One of my absolute favorite things to do is to go to an open blues jam. I love the energy, the gathering of like-minded people doing what they love, and I learn something new every time. A blues jam could be anything. Bad stuff happens there, but really great musical stuff happens as well. It’s fine to make mistakes, take risks, and to play your instrument or sing at the edge of your comfort zone.
I love to see professionals and less experienced musicians sharing the stage. At a jam everyone keeps an open mind and does their best to make some great moments. Yes, there’s some decorum and the crowd is polite. But at the same time, for the most part this is a crowd that really knows music. On some level they have an internal dialogue going on about whether the music is good or not – we’ll call it enlightened criticism. And that encourages all of us to bring our A game and stay in the intensity of the moment.
What a jam is not? I guess it’s not a place to go to watch the football game in the background. It’s really all about the music and is for the betterment of all musician-kind. There’s a generous sharing of information and friendship and appreciation that everyone in the room is lucky to be doing what we’re doing. It’s a little reminiscent of church- if church had beer.
Calendar of music and open jams published by Colorado Blues Society: Music Calendar with Open Jams