Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Incorporated (BUMS Inc) is a Brisbane-based ukulele society, formed on 2 May 2007 at about 13 past 2 and a half beers. BUMS started as a small group of enthusiasts helping each other to learn to play ukulele. Its first meeting was held at the New Farm Tiki Bar. Founding members, Sammy Lovejoy and Danny Loyden, and a few friends ran the group for approximately two years.
The acronym BUMS was gifted to the group by David Megarrity, who is better known these days as the taller fez wearing half of the popular uke and bass duo Tyrone & Lesley. This core group led a small but growing number of BUMS at a range of venues — the New Farm Tiki Bar, Paddington’s Kookaburra Cafe and a Hook photographic studio, before landing at the Coorparoo Bowls Club which it calls home today.
Bruce Uhlhorn became a ‘reluctant leader’ of the group when they moved to the photographic studio below his Bowen Hills office. To formalise our growing organisation, the executive committee of 2009, Bruce Uhlhorn (President), Judy Holdaway (Secretary) and Garry Collins (Treasurer), organised the incorporation of the society in May 2010. By 2018 our membership had expanded to over 250.
The BUMS Inc Management Committee, 2011
By 2010 over 100 members and visitors met monthly at Coorparoo Jams. Smaller jams were also held monthly by Blair Marks at The Joint, and Geoff Smith and Cesca Lejeune at Black Star Coffee, West End. In 2012, Tony Richardson established a Northside Jam at the Chermside Bowls Club. The Northside jam moved to the Northern Suburb Bowls Club at Wavell Heights in 2014.
As the song selections for jam increased in sophistication, Paul Morris identified a need for a beginners’ jam. In 2014, Paul and Linda Gough established the new beginners jam at The Grove Sports Club (aka Ferny Grove Bowls Sport & Community Club), and Derek Farrell catered for intermediate and advanced players by offering fingerstyling workshops before the jam. Later that year, Sue and Peter Sercombe began offering daytime jams, first at the Indooroopilly Bowls Club, and later at the Toowong Bowls Club. After The Joint venue became unavailable for jams, Blair Marks established jams at The Scratch Bar at Milton and, up until March 2017, led the Paper Moon Music Jam at the Paper Moon Cafe at Annerley with Bec Hull, Erin Harrington and Gosia Rakiej. WE BUMS found a new home at the Hope Street Cafe in Boundary Street, in March 2017. And in May 2018, Andrew Hunt and Blair Marks established the Samual Grays jam at Albany Creek, and the TuTus jam at West Toowong came under the BUMS Inc umbrella. Early in 2018, Peter Grace and Andrew Hunt took over from Tony Richardson at Northside, and Max Borchardt assumed responsibility for organising set leaders for West End and Coorparoo.
In 2019 monthly BUMS Inc jams were held at eight Brisbane locations — Albany Creek, Coorparoo, Ferny Grove, Milton, Toowong, Wavell Heights, West Toowong and West End. Details of these jams are found on our Jams About Town web page. Sadly, the final Samual Grays Jam at Albany Creek was held in September 2019. So we’re back to seven jams, folks …
BUMS Inc runs a number of community bands that perform at community and charity events around Brisbane and at festivals in Queensland and interstate. Specific information about each of our community bands is found on our Be A Performer web page.
The BUMS Inc Performing BUMS web page promotes our members (individuals and groups) who enjoy performing, and provides information about joining our performing groups. Regular concerts and workshops, and a biennial ukulele festival (each odd year), provide members with opportunities to enjoy quality ukulele performances and expand their musical skills.
BUMS Inc runs a Brisbane ukulele festival every second year, alternating with Newkulele, our sister festival in Newcastle (each even year). It began in 2011 at Brisbane’s Big Uke Jam with performances held on the QPAC green and workshops at the Coorparoo Bowls Club. This was followed by a larger three-day event, SPRUKE 2013 — Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival, held at the South Bank TAFE campus, South Brisbane. SPRUKE 2015 and SPRUKE 2017, (widely acclaimed as our best festival yet), were also three-day events held at the TAFE campus. SPRUKE 2019 saw a move from the city to the suburbs, taking advantage of the facilities at the Sunnybank Performing Arts Centre and Sunnybank Community and Sports Club. An exciting addition to our 2019 festival program was the inaugural SPRUKE School’s Concert organised by Megan Thomson.
Our dedicated management committee is devoted to bringing the joy of ukulele to as wide an audience as possible. Annual general meetings are held in October or November. If you are interested in becoming involved, look out for the email notices of the annual general meeting, or announcements in Facebook or on the website.