Cleveland Co. JAM (NC)





The North Carolina Bluegrass Association is sponsoring the new Cleveland County JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) program in collaboration with other community partners. The Cleveland Co. JAM program is designed for students in 5th through 9th grades and is being considered for opening in the fall of 2022. Students must live in Cleveland County to be eligible for the program. The Cleveland County JAM program will provide instruction in old-time, traditional and bluegrass/gospel music native to the region. Cleveland County has a rich heritage of musicians including the Scruggs family (Earl, Horace, Junie), Don Gibson, Hubert and JC Davis, and others. This program will work to preserve this musical heritage of Cleveland County and teach young musicians in several instruments including guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, autoharp and string band.

Instruction will be provided in small group settings for the most part but individual lessons might also be available. Programs will be scheduled for after school hours, on Saturdays, or during the summer months and will most likely be one day per week although there may be some weekend or week-long summer camps as well.

Specific locations and information regarding the program elements, including registration information, will be available as soon as the program is finalized. Check the NCBGMA Cleveland JAM webpage

Initially, the majority of classes are likely to be held at the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby; however, depending on student location, transportation and other factors, some classes may be held at other locations in the county.

While there may be minimal fees for participation, students unable to pay will be covered by scholarships. Instruments will be available for loan and students who have instruments may bring their own as well.

The Cleveland Co. JAM Program will be seeking funding for paying instructors, purchasing instruments and general operating expenses. If you would like to make a tax-deductible DONATION to the Cleveland Co. JAM Program, please make a note on your DONATION: “JAM” and we will apply your contributions to that account.


Josh Ray Hudson – Guitar, Bass, Songwriting

Dan X. Padgett – Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Bass, Mandolin

Darin Aldridge – Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo

Steve Putnam – Fiddle

Tommy Forney – Fiddle, Guitar

Madison Bridges – Banjo, Guitar

Steve Leatherwood – Guitar, Bass

Marta Jones – Bass

Ray Allison – Guitar, Mandolin, Instrument Procurement

CONTACT (for more information):

Steve Leatherwood, President NC Bluegrass Music Association

[email protected] 704-692-9814


Steve Leatherwood

Darin Aldridge

Mary Beth Martin

Dan X. Padgett

Renee Bumbaugh

Ray Allison

Marta Jones

For more information and current updates on the Cleveland County JAM program and events, registration forms and schedules follow this link to the

Please do consider a donation to help with the JAM Program. The Program will need funding as well as instruments in good playing condition and other teachers if you are interested. Please contact Steve Leatherwood at [email protected] for information or assistance.