March 1st, 2015
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April 1 to 9, no events at Artword Artbar. Back for Art Crawl, Friday April 10, 2015

Event, News

Hat & Beard (Aldcroft & Clark) + West & Cartwright, Sat March 28

February 16th, 2015
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HatandBeard_SomethingElse_680Saturday, March 28, 8:30 pm, $12 /$10. Hat & Beard plus West & Cartwright, part of the Something Else! Creative Music Series hosted by Zula Presents and Cem Zafir.
Hat & Beard: An unusual, charming homage to Thelonious Monk (via Eric Dolphy) by Ken Aldcroft (guitar) and Dave Clark (drums),
West & Cartwright: a dynamic, improvising duo comprised of Hamilton’s Brodie West (alto saxophone) and Evan Cartwright (drums) from Toronto.

Event, Music-Jazz

Ophelia Syndrome, with new CD, Fri Mar 27

February 15th, 2015
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Ophelia_Syndrome_Wall_c900Friday March 27, 2015, at 8 pm, $10. (To buy tickets in advance, contact Local alternative rock band Ophelia Syndrome is back at Artword Artbar with their new crowd-funded CD “North Sea“.  Josh Kohler bass, Trina Nadeau cello, Deanna Wells keys, vocals, Andrew Barbisan drums. With special guests Justin Sawicki and the Basement Choir.
“They try to blend various keyed instruments, cello, bass, drums, guitar, vocals, and whatever else they can find to hit, pluck, strum or occasionally blow. The result is their own unique blend of “indie” music, a term they are fairly certain has become ambiguous enough to encompass their indistinguishable classical, jazz, folk, roots, funk, soul, r&b, classic and contemporary rock influences.”

Event, Music

DANCE & THEATRE: Learie Mc Nicolls “Transformation”, Wed-Thurs, Mar 25-26

February 14th, 2015
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Transformation_poster_Mar_680Wednesday & Thursday, March 25 & 26, 2015, at 9 pm, $10.  Call 905-543-8512 to reserve. Artword Theatre presents  “Transformation: A journey of the soul’s healing”, told in spoken word and dance by award-winning choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls, directed by Ronald Weihs, script by Learie Mc Nicolls with dramaturgy by Ronald Weihs, designed by Judith Sandiford, with live music by Dale Morningstar.
Walked I have into the sun’s glare
till my princedom became fear

Dance, Event, Literary, Spoken Word, Theatre

Bluegrass: Randal Hill, Richard Dugal, Glenn George, Larry Johnston, Sat Mar 21

February 13th, 2015
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March21_2015_650Saturday March 21 at 8 pm, $15. An evening of traditional bluegrass with Randal Hill and friends: Richard Dugal, Glenn George and Larry Johnston. Virtuoso mandolin player Randal Hill (and vocals) is joined by Richard Dugal guitar and vocals, Glenn George bass,  Larry Johnston  banjo. Richard, Glenn and Larry are all members of the Clean Sweep Bluegrass Band. Glenn and Richard are also in the Commercial bluegrass band. Glenn also plays with Barn Katz and is President of the Waterloo Wellington bluegrass club.

Event, Music

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