Wise County, Virginia is in the coal fields of the southwestern part of the state. This area is known for both bluegrass and old time music, and is famous for being close to the stomping grounds of Ralph Stanley. Wise County is also the home of Dock Boggs, a famous songwriter, old time singer, and banjo player, as well as bluegrass legends, Jim and Jesse McReynolds. The clawhammer banjo style in the Wise County area is more of an “up picking” rather than the down picking of other Southwest Virginia areas. Bluegrass and old time music are very much alive in Wise County today.
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Wise JAMS – Wise is one of two JAM programs for children in Wise County, VA and is held at LF Addington Middle School in Wise on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 5:30 for children in grades 3-8 from Norton Elementary, Wise Primary, LF Addington Middle School, and JW Adams Combined School. There is an optional practice day every other Monday. This program is made possible through WiseJAMS, The Crooked Road, JAM, Inc and the Pro-Art Association of Wise, Virginia. The program offers instruction in banjo, fiddle and guitar, as well as weekly enrichment.
For more information:
Jan Zentmeyer, Pro-Art