Last fall, my friend Gerard Forget and I attended a Leaders in the Community meeting hosted by the Avenue Initiative Revitalization. The purpose was for people to share ideas and brainstorm implementation of new projects that would benefit the community.
Gerard and I saw this as a great opportunity to share our idea of organizing jam sessions for community musicians and performers who were looking for a place to play together in an informal environment.
We began to market the idea and compile a list of musicians and performers that we knew, and the list grew quickly. We discussed logistics and decided to try to secure space at Alberta Avenue Community Hall. We were fortunate enough to be able to book several dates. We felt that Sundays from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. would be best suited with a jam every two or three weeks.
February 28, the first session, was a huge success with 25 people attending. To kick it off, I provided the food and beverages for the first jam session. All future jams will likely be potluck, pizza nights, or barbecues. Our second date was March 13 and it also was a big success.
Jam sessions provide a venue for like-minded people of all skill levels who enjoy sharing music. Every kind of music is welcome. This is a great opportunity for all who attend to collaborate and coordinate with other musicians on the fly.
The character of any jam session is determined by who shows up. Some people prefer to do instrumentals while others perform a cappella songs, or anything in between. It is a great way to meet fellow musicians, get more stage experience, learn how to play different music or songs, and have fun!
In the spring, we plan on moving to the community garden behind the hall. There will be opportunities to play in the community, such as block parties, or music jams in the park. It just takes a bit of inspiration and imagination, and I’m sure we could create opportunities for musicians to play for larger public audiences. We plan on setting up a musical variety show by next winter.
Everyone is welcome to join! Please bring your own instruments, song books or song binders. We had planned for these jam sessions to be acoustic, but many musicians have brought amps and microphones.
OPEN JAM SESSION
Sundays, April 3, 17, May 1, 15, 29
3:00-8:00 pm at Alberta Avenue
All musicians and performers welcome.
Call to register: 780.934.3209