Bua to kick-off Fall Music Series – September 26th!

Bua evokes the good times that Irish traditional music so often celebrates ,” playing in a manner “largely forgotten in today’s overly polished Irish music world .” With “a precision and intensity that is rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic,” their sound stands out among modern bands in the genre by “keeping the music down the path of tradition” while still being able to “raise the rafters with their playing, charm with their singing, and delight with their contemporary energy.” Based in Chicago, Illinois—a long-celebrated center of Irish traditional music—Bua “has established itself individually and as a group in the eyes and ears of the traditional community,” and their 2011 release, Down the Green Fieldsfinds Bua exploring the forgotten sounds from the heyday of Irish music in the City of Big Shoulders with a blend of enchantingly stark song arrangements and bold, pulsing dance tunes. Lauded by The Bluegrass Situation as being the top Irish album of the past five years, Down the Green Fields stands as a testament, from beginning to end, of the lasting essentials of the Irish tradition”.

4th Annual Scott Street Five String Final – Submissions Open!

Nobody outdoes bluegrass and old time lovers when it comes to remembering those who have gone before us. Countless festivals and events carry the names of artists and entertainers we have lost, many of them launched specifically to keep the name of a cherished loved one alive after they have passed. Just in my neck of the woods are two such – the legendary MerleFest, started by Doc Watson to commemorate his son, Merle, and HoustonFest, started a few years ago to memorialize a picker, Houston Caldwell, who died tragically at a young age.

Another here in Virginia of a more recent vintage is The Scott Street Five String Finals, held in the memory of one of Richmond’s most civic-minded individuals. Scott Street was an attorney, a philanthropist, a kind and loving soul, and a dedicated follower of all things banjo. Even while losing his battle with cancer, Scott was the first one off the couch to help anyone who needed it, especially within the bluegrass and banjo community.

After his passing in 2015, several friends in Richmond came up with the idea of a banjo competition to keep Scott’s name in the conversation. It is held each year as a part of the Richmond Folk Festival, with generous prizes offered for pickers 18 and under in two banjo categories. A $1,000 prize is given to the winner in both a bluegrass and a clawhammer division, with $600 and $400 awards for 2nd and 3rd places.

To enter, you must submit a video of yourself playing on YouTube. A group of finalists will be chosen from the video submissions, and they will be invited to the festival on October 13 to compete in the finals live on stage. There is no fee to submit an entry.

Judges for this year include James Bailey, former banjo player with The Country Gentlemen, clawhammer virtuoso Victor Furtado, and Richard Ward, formerly with The Heights Of Grass.

Full details on the Scott Street Five String Finals can be found online.

Story by John Lawless (appeared originally on Bluegrass Today website)

 

 

 

 

Robbie Schaefer’s Full Set Available Now!

Singer, songwriter, storyteller, humanitarian Robbie Schaefer joined us for a very well-timed performance at In Your Ear on November 11th, the Friday after our long and exhausting election season. He provided a breath of hopeful and encouraging fresh air. Our public radio show necessitated leaving so much out as it’s only an hour long, and Robbie’s thoughtful stories and song intros are such an important part of his music, we offer the following links to stream the entire two hour concert unedited. We encourage you to spend some undistracted quality time with Robbie, who some of you might know through his work with Eddie From Ohio or the last two editions of SPARC’s Live Art. It will fill your heart.

Set One: https://soundcloud.com/timberlaket/iye-robbie-schaefer-set-one-111116
Set Two: https://soundcloud.com/timberlaket/iye-robbie-schaefer-set-two-111116

2nd Annual Scott Street Five String Finals Results

The 2nd Annual Scott Street Five String Finals honors the memory of original JAMinc board member, distinguished attorney and dedicated banjo player Scott Street, who we lost in February of 2015 to cancer.  This year the competition expanded to include both bluegrass/Scruggs-style and clawhammer/old time style.  Finalists competed live on the CarMax Family Stage at the Richmond Folk Festival on Saturday, October 8th, 2016.

We are pleased to report the results here:

Bluegrass division

Logan Redding, age 16-Pickens, SC–1st place

Taylor Parks, age 12-Parksley, VA –2nd place

Johnny White, age 14-Richmond, VA–3rd place

Clawhammer division

Madison Shepherd, age 16-West Jeffereson, NC–1st place

Uma Peters, age 9-Nashville, TN–2nd place

Rachel Dunaway, age 17-Richmond, VA–3rd place

Winners in each division received a crystal trophy, a demo recording session at In Your Ear Studios, and a $1000 cash prize. Runners-up receive $600 with $400 for third place.

Congratulations to all of the wonderful participants!  JAMinc would like to thank all participants and judges for helping us honor Scott Street and carry on his memory through the talents of these young, amazing musicians.

gini-with-winners

First place winners Logan Redding and Madison Shepherd with Gini Street

So long, Songbird

Robbin Thompson lost his 15-year fight with cancer late Friday night. He was at home with family and friends. Virginia – and the world really – lost too. He endured many lengthy treatments, with devious side effects, but rarely if ever complained. By all accounts, he faced his illness with courage and his well-known sense of humor. In a newsletter this year he talked about the battle and his decision to take another shot at beating cancer.

“I was able to deal with most of this without anyone really knowing … Easy to hide but hard to ignore… so, here I am, facing another surgery. The way I figure, it’s like that moment in para-sailing right before running down the mountain. Once you decide to go for it there ain’t no turnin’ back and the rewards of goin’ for it far exceed sitting at home wondering how it would’ve been if you had just taken the chance.”

A singer, songwriter and multi-instrument musician, Robbin gave many fans a soundtrack to their lives (judging by numerous comments on social media). During a January 2014 all-acoustic show at In Your Ear Studio he talked about some of the inspirations for his songs: watching TV while lying sick on a couch, the people he’s met and places he’s traveled to. His beloved sail boat, Song Bird, and life on the Chesapeake showed up as well. Robbin’s music was upbeat and often introspective.

