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JAM believes

that children who are actively engaged in traditional mountain music are more connected and better prepared to strengthen their communities for future generations.

We envision

a world in which all children have the opportunity to experience community through the joy of participating in traditional mountain music together.

Our mission

is to provide communities with the support and tools they need to teach children to play and dance to traditional old time and bluegrass music.

What’s Happening in the JAM World

Great Music from JAM Kids!

These are just a few clips of so many talented students in JAM and YAM programs throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Check out your local JAM kids to see such talent and creativity for yourself. If your area does not have a JAM program, contact JAM, Inc today!

Awesome dulcimer duet with harmonies of ‘Bile Them Cabbage Down’ by Alleghany JAM students!

Great rendition of Western Swing classic ‘San Antonio Rose’ by two great Alleghany JAM fiddlers

If you have a Facebook, check out this great version of ‘Old Joe Clark’ by Galax JAM students! If you don’t have Facebook, go directly to JAM, Inc’s profile to see the videos:

Also on Facebook: a wonderful twin banjos in the old time style on ‘Stay All Night’ by Galax JAM banjo girls!

Click here to check out photos from Alleghany JAM’s year end performance

Click here to check out photos from Galax JAM’s year end performance

Click here to check out photos from Dickenson County JAM’s year end performance

JAM Kids in Concert!

Just a few of the JAM affiliated program events this month!  For more information, see the details below the calendar. Please go out and support your local JAM program!

Galax JAM will be ending their year with a special student concert at the Rex Theater in Downtown Galax, VA starting at 6:30 on Monday, May 12.

Transylvania JAM will be joining Transylvania Youth Strings in concert at the Brevard Davidson River Presbyterian Church located at 249 E. Main St. in Brevard, NC. on Tuesday, May 13 at 6 p.m.

WiseJAMS – Norton will be finishing up the year with a student concert on Wednesday, May 14 at 5 p.m. at Norton Elementary School in Norton, VA.

Alleghany JAM will hold their year-end student concert in the auditorium at Sparta School in Sparta, NC on Thursday, May 15 starting at 5:15 p.m.

The SC YAM Programs will be hosting a Scholarship Celebration for 22 winners at the Oolenoy Community Building in Oolenoy, SC on Friday, May 16 starting at 8 p.m.

Franklin Co. JAM will be hosting their first ever student concert in conjunction with a dance at Burnt Chimney Elementary School in Wirtz, VA on Friday, May 16 starting at 7 p.m. The students will be opening for the band Tenbrooks.

WiseJAMS – Norton opening for Wayne Henderson & Helen White and the Jeff Little Trio at Lee Theatre in Pennington Gap, VA on Saturday evening, May 17.

FloydJAMS will be hosting their year-end student performance at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, VA on Sunday, May 18 from 1-5 p.m.

Dickenson Co. JAM will be holding a concert for parents and community members on Monday evening, May 19 at the Dickenson County Career and Technical Center in Clinchco, VA.

Ashe JAM will host performing students from all three of their school locations at Westwood Elementary at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 23.

Dickenson Co. JAM will also be performing for the Dickenson Co. School Board on May 28.

June & July Activities

Alleghany JAM will be hosting a Golf Tournament Fundraiser at High Meadows Golf Club in Roaring Gap, NC on Monday, June 23. Please contact for more information.

Madison Co. JAM will perform at the Bluff Mountain Festival on Saturday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. in Hot Springs, NC.

The annual TAM YAM Camp will be held for YAM students in grades 3-8 at the Pickens County Rec Center from July 21-25 from 8-4 each day. For more information, please contact Betty McDaniel at or 864-878-4257.

photo courtesy of Jackson County NC 4-H

In other news, the Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest proved to be a huge success on April 26 in Sylva, NC. There were 22 total participants and 9 of them were JAM kids from Jackson County JAM, JAM at Swain County, Buncombe County JAM and SC YAM Programs. Great job to all of those who organized this great event and the student participants!

JAM, Inc will be hosting an Administrator Sharing/Training Workshop next Wednesday, May 14 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Capo’s Music Store in Abingdon, VA. Topics will focus on Best Practices of Managing a JAM Program and Fundraising/Grant Writing. This workshop is free to all participants. Please RSVP to or 276-773-0573 if you are interested in attending!

Special note: Many thanks to HoustonFest, the Wayne Henderson Festival, and the generous musicians and donors who have supported JAM, Inc this spring with grant funding or during our spring concert fundraiser, which was a huge success. 

