Back in 2014 I started cogitating on the idea of starting a new jam session in the Boston area. The beloved + venerable Acton Jazz Café had just recently closed: I missed performing at this venue, and especially regretted the loss of the various jam sessions that their schedule featured every weekend. Coming out to a club, meeting new musicians and testing one skills by jumping with both feet into an unfamiliar and sometimes unpredictable improvisational setting has always been an indispensable part of learning this music we call Jazz, and for all the great players in the Boston area, there just are not very many opportunities where players of varying levels + backgrounds can do this. Also my own experience has taught that jam sessions often have a very competitive vibe, everyone vying to be flashy + impressive, often losing focus on the expressiveness + subtlety of communication that makes Art great.
So when the management of this fabulous listening room generously extended me the opportunity to start a new jam session on a trial basis, I very much wanted to focus on making it a convivial + joyful atmosphere, welcoming and inviting to all players and listeners, seeking to build a feeling of community + connection rather than competition. It is most gratifying to recognize here 4 years on that apparently a lot of people appreciate this approach to Jamming. The session has steadily built into a vibrant + energetic scene, propelled by a house-band featuring consistently fabulous top-notch jazz veterans, supported by avidly enthusiastic audiences, and fueled consistently by participants of varying levels, all united by eagerness to bring the music ever higher. The room itself fosters this positive energy with fabulous staff, beautiful artwork covering the walls, an excellent Kawai grand piano, house drum-kit + upright bass, great PA system, superb locally brewed libations at the bar: basically everything that could be required to facilitate awesome nights of communal music-making!
The focus is on playing jazz standards from the Great American songbook, bebop tradition, etc.
Players please come in with at least 2 or 3 favorite tunes in mind so you can quickly compare notes on stage and come up with a song everybody is comfortable with. Our time is limited so we always do our best to keep things moving along as smoothly as possible.
The Jam is typically quite busy, so it is always a good policy to get there by 9 PM or a little bit earlier to sign up on your instrument.