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But Robbin was much more than an accomplished and successful musician. He was a supporter of the arts and causes by those he cared about. He was one of the main instigators creating the JAMinc house show series which features regional touring artist highlighting the roots of American music. This series also includes a school out-reach program which has put the bands in front of over 80,000 area school kids to date.

He was involved, from the beginning, with SPARC’s “Live Art,” both performing and writing songs for the shows and working directly with hundreds of budding talent. Robbin played a huge part, both up front and in the background, getting the Billy Ray Hatley charity show at the National in 2013 put together. A message posted by ACT Today (Autism Care and Treatment) thanked him for a song he wrote and donated to their military families living with autism initiative. Just a few of many ways Robbin made our world better.

But he was a musician first and last. From his 1969 VCU days forming Mercy Flight and opening for Bruce Springsteen’s Steel Mill to recently seeing his “Sweet Virginia Breeze” (co-written and performed by Steve Bassett) named Virginia’s “popular” state song, he accomplished a lot in a too short life time. To the end he was having musician friends over, booking shows and preparing to perform in several productions.

He left his mark on our music even when the music wasn’t his, never hesitant to jump in and work to make a song better. Long time guitarist and collaborator Velpo Robertson said in the Richmond Times Dispatch, “To me, I think that was the best thing about him. He was always happy to collaborate. No matter who he was working with, he wanted to make the songs better.”

There will always be a sweeter breeze because of the life of Robbin Thompson.

By Bill Rice (original post on SIFTER here)

In lieu of flowers, Robbin’s family requests that donations be made to JAMinc or SPARC in his honor.

 

Support JAMinc through AmazonSmile!

 

We are happy to announce that supporting JAMinc is just an easy click away!  We have partnered with AmazonSmile to help raise money to support our mission.  Please go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/54-2050825 and .5% of all eligible Amazon purchases will come back to JAMinc.  Happy Shopping!

W. Scott Street 1944-2015

All of us at JAMinc mourn the loss of our fellow board member and dear friend Scott Street, who died February 1st after a brief but brave fight with a rare cancer.  As an attorney, lover and supporter of music and dedicated banjo player, Scott has been an important part of JAMinc’s mission since its inception and we will sorely miss his wise counsel, warm smile and abiding love of the five-string.
Here’s a link to Scott’s impressive obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


On behalf of all our members, Jim Bland, Daniel Clarke, Andy Garrigue, Kelly Harrell, Bill McElroy, Bill Rice, Robbin Thompson and our president/founder Wally Thulin, let me express our deepest sympathies to Gini and Scott’s entire family with thanks for sharing him generously with us for so many years.

Tim Timberlake,
Board Chair, JAMinc

Jammin’ on the James Summer Wrap-up

Since JAMinc’s Studio A concert series at In Your Ear Music and Recording takes the summer off, we felt it was a great fit to partner with the Wilton House Museum’s monthly “Jammin’ on the James” events in Richmond’s Westhampton neighborhood. Featured artists this season were country band Andy Vaughan and the Driveline in June, the big band Tom Cunningham Orchestra in July and RVA favorite singer/songwriter Susan Greenbaum in August. All drew large crowds of all ages, with lots of families and couples packing picnic baskets and lawn chairs. Tim Timberlake and Jim Bland from the JAMinc board took turns manning our table to spread the word about our mission and signing up folks for our email list. It’s a perfect spot for outdoor live music, plus many toured the historic Wilton House itself, built originally in the 1750s east of Richmond and moved to its present location in 1933. Check out the elegantly carved wood paneling…it’s one of only two fully paneled colonial homes in the U.S. More at www.wiltonhousemuseum.org

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Tune in to 88.9 WCVE for live coverage of Richmond Folk Festival and more!

88.9 WCVE Richmond Public Radio will be broadcasting live from the Altria main stage at the 10th anniversary edition of the Richmond Folk Festival the weekend of October 10-12.  The following Saturday, October 18th at 1pm, WCVE will air the first of seven brand new programs in JAMinc’s In Your Ear live performance radio show, produced and hosted by board member Tim Timberlake.

We’ve offered up a total of 26 hour-long programs since IYE radio began a few years ago and all are available for on demand streaming at www.ideastations.org/iye.  Each hour is an abridged replay of one or more of our past live studio concerts, lovingly recorded and mixed by Carlos Chafin and Andrea Stefl at In Your Ear Music & Recording in downtown RVA.  Coming up in this new season are recent performances by the Robbin Thompson Band (unplugged), Missy Raines & the New Hip, Jim Hurst, celtic fiddlers Kevin Burke & John Carty and the Snyder Family Band.  We’ll also be opening our growing archives for some earlier samplings from past artists including Peter Ostroushko, Wayne Henderson & Helen White, the Bee Eaters, Phil Wiggins & Rick Franklin and Anne & Pete Sibley.

And please thank and support our loyal sponsors make our radio presence possible:  HohnerUSA, TKL/Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe, Digital Video Group and Will & Molly Perkinson. Catch as many as you can Saturdays at 1pm on WCVE, at 88.9 on the FM dial or stream it live at http://ideastations.org/radio

Jammin’ on the James Concert Series

JAMinc is co-sponsor of this summer’s Jammin’ on the James Concert Series held at the beautiful and historic Wilton House in Windsor Farms. This year’s lineup features Andy Vaughan & Driveline on June 14, the Tom Cunningham Orchestra on July 12, and Susan Greenbaum on August 9th.

For times and further information on these free outdoor family concerts, visit their website at http://www.wiltonhousemuseum.org/events/.