June Jamborees at the Jones House
June Jamborees kick off this week, featuring free slow jams and a musical instrument “petting zoo” every Thursday in June from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone.
“The Jamborees are a great way for the community, kids and adults alike to come learn about the musical Thursdays at the Jones House by jumping right in,” cultural resources coordinator Mark Freed said.
The Jones House usually offers group music lessons in fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele on Thursday afternoons between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., followed by the weekly old-time jam session from 7:30 to 11 p.m.
The music lesson sessions will resume on July 10, and interested students can register by contacting the Jones House. In the meantime, Freed said, there are ways for everyone to join in the fun this month.
For those who are already playing an instrument, three rooms in the Jones House will feature slow jams.
“In a slow jam, we have a seasoned musician or two leading a tune or a song at a very moderate pace, and they play it for a long time to allow musicians to catch on at their personal pace,” Freed explained. “The leader might go over chord changes and the song or tune structure before launching into the piece, but there is not formal instruction on how to make chords and play the melody.”
Two rooms will focus on instrumental fiddle tunes, though they are open to all acoustic stringed instruments. Some of the fiddle leaders throughout the month will include Cecil Gurganus, John Cockman, Trevor McKenzie, Dave Wood, Erika and Chris Testerman and Brandon Holder.
Another room will focus on singing and accompanying folk songs, and the sessions will be led by Randy and Deborah Jean Sheets.
For those interested in learning to play, a musical instrument “petting zoo” will be set up for participants to have a hands-on experience with the various instruments taught at the Jones House. One or two instructors will be on hand to give demonstrations and talk about the music lessons program, which is open to students ages 6 through adult.
Each week, the Jamborees will be followed by the weekly Thursday night old-time jam session at the Jones House, which has been running weekly for nearly nine years. The jam session is open to musicians, dancers and listeners alike.
The Jones House Cultural and Community Center is located at 604 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, visit http://www.joneshousecommunitycenter.org, or call (828) 268-6280.