Haywood County is between Asheville, NC and the state of Tennessee. Haywood County is the home of bluegrass star Don Reno and banjo star 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 like Raymond Fairchild 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. Current old time musicians, Trevor and Travis Stuart, carry their tight fiddle/banjo mastery to a national audience, and they also are inspiring youth of the region through teaching with local JAM programs.
Photos from the program:
The Haywood County JAM program is offered by the Haywood County Arts Council, and is held at Canton Middle School for 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.
Current Haywood JAM teachers:
Cary Fridley – guitar, songs & stories
Travis Stuart – banjo
Robby Robertson – string band
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:
Lindsey Soloman, Executive Director, Haywood Co. Arts Council
Haywood County Arts Council
PO Box 306
Waynesville, NC 28786
or Robby Robertson, instructor