that children who are actively engaged in traditional mountain music are more connected and better prepared to strengthen their communities for future generations.
a world in which all children have the opportunity to experience community through the joy of participating in traditional mountain music together.
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
Please join us as we celebrate youth music of Appalachia on Friday, September 27 as part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass!
Fall is an exciting time of year for JAM and YAM programs across the region. Our 22 affiliates are getting ready to start things up again after a rainy summer break that, for some kids, included JAM camps. Caldwell County JAM will be finishing up their JAM camp this weekend at Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention where there will be a stage for JAM kids attached to the luthier tent. The stage will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and any JAM or YAM student from anywhere to play! 30 students from Caldwell County JAM are looking forward to this opportunity to perform after spending three days earlier this month at their camp. The Caldwell students will also be performing on the main stage Saturday at Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention starting at 5:45 p.m. They will be playing two songs as a group.
August is also a busy month for traditional musicians, youth and adult, with the world-famous (and world’s largest) Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia. This year, the youth contest made for a long evening full of participants, many of whom are learning or have learned to play traditional music from a JAM program. Check out this video from Galax JAM student, Luke Morris, playing “Jerusalem Ridge” on the mandolin.
The youth contest is beginning to be a very tight competition with so many good pickers! You can also check out the list of winners by following this link.
Regional JAM is also very excited to announce an upcoming opportunity to showcase JAM at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC. On Friday, September 27, a youth and family stage sponsored by PineCone (Piedmont Council of Traditional Music) will feature youth bands. This area will be outside of the convention center at the Plaza. Regional JAM will be heavily involved with IBMA this year since its location is closer to home. JAM, Inc will have an informational booth in the exhibit hall, and will also be having a small house-concert fundraiser on Thursday evening featuring Wayne C. Henderson and Helen White. Please stay tuned for more details on all of these events!
In other affiliate action, Chatham County JAM will have students performing at the Hoppin’ John festival, as well as at IBMA. Regional JAM is also eager to welcome two new affiliates into our roster that include a third JAMS program in Wise County, Virginia that will serve the area of Norton, Wise and Pound. The additional new JAM program starting in Virginia is Dickenson County JAM. Both programs are made possible by the The Crooked Road and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, among many other generous sponsors.
Stay tuned for more news from JAM, Inc!
Many of our JAM and YAM affiliates have been busy this summer carrying on the old time and bluegrass traditions. Even though most schools across the countryside are on break, there have been many successful day camps for jammers in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Every year, Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music (POSAM) hosts the TAM YAM Camp in July in Pickens County, South Carolina. The POSAM organization works with Pickens County Schools to provide seven YAM (just like JAM) programs throughout their county each year. These YAM programs reach over 200 students per year! From July 15-19, YAM kids enjoyed jamming, performing, special music appearances, craft events and fun activities to beat the heat. Among this busy schedule, TAM YAM Camp coordinators made time for classes in guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, harmonica and singing. Over 50 youth and more than 20 adult volunteers were involved in this week-long day camp held at Pickens Recreation Center, creating a wonderful community atmosphere. To look at photo albums, visit their YAM Facebook Page or the YAM website
In nearby North Carolina, Chatham County JAM held a similar week-long day camp for its JAM students and community at the Silk Hope Heritage Farm Park during the last week in June. Chatham County JAMmers were happy to report that they survived the rainfall and carried on with music classes, performances, games and appearances by special guests. For the last day of camp, they had a big square dance, potluck dinner, cake walk and a 50/50 drawing open to the community. Chatham County JAM was helped tremendously by the Cumnock Union United Methodist Church, who provided snacks for the day campers. To find out more information about the success of their JAM Camp and about the Chatham County JAM program, please visit their Facebook page or the Chatham JAM website
Also in North Carolina, the Haywood County JAM program celebrated its first year of day camp the week of July 8-12. They had 29 students enrolled and featured classes in banjo, fiddle, guitar and dance. Other camp events included mountain songs and stories and special guest performances. Haywood County JAM looks forward to this school year’s program and being involved in their local community as much as possible! Please visit the Haywood County Arts Council’s Facebook page or their website to find out more!
Coming up soon is the 78th Annual Galax Fiddlers Convention held in the World’s Capital of Old Time Mountain Music itself – Galax, Virginia. This one of a kind event dedicates Monday to youth musicians around the world. Please join us Monday evening, August 5 to see JAM kids and other youth performers play in the old time and bluegrass contests. For more information about the contest rules and registration, please visit the Galax Fiddlers Convention website
Caldwell County JAM will be also featured at the upcoming Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention during Labor Day weekend in Lenoir, NC. Among the special activities of the fiddlers convention, Caldwell County JAM will have their own stage in the Instrument Making Tent for open mic youth performances. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.happyvalleyfiddlers.com/Home/Highlights.
In Regional JAM news, we have been busy working with multiple communities throughout Appalachia to spread our mission and develop more JAM programs, so please stay tuned for updates about upcoming and existing affiliates!