Jam’n Coming Your Way!
Latest News: TICKET UPDATE!
DAY PASSES: FRIDAY-only, SATURDAY-only, space permitting
For those of you who would like to get a sample of this wonderful new event, we are going to be making available a limited number of Friday night only passes for $10.
We may also offer day passes for Saturday only for $20 BBU members, $25 nonmembers, space permitting.
These are day of the event, walk up availability only and there will be a very limited number of them
Latest News: HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE!
There are still a couple of discounted rooms available ($126 per night) at the Colonial Inn for this weekend, including picking rooms. Please specify picking or nonpicking room when you call the Colonial Inn, 877-425-2081. Mention the BBU for the discount.
If you are staying at the Colonial for one night, Jam'n registration is half price for one person per room; a two night stay gets you one free ticket per room. We will have a list of hotel guests and will have your wristband at the registration table.
Jam all weekend long or attend instructor-led jams and free workshops (with your paid registration).
The Jam'n Weekend will be dedicated to bluegrass!
All jammers welcome at any level, from beginner to advanced. You can pick around the clock within the beautiful historic spaces of the Colonial Inn. The Jam will begin Friday evening and end Sunday around noon.
There will also be workshops in banjo, guitar, singing, etc. for different levels and instructor-led jams for beginners.
Special discounted rooms are available on picking and non-picking floors at the Colonial Inn ($110 per night). Reserve your room by calling the Colonial Inn directly at (800) 370-9200, and don't forget to mention the BBU to get the discount. A very limited number of rooms are available at this low rate, so don't delay in booking your room now.
Don't miss this chance to hang out with fellow pickers, take workshops, and have a great time! Weekend registration is only $30 for BBU members ($35 for non-members). Only a limited number of registrations will be avallable, as space is limited.
If you get a room at the Colonial Inn for 1 night, you will get a 50% discount on your registration. If you reserve two nights at the hotel, your registration is free! If you reserve a hotel room, you don’t need to register as described above - you can pay the discounted rate when you arrive at the Inn
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com
Here is a partial list of weekend offerings:
The BBU is proud to welcome you to the first annual Jam'n Weekend.
Please join us for a special welcome on Friday evening from 7 until
7:30 pm in the Heritage Room. And come back to the Heritage Room at
11:30 am on Sunday for our Farewell Jam.
Master Classes give attendees a chance to hone their skills while
learning from some of the best in bluegrass: Ned Luberecki (banjo) and
Stephen Mougin (harmony vocals). These classes are not included in the
Jam'n program, but the instructors are offering a discount to Jam'n
registrants. Tuition is $50/45 for BBU members, or $40 for anyone
signed up for Jam'n. Master Classes will take place from 10 am until
noon on Saturday. You can attend without preregistration; just show up
to the Master Class of your choice with your payment.
Open Jams are held throughout the Colonial Inn whenever a room isn't
being used for a workshop or teacher-directed jam, or greyed-out and
Jam with the Teachers!
Stay after most of the workshops to jam with the very same teachers
who just taught that workshop. All instruments are invited to these
jams, although the teachers may gear their advice for their
instrument. You can attend even if you didn't attend the workshop or
don't play the teacher's instrument.
