Folks that have been around Washington bluegrass for a while will remember impromptu jams on the National Mall back in the 70’s during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. On June 29, you can relive that experience as part of the Smithsonian’s “Social Power of Music,” the theme of this year’s Folklife Festival, when the DC Bluegrass Union (DCBU) sponsors a bluegrass jam from 2 to 4 pm on the Mall. See more details here.
Another DCBU jam is coming up on Saturday, August 10, when the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress will hold its first Bluegrass Jam, part of its Summer Music Jams series. Dudley Connell and Akira Otsuka will co-host the event, and the Center will offer a visit to its Folklife Reading Room. This event also is from 2 to 4 pm in the Veterans History Information Center (right next door to the Folklife Reading Room).
Both of these jams are paper-free, so please leave your sheet music, songbooks, tablets, etc. at home. If you’re new to bluegrass, you’ll learn quickly that the jam works by listening, watching, and following each other. And a reminder that public transit can be a helpful way to reach the mall and the Library.