Fall is an exciting time of year for JAM and YAM programs across the region. Our 22 affiliates are getting ready to start things up again after a rainy summer break that, for some kids, included JAM camps. Caldwell County JAM will be finishing up their JAM camp this weekend at Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention where there will be a stage for JAM kids attached to the luthier tent. The stage will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and any JAM or YAM student from anywhere to play! 30 students from Caldwell County JAM are looking forward to this opportunity to perform after spending three days earlier this month at their camp. The Caldwell students will also be performing on the main stage Saturday at Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention starting at 5:45 p.m. They will be playing two songs as a group.

August is also a busy month for traditional musicians, youth and adult, with the world-famous (and world’s largest) Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia. This year, the youth contest made for a long evening full of participants, many of whom are learning or have learned to play traditional music from a JAM program. Check out this video from Galax JAM student, Luke Morris, playing “Jerusalem Ridge” on the mandolin.

The youth contest is beginning to be a very tight competition with so many good pickers! You can also check out the list of winners by following this link.

Regional JAM is also very excited to announce an upcoming opportunity to showcase JAM at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC. On Friday, September 27, a youth and family stage sponsored by PineCone (Piedmont Council of Traditional Music) will feature youth bands. This area will be outside of the convention center at the Plaza. Regional JAM will be heavily involved with IBMA this year since its location is closer to home.  JAM, Inc will have an informational booth in the exhibit hall, and will also be having a small house-concert fundraiser on Thursday evening featuring Wayne C. Henderson and Helen White. Please stay tuned for more details on all of these events!

In other affiliate action, Chatham County JAM will have students performing at the Hoppin’ John festival, as well as at IBMA. Regional JAM is also eager to welcome two new affiliates into our roster that include a third JAMS program in Wise County, Virginia that will serve the area of Norton, Wise and Pound. The additional new JAM program starting in Virginia is Dickenson County JAM. Both programs are made possible by the The Crooked Road and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, among many other generous sponsors.

Stay tuned for more news from JAM, Inc!