Open and Directed Slow Jams will be held throughout the weekend in the
Heritage room (downstairs through The Forge). The slow jam room is for
beginning pickers or those who just like to take it slow. George
Chapman will lead directed slow jams on Friday evening from 8 until
9:30 pm, Saturday from noon until 1:30 pm, and Sunday from 10 am until
Following in the tradition of the Joe Val bluegrass festival's many
wonderful workshops, the Jam'n weekend will be offering a variety of
workshops throughout the weekend. Here's a list of the many teachers
involved, and their workshop details:
Rich Stillman -- Preparing For Your First Jam Session -- Thoreau
-- Sat. at 8 pm
Dave Reiner (Friday) -- Constructing a bluegrass fiddle break --
Thoreau -- Fri. at 8 pm
Dave Reiner (Sat.) -- A bluegrass fiddler's bag of tricks --
Cottage -- Sat. at noon
August Watters -- Harmony Singing--Cottage downstairs, Friday 7:30 PM
Quick-Start Mandolin Workshop -- Thoreau --Sat. at 1:30 pm
Nancy Harrowitz -- Singing for Beginners and Others -- Thoreau
-- Sat. at 12:30 pm
Andy Katz -- Dobro Workshop with Andy Katz -- Cottage -- Sat. at 12:30 pm
Tony Watt -- Beginning Lead Guitar for Vocal Tunes -- Cottage --
Sat. at 6 pm
Laura Orshaw -- Fundamentals of Bluegrass Fiddle -- Cottage --
Sat. at 3:30 pm
Josh Dayton -- Bluegrass Bass: Deep Pocket! -- Thoreau -- Sat. at 4 pm
Thanks again for joining us for our first annual Jam’n Weekend. We
hope this event is a success, and if you have any questions, comments
or suggestions, please let us know as soon as possible!
1. Valid wristbands are required for those playing music or attending workshops. Please keep them visible at all times. Wristbands are not required for those attending Master Classes only.
2. Unlike Joe Val, we do not have the entire Colonial Inn to ourselves, therefore please be respectful of the Inn and it's guests.
3. The rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Prescott Wing are designated quiet rooms, and there should be no jamming in them at any time.
4. Parking is located in the Colonial Inn's lot, in the municipal lot off of Lowell Rd., and on Monument Square (but please note that some meters are restricted to 1 or 2 hours on Saturday and Sunday).
5. Local liquor laws prohibit consumption or presence of personal alcoholic beverages in public spaces. Please note: private alcohol in public places is against Inn policy.
6. Please do not leave litter around, use the trashcans and clean up after yourself.
7. Please keep your instrument cases, bags, coats, etc. with you as you move throughout the Inn. Please don't leave anything lying around in function rooms because they may be needed for other activities. The BBU is not responsible for any unattended personal items.
Thank you for joining us for our first annual Jam’n Weekend! We hope this event is a success, and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know as soon as possible!
Workshop Descriptions and Instructor Bios:.
Preparing For Your First Jam Session (with Rich Stillman)
Saturday at 7 pm - Thoreau
Everybody remembers their first time. Usually, along with the
exhilaration of playing with other people, there's the feeling of
panic that happens that first time the jam leader looks over to let
you know it's your turn to take a break. This class introduces
practice techniques to prepare you for the moment, when it comes.
Rich Stillman found the banjo - literally - in 1974 at a yard sale,
and has been teaching and playing professionally since 1977. He has
appeared on over a dozen CDs and recording projects, has appeared
onstage with some of the pioneers of bluegrass, and regularly plays
shows and festivals as a member of New England bluegrass band Southern
Rail. Rich was the New Jersey Banjo Champion in 1984, the New England
Banjo Champion in 2002 and 2003, and a six-time winner at the Lowell,
MA Fiddle and Banjo Contest. Rich has taught several hundred students
in private lessons, and hundreds more in workshops, to play or improve
their playing skills. He has been on the faculty of Banjo Camp North
for ten of its eleven years, has taught at many music schools in
northeastern Massachusetts, internationally via Skype, and is
currently on the applied faculty of the Music department at Tufts
University. Rich's first book for Mel Bay Publishing, Bluegrass Banjo
from All Sides, was released in September 2012.
Constructing a bluegrass fiddle break (with Dave Reiner)
Friday at 8 pm - Thoreau
All eyes turn to the fiddler and it’s time for your break in a song!
What do you play? How do you make it sound “bluegrassy”? Dave will
take you through an approach that starts with the melody, but makes
use of fills, chords and double stops, slides, blue notes, and bowing
techniques. This is a hands-on workshop!