JAM News & Opportunities

HoustonFest is a festival held annually the first weekend in May in Galax, Virginia at Felt’s Park. The 2-day event features a wonderful lineup of bluegrass and old time music, and will feature Ralph Stanley as a headliner this year! HoustonFest is in memory of Houston Caldwell, a young bluegrass musician who tragically passed away in an accident. JAM, Inc will have an information table in the youth area this year, where many great youth acts will be performing, including some JAM alumnni! Make plans to attend today! Check out the HoustonFest Website

Notice to JAM programs and JAM students:   HoustonFest also offers scholarship opportunities to both young musicians and organizations preserving and promoting traditional mountain music.

Here is the information about applying:

Individual applicants are selected to receive a scholarship that may be applied to the traditional music education of the recipient’s choice. Recipients may apply the funds toward traditional music education and can be applied to tuition fees for workshops, camps, or private lessons to learn to play traditional acoustic instruments over a continued period of time. Applicants must demonstrate acceptance to and enrollment in a program of study that fits the criteria. The Houston Caldwell Scholarships assist with fees for tuition or private lessons with funding level at the discretion of the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee. Fees are paid directly to the educational institution, camp, or qualified instructor. Scholarship winnings must be redeemed within one year of announcement to recipients. Students/musicians of traditional acoustic music Instruments in grades 8 to 12 and high school graduates up to age 21 are eligible for individual music scholarships. Applicants must be residents of the Central Appalachian Region to include counties in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Application packets must be completed and returned (postmarked) by April 15, 2014 including:

· A completed application form (Click to access)

· Two letters of reference from an adult (parents of applicant excluded)

· Standard size CD or DVD recording demonstrating the applicant’s musicianship

· 150-word essay explaining why the applicant would like to win the scholarship and explanation of how they plan to use the scholarship

Grants to Non-Profit Traditional Music Programs:

The Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program will offer opportunities for Traditional Music Programs to compete for scholarships/grants. Funding level is determined by the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Committee. Organizations must have non-profit status and must be serving youth of Virginia, North Carolina or Tennessee. Preference will be given to applicants in the immediate region including the City of Galax, Grayson and Carroll Counties in Virginia.

Interested organizations should submit a written narrative describing their music program. Narratives must be completed and submitted (postmarked) by April 15, 2014 and must include:

· History and objectives of your program

· Structure of program, target population and number of children served

· Key artists and organizations involved in the program

· Annual operating expense and projected use of grant money

· Proof of non-profit status

Application Packets should be mailed to:

Attn: Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 1516
Galax, VA 24333

Winners of the 2014 HoustonFest Scholarships & Grants will be notified by April 30, 2014. Recipients will be required to be present at HoustonFest 2014 to receive the award when announced. Artists receiving awards will be expected to perform in Scholarship Showcase at HoustonFest 2014. Official Public Announcement of Winners will be made during HoustonFest 2014. e-mail, or call 276-236-9908 for more information.

Check out the newest JAM program added to our roster of affiliates:  Franklin County JAM!

Click the thumbnail to see what is up on their webpage so far.  The program just started this winter and
is offering fiddle, banjo and guitar to kids from three different elementary schools in the county.

Mark your calendars now for Saturday, April 19, 10:30 – 1:30 for a Regional JAM Teacher Workshop in Floyd, VA at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts!

If you have not RSVP’ed yet, click here to let us know you will be coming. The main topic is behavior and classroom management with extra time for general teacher sharing. The other two regional workshops have already been held in Wise, VA and Sylva, NC with great participation!

If you are a program director, site coordinator or supervisor, administrative volunteer, advisory board member, fiscal agent representative, or some other kind of administrator for a JAM or YAM program, you are invited to participate in a survey that will be used to plan a REGIONAL JAM ADMINISTRATORS WORKSHOP this spring. Click here to access the survey and let us know what you think!

One last thing – don’t forget about our upcoming FUNDRAISER CONCERT for JAM, Inc featuring great Old Time, Bluegrass and Americana music by The Whitetop Mountain Band, Johnny Williams & Friends and Hard Cider on Saturday, April 5 starting at 7 p.m. at the Historic 1908 Courthouse Auditorium in Independence, VA. Advanced tickets are being sold for only $10/each at Grayson National Bank Independence-Galax-Sparta locations ($12/door day of show). We are also accepting any kind of string instruments and accessories as donations during the event (and any other time) that will be distributed to programs in need. Unplayable, or instruments in need of major repairs, will be used in an upcoming project with local artists! For more information, see the flyer in the previous blog post or check out the event on Facebook: Fundraiser Concert

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