A new space for local music

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Waterloo’s music scene leaves much to be desired in terms of a community.

Paul Maxwell of Maxwell’s Music House is looking to reform this.
“Being in a band at Laurier, I was always looking for somewhere to practice,” explained Maxwell.

Maxwell’s Music House, located on King St. directly facing Wilfrid Laurier University’s campus, is a venue known for its exposure of up-and-coming local acts. Some may not know the diversity of Maxwell’s musical endeavors, though.

“We’ve always had rehearsal spaces since we opened Maxwell’s in 2008 but we never had a 24-hour access facility.”

Noticing the problem of lacking rehearsal space for local bands, Maxwell’s Music House is expanding their Waterloo presence – with a 24-hour, secure, affordable and accessible “jam space.” Located in the basement of the old LCBO building at the corner of Erb and Peppler Streets, Maxwell’s Jam House aims to be in business by mid-April. “We’re looking at 15-17 jam rooms,” said Maxwell.

“The idea behind the place and the premise of the new project is a 24-hour rehearsal space and jam hall – where each band rents a space per month. You can leave all your gear there, there is secure swipe key access to get into the building, your own door key for each room and sound proofing throughout the entire building.”

Maxwell’s Music House has been a driving force in Waterloo’s musical community since its birth in 2008.

“We’re really trying to bring to the forefront our new vision at Maxwell’s – our new vision is music community and education.

“We’ve had over 1,400 events on our stage and over 350 music students,” said Maxwell. “We have nine part time instructors and we teach everything from voice, piano, guitars (bass, electric, acoustic), drums and we’ve recently added violin, double bass and cello.

“Not only do we teach instruments themselves, all the instructors have been taught to play more than one instrument. So, if your goal is to sing and play the piano, many instructors can teach you both — we also teach song writing, development and stage performance.”

With Maxwell’s Jam Hall, Maxwell continues to pursue the goal of creating a distinct presence within the region. “We’re going to have yearly socials and are looking at putting on a festival in the future — so we’re looking to put together a community kind of feel. It’s more of a ’development center.’”

Maxwell’s Jam House will boast competitive rates as well, making it a prime destination for student musicians. “The rates are going to fluctuate — the cheapest per square ft. is $300 a month, the larger size rooms, which are quite big, are $600 a month.”

“We’re basically providing a premium service for a lower cost. You’re getting the extra heightened security, lots of parking and accessibility to the school.”

When Maxwell’s Jam House opens mid-April, it will mark a milestone in Waterloo’s musical history.

“There is no 24-jam hall in Waterloo. We’re going to be the only official one.”

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