A bluegrass fiddler's bag of tricks (with Dave Reiner)
Saturday at noon - Cottage Downstairs Back Room
Dave spent years learning these ideas, techniques, approaches, and
“tricks of the trade.” They cover playing situations, getting ready
to play, pulling it together when you do play, bowing patterns,
variations, chords and progressions, “color” notes, kickoffs, backup,
breaks, and more. This is a hands-on workshop. Very useful handout
Dave Reiner plays & teaches bluegrass, oldtime, Irish, swing & more.
Twice Wisc. State Fiddle Champ, he's also won many Northeastern
contests & has written 3 fiddle instruction books. He can show you the
best bowing patterns, demystify chords and theory, and help with
variations, harmonies, contests, jam sessions, and playing with a
Harmony Singing Workshop (with August Watters)
Friday 7:30 PM, Cottage downstairs
Bluegrass harmonies grew out of traditional American hymn singing. Come learn how harmony parts are made. If you can hear harmony parts, you can sing them.
Quick-Start Mandolin Workshop (with August Watters)
Saturday at 1:30 pm - Thoreau
Get into the jam now! This workshop is designed for mandolin players
who know some chords or melodies, and want to become more comfortable
jamming with others. We'll cover chords, fills, and standard tunes, as
well as jamming skills and etiquette. If there’s enough interest,
we’ll also talk about practice skills, musical objectives, and
identifying specific strategies for achieving your goals. It’s all
about helping you to enjoy your participation in Jam’n Weekend, but
you can also expect to go home with a plan for future growth!
August Watters is co-director of education for the Boston Bluegrass
Union, and has been on the faculty of Berklee College for 15 years. He
has taught workshops and performed in six countries, and has appeared
at major festivals including the J.D. Crowe Bluegrass Festival
(Kentucky), the European World of Bluegrass (Czech Republic), and the
Joe Val Bluegrass Festival. Prof. Watters’ work spans improvisational
music from bluegrass to jazz, and he is the founder of Boston
Mandolins, Cape Cod Mandolin Camp, and the New England Mandolin
Ensemble. He holds degrees from Berklee College (BMus, Jazz
Composition & Arranging, summa cum laude), and Boston University
(MMus, Music Education). He has performed with Carlo Aonzo, Marilynn
Mair, Roland White, Don Stiernberg, Matt Flinner, Steve Kaufman, Bill
Keith, Butch Baldassari, Rodney Miller, Radim Zenkl, the Orchestra
dell’ Accademia Internazionale di Mandolino, the Orchester NorthRhine
Westfalia, the Saarlandisches Zupforchester, and the Providence
Singing for Beginners and Others (with Nancy Harrowitz)
Saturday at 12:30 pm - Thoreau
Ever want to learn how to sing? Or improve what you can already do?
We’ll cover the basics of technique including breath support, posture,
and tone production. For all singers and those who thought they
Nancy Harrowitz is one of the Education directors of the Boston
Bluegrass Union. She has taught many workshops on beginning voice at
Steve Kaufman Kamp, the Joe Val Festival and at Cape Cod Mandolin
Dobro Workshop (with Andy Katz)
Saturday at 12:30 pm - Cottage Downstairs Bedroom
Andy will lead a general workshop covering a range of topics, with the
focus depending on the interests of those attending. Among the areas
he'll cover are: useful rolls for practice and performance, licks and
kicks in a variety of keys, rhythm playing, fiddle tunes and
instrumentals, backing a singer, playing in a variety of keys with and
without a capo. This will be an “open case” workshop, so bring your
Dobro and expect to play!
When Andy Katz first heard the dobro (played by Jerry Douglas, on Tony
Rice's Native American album) he was stunned, hooked by the plaintive
vocal sound of the instrument. When he finally saw one played live, it
was Roger Williams who got him started with an instrument and some
pointers. Andy soon discovered Josh Graves, “Uncle” of the bluegrass
dobro, and studied with Mike Auldridge, Andy Hall, Sally van Meter and
Rob Ickes. He enjoys working out and picking fiddle tunes, though he
feels that the “voice” of the dobro is particularly suited to
supporting a singer. He's been fortunate to have picked with nearly
every bluegrass picker in New England, and is a founding member of the
Boston-based band Flatt Rabbit.
