Haywood County is between Asheville, NC and the state of Tennessee. Haywood County is the home of bluegrass star Don Reno, renowned banjo player Raymond Fairchild, and many other notable historic mountain musicians with a variety of styles. The three-finger style of banjo is popular here, but many musicians claim to play “mountain music,” which can be a combination of old time, bluegrass, gospel, and Native American styles. This area is also known for the Smathers Brothers’ innovative “Mountain Swing” music, which mixes jazz, bluegrass, and old time fiddle tunes. “Mountain Swing” has carried on through the years and is gaining popularity. In addition to bluegrass, old time, and mountain swing, there are still many shape note singers in Haywood County.
The Haywood County JAM program is offered by the Haywood County Arts Council, and is held at Waynesville First United Methodist Church for children in grades 4 – 8 throughout Haywood County. The program meets each Tuesday from 3:30 – 5:00 and follows the Haywood County Public School schedule. Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle and Stringband are offered to beginning through advanced levels of students. Students perform at community events such as for the local 4-H club, daycare and nursing home facilities, and local festivals. Haywood JAM also offers a summer program to keep students engaged during program breaks.
Current Haywood JAM teachers:
Cary Fridley – guitar, songs & stories
Travis Stuart – banjo
Robby Robertson – string band
Bob Willoughby – fiddle
Haywood County JAM is supported by its Advisory Committee, the JAM FANS.
For more information about the Haywood County JAM Program, please contact:
For more information, please contact:
Morgan Beryl, Executive Director, Haywood County Arts Council or call (828) 452-0593 or Cary Fridley, JAM Director
Haywood County Arts Council
PO Box 306
Waynesville, NC 28786