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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

Fiddler’s Legacy – A Tribute to Trevor Stuart

Memorial Concert Fiddler’s Legacy: A Tribute to Trevor Stuart to Benefit Haywood County JAM

Waynesville, N.C., May 9, 2016 – At 7:00 p.m. on May 14 at Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, old time music fans and friends of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program are invited come together for a concert honoring the late Trevor Stuart, founder and instructor in the JAM program in Haywood County. Featured performers include current JAM students and teachers, Helena Rose, Julie Shepherd-Powell and Adrian Powell, Bruce Greene, koreloy mcwhirter, and Margaret and Wayne Martin, the Executive Director of the North Carolina Arts Council.

About the event, Lindsey Solomon, Executive Director of the Haywood County Arts Council, said, “We had been planning to host a JAM fundraiser in May for some time, but it took on a different flavor when Trevor passed away in March. We want this event not only to raise funds for the 2016-17 JAM year, but honor the enormous contributions Trevor made to the program. His legacy will live on in the music of his students and the continuation of this great program.”

JAM students learn banjo, fiddle, or guitar in the traditional way mountain music has been taught for generations. As students advance, they are referred by instructors into a string band class in which they learn to play with others and prepare for public performance.

Tickets are available for $20 pre-sale or $25 at the door. They can be purchased at the Haywood County Arts Council at 86 N. Main Street or by calling 828-452-0593.

For more information about the concert or JAM, as well as other HCAC programs and events, visit the Haywood County Arts Council website at

JAM Concert Poster - 4

5th Annual Youth Music Festival to Feature Music from JAM Programs

TCR Youth Music Festival 2016 Flyer

Abingdon, VA – Youth musicians from throughout Southwest Virginia will be featured at the 5th Annual Crooked Road Youth Music Festival on Saturday, May 14th from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Heartwood in Abingdon. 15 bands and traditional music programs (over 200 youth musicians) will perform throughout the day.

The festival will highlight regional traditional music programs including the Albert Hash Memorial Band Program, Country Cabin String Band, Floyd JAMS, Scott County JAMS, VHCC Old Time String Band Class, Franklin County JAM Program, Washington County JAM Program, WiseJAMS–Big Stone Gap, WiseJAMS-Coeburn, and WiseJAMS–Norton. Additional performers include the Buttermilk Girls, Changing Lanes, Nick Weitzenfeld & Co., and the Yates Family.

Workshops will be presented at the festival including “Appalachian Heroes and Hoodlums” at 11:30 a.m. and “Animal Songs of the Appalachians” at 12:30 p.m. with Ted Olson, and a songwriting workshop with Johnny & Jeanette Williams at 1:30 p.m.

The Crooked Road Youth Music Festival is sponsored by Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau, Heartwood, National Endowment for the Arts, Ratcliffe Foundation, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Wayne C. Henderson Scholarships Program, Brown Dental Associates, Tazewell Music Club, and Wordsprint.

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway is located off I-81 at Exit 14 in Abingdon, VA, and features food, music, and craft of Southwest Virginia. Admission to the festival is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 6-12, and kids 5 and under are free.

For more information call (276) 492-2409 or email:

Keep Old Time Music Alive!

Keep Old Time Music Alive!
by Terry Carstensen, banjo instructor, FloydJAMS

What better way to keep Old Time music alive than to teach it to our children? In Floyd, Virginia, young people gather once per week after school to learn to play the fiddle, guitar or banjo. The FloydJAMS program is one of 40 JAM programs in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee that teach traditional old time and bluegrass music to children.
Some students have listened to family members play the traditional tunes, while some have had no music in their homes, but want to learn to play an instrument. Either way, all children, ages nine through twelve are welcome at FloydJAMS. The JAM instructors strive to give each child individual attention to help that student gain the confidence to play a new instrument. Every week’s session is augmented by a class in dance, a performance by a local band, or an interview with a well-known musician like Rhoda Kemp, Mac Traynham (who is also a JAM instructor) and Buddy Pendleton, each of whom describes their own personal musical journey.
On the first day of the semester, many children are wide-eyed, nervous and unsure of themselves. However, during the ten weeks they soon make new friends, gain confidence in their ability to learn new songs, and play those songs with others in a group. At the end of ten weeks, these same nervous students are standing on stage proudly playing their instruments in a standing-room only performance for friends and family. Many young musicians return year after year, and some have formed family bands, bands with friends, and competed in music festivals and fiddlers’ conventions.
Parents of JAM students have expressed their appreciation that there is an organization that passes down the traditional music of their region and gives their children a sense of place and personal history. One parent commented, “playing music is something that can enrich one’s life at any age and can be continued throughout one’s lifetime.” Another mother said that her daughter had taken private lessons in the past, but, “learning with other children was more fun and better for my daughter’s skill building and timing.” She added that, ”playing alone, you can easily reinforce your mistakes since ‘practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent.”
When I asked the students why they enjoy JAM, many enthusiastically said, “Because it’s fun to play tunes with friends!” Others commented, “I get to stomp my feet,” and, “When I become a famous basketball player I’ll keep playing my guitar,” and, “it’s like learning history the fun way!” Since the inception of JAM in 2000, thousands of children have learned the traditional music of the Southern Appalachians.
Floyd JAMs will be offering a Summer Week 2016, June 27 – July 1, 1-5 p.m. daily at the June Bug Center in Floyd, VA. Renowned fiddler Erynn Marshall will be leading the students in old-time music jamming fun, for fiddle, banjo, and guitar students ages 8-18. For more information, please contact Stacy Hairfield at or (540) 745-6550. The June Bug Center and FloydJAMS Program floydjams

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