Beginning Lead Guitar for Vocal Tunes (with Tony Watt)
Saturday at 6 pm - Cottage Downstairs Bedroom
Did you know that you can learn to play lead guitar with very little
previous experience? This workshop is designed for beginners and
beyond who are new to playing lead, or who have been frustrated trying
to learn to play lead before. You do not need to have any previous
experience playing any style of lead guitar, or know how to read
music. In this workshop we will focus on learning a variety of lead
soloing techniques that apply primarily to vocal tunes. We will use
the classic Carter Family song You Are My Sunshine to explore some of
the core techniques in bluegrass solos for vocal tunes, including the
Carter style, double stops, and crosspicking. Bring your guitar and
Award-winning flatpicking guitarist and mandolinist Tony Watt has
performed throughout the United States and Europe, on the Grand Ole
Opry, and elsewhere. He has been featured in Bluegrass Now Magazine
and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and toured and recorded with
Nashville-based Cages Bend, east Tennessee-based Meridian, with
Rounder Recording artist Alecia Nugent, and most recently with Leigh
Gibson, guitarist for The Gibson Brothers. Tony currently performs
with his band, Southeast Expressway, and with Laura Orshaw & The New
Velvet Band. He has taught privately for over 15 years, and now
teaches courses in bluegrass guitar and mandolin for the Boston
Bluegrass Union's Bluegrass Academy, as well as jamming classes as a
certified Wernick Method jam class instructor. He has also taught
workshops and Kids' Academies at bluegrass festivals including Grey
Fox, Joe Val, Thomas Point Beach, and many more. Tony currently
teaches lessons, classes, workshops and jam sessions in Albany, NY,
Cambridge, MA, and points in-between.
Fundamentals of Bluegrass Fiddle (with Laura Orshaw)
Saturday at 3 pm - Cottage Downstairs Bedroom
Intended for those who have played at least some fiddle before, and
are able to play a common melody or fiddle tune. In this class we’ll
delve into the fundamental left-hand and bowing techniques that are
necessary to play with good form and tone. Beyond this the primary
goals of this course are: (1) to provide you with the foundation
needed to play basic bluegrass melodies with a group perspective
including an introduction to the fiddler’s role in a bluegrass jam and
(2) to provide a brief synopsis of the bluegrass fiddle tune
repertoire. You don't need to have previous experience playing
bluegrass or reading musical notation.
Fiddler and vocalist, Laura Orshaw “has firmly established [herself]
as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American
music,” according to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. Laura grew up in a
musical family in Northeastern Pennsylvania; at age 10 she learned to
play and sing from paternal grandmother and regional Old Time
musician, Betty Orshaw. Throughout her teens Laura performed across
the Northeast with her father in The Lonesome Road Ramblers,
performing classic bluegrass from the 1950’s around one mic. She
recorded two solo fiddle projects in her early teens, and is currently
available for studio work. Laura has 10 years of experience
performing, teaching private lessons, and conducting educational
programs and workshops throughout the Northeast and now makes her home
in Cambridge, MA. Her passion for teaching is also evidenced in her
professional education, as a master’s level school counselor.
Bluegrass Bass: Deep Pocket! (with Josh Dayton)
Saturday at 4 pm - Thoreau
In bluegrass music, it is essential that all band members are aware of
their musical surroundings. This is especially true for the bass.
Contrary to popular belief, the bass player must be mentally engaged
at all times in order to play with authority and consequently set a
tight pocket. There are three keys to a bass player laying down a
solid groove. First, the bass must work with the band to hold time and
establish the band’s groove and feel. Secondly the bass must
confidently outline the chord structure of the song. The bass’s final
job is to focus attention towards the vocalist/soloist. All three of
these ideas must be executed with authority in order to have the
maximum impact on the band sound. This class is for all levels and
will focus on several techniques to master the pocket, such as
practicing with a metronome, syncopation, note choice, note duration,
tasteful embellishment, and ear training.
