Wise County, Virginia is in the coal fields of the southwestern part of the state. This area is known for both bluegrass and old time music, and is famous for being close to the stomping grounds of Ralph Stanley. Wise County is also the home of Dock Boggs, a famous songwriter, old time singer, and banjo player, as well as Jim and Jesse McReynolds who were raised not far from Coeburn. The clawhammer banjo style in the Wise County area is more of an “up picking” rather than the downpicking of other Southwest Virginia areas. Bluegrass and old time music are very much alive in Wise County today. Wise JAMS is sponsored in part by the Crooked Road.
Wise JAMS-Coeburn is a Crooked Road/JAM program that is held at Lays Hardware Center for the Arts in Coeburn, VA. It serves children in grades 4-8 at Coeburn Primary, Coeburn Middle, and St. Paul Elementary. The program runs once per week on Tuesdays from 3:40-5:30 and offers beginner and intermediate level classes in guitar, banjo and fiddle. A supervised practice is offered every other Thursday from 3:40 – 5:00. Enrichment classes are also offered. Students perform in the community at such festivals as Big Stone Gap’s Home Craft Days, Gathering in the Gap, and the Dock Boggs Music Festival.
For more information about the Wise JAMS programs, please contact:
Kelly Harechmak, Pro-Art
Mailing Address: PO Box 179 Wise, VA 24293
Physical Address: UVa-Wise Resource Center, One College Avenue, Wise, VA 24293
Larry Mullins, guitar
Kaitlyn Caudill, guitar
Thomas Anderson, fiddle
Wise JAMS Advisory Board