Madison County is primarily known for its great tradition of ballad singers. In many other areas, ballad singing has disappeared throughout the years. In Madison County, however, its popularity has increased throughout the years. This area boasts a variety of singers traditionally and currently, such as Dellie Norton and Sheila Kay Adams. Madison County is also the home of bluegrass star Red Smiley and bluegrass fiddler Bobby Hicks. Noted collector and promoter of traditional music, Bascom Lamar Lunsford was from Madison and Buncombe Counties and a center holding his vast archives resides at Mars Hill College in Madison County. Many musicians hail from this area, making it a hotbed of ballad singing, old time, and bluegrass music.
Madison County JAM is for students aged 5-17 in Madison County and the surrounding areas. The Madison County JAM is held on Thursdays from 3:45 – 5:00 at the Madison County Arts Council. The program offers fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, junior and senior stringband, and dance. The students perform out in the community at such events as Art on the Island, the Fiddlin’ 5K, and the Bluff Mountain Festival.
Jake Owen – banjo
Sarah Owen – lead teacher, fiddle
Andrew Norcross – stringband
David Brown – guitar
Emolyn Liden – fiddle
Katie Lillard – fiddle
For more information about the Madison County JAM Program, please contact:
Madison Co. Arts Council
P.O. Box 32
Marshall, NC 28753