Josh is a 12 year veteran of the New England bluegrass scene. He is
known for his punchy, no frills approach to the bass. Josh worked with
regional favorite Back Eddy Bluegrass for over ten years. During his
time with BEB, he toured extensively throughout the Northeast and
recorded two full length albums with the band. Recently he has shared
the stage with Jenni Lyn Gardner, Tony Watt, Nick DiSebastian, and
James King. Josh just wrapped up the TriMountain Sessions, which is
an EP of all original instrumental music featuring Boston’s best young
bluegrass talent. Josh’s current gig is with Cape Cod’s favorite
alt-country band, Benjamin Lee Paterson and the Ryes.
Vocal and Banjo Master Classes with Stephen Mougin and Ned Luberecki.
Also, two terrific musicians from Nashville, Stephen Mougin and Ned Luberecki, will be in the Boston area during the Jam'n weekend in Concord. So we decided to take advantage of their visit by offering Master Classes at the Colonial Inn that weekend for anyone who would like to take them. These classes are not included in the Jam'n program, but the instructors are offering a discount to Jam'n registrants. See below for workshop descriptions.
The tuition is $50/45 for BBU members, or $40 for anyone signed up for Jam'n. The classes will take place from 10 AM to 12 noon on Saturday, Nov. 17th at the Colonial Inn. Please write directly to Stephen for more information or to register: firstname.lastname@example.org
Banjo Master Class with Ned Luberecki
Beginner to advance players welcome.
This Master Classwill focus on creating banjo solos starting with the melody. Instead of just stringing together familiar licks to fit a chord progression, Ned's unique approach starts with the basic melody of a tune. Then Ned shows you how to add fill-in notes and licks to create a Bluegrass style solo that's based on the melody! Other topics will include practice tips, tips for improving tone and timing and even a few banjo set up tricks. Students of all levels are welcome.
Ned Luberecki plays banjo for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers and occasionally tours as second banjoist with the Tony Trischka Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular Band. Ned is also an on-air personality on "Bluegrass Junction", Sirius XM Satellite Radio's Bluegrass channel. In addition to his performing and recording career, Ned is the banjo instructor at The East Nashville School of Music and is also a popular teacher at music camps such as Nashcamp, Camp Bluegrass, Acoustic Music Camp, The Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy, American Banjo Camp, British Columbia Bluegrass Workshops, Midwest Banjo Camp and Banjo Camp Munich.
Harmony Vocal Master Class with Stephen Mougin
All levels welcome.
Based on the popular "Dark Shadow Recording - Harmony Training Series", the Master Class will take traditional bluegrass songs and break down the parts for all to sing. Breathing, support, diction and other vocal techniques will be discussed throughout the duration of the class. There will be something for singers of all abilities! Beginners will discover harmony vocals while advanced singers work on vocal chops! Seminar focus will be the "feel" of singing - the concept of creating a good tone, identifying how it feels, and duplicating the feeling when you sing again.
Stephen Mougin tours with the Sam Bush band as guitarist and vocalist, as well as producing and engineering records, and teaching privately. He functioned as Bush's vocal coach on the highly acclaimed "Circles Around Me" album that featured Mougin on guitar, lead/harmony vocals, and mandolin. Since moving to Nashville in 2002, he has performed with Jim Lauderdale, Melonie Cannon, Randy Kohrs, Valerie Smith and Audie Blaylock, and has played stages around the world including the Grand Old Opry. With a degree in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and experience as Choral Director at the Mahar Regional School in nearby Orange, teaching chorus, theory and general music, and producing/directing musicals, Mougin teaches vocal harmony and guitar. He is featured on the Dark Shadow Recording Harmony Training Series CDs with Russell Moore, Ronnie Bowman, Adam Steffey and Ned Luberecki.