Aaron Burdett Acoustic Trio visits Mary Munford Elementary School

Before performing to a sold out crowd at the In Your Ear Recording Studios in January 2019, the Aaron Burdett Acoustic Trio performed at Mary Munford Elementary School to about 250 children.

Chatting with the kids, Aaron asked if their rooms were messy – many raised their hands and so did a few teachers. He said his room was pretty messy too and suggested they all go home and clean their rooms … a funny moment.

It’s been another great year!

Bill Blue, Mike McAdam and collected friends from our 100th IYE show

To our JAMinc family …

On behalf of our board of directors, let me extend sincere season’s greetings and our thanks for your support of our efforts over the past year, in whatever way that might have come. Our mission of sharing quality music with our community continues. Our board roster at year’s end includes Jim Bland, Andy Garrigue, Joe Gianfortoni, Kay Landry, Justin Laughter, Bill Rice, Wally Thulin, Samson Trinh and myself. We are committed to the continuation of our 14-year In Your Ear concert series that last May marked its 100th performance with RVA favorites Bill Blue and Mike McAdam. The show sold out in less than 24 hours.

Our Studio A concerts this year also featured Turkish pop from Yeni Nostalji, Latin bolero from Miramar, singer/songwriter Joe Crookston, and Boston’s Novel Ideas. We began our fall season with Chicago-based Irish band Bua, then a return of jazz piano sensation Justin Kauflin and finally veteran blues duo Paul Rishell and Annie Raines in late November. All these artists played at least two school outreach shows, an important part of what we do, and the number of children touched by our initiative is now well over 90,000 since our concert series began in 2004. And we continue to present our public radio program In Your Ear on WCVE Music that airs at noon on Saturdays during the fall and spring and features highlights of our recorded concerts. We’ve done 61 shows so far and all are archived for streaming at http://www.ideastations.org/iye.

JAMinc also provided tech support and transportation for the artists performing in public and private schools during the Richmond Folk Festival, though we were forced to cancel half our scheduled appearances this year due to Hurricane Michael. JAMinc is privileged to be part of sharing this amazing world music with our community. We were also proud to present the 4th annual Scott Street Five String Finals during the Folk Festival, a youth banjo contest in memory of our former board member, attracting talented players from far and wide. 1st place finishers in both the bluegrass and clawhammer divisions received a handsome crystal trophy and all six finalists took home generous cash prizes, thanks to the Street family.

JAMinc is a true 501(c)(3) non-profit. Our directors are unpaid and all our concert proceeds and other contributions support our artists and the school outreach program. You might consider the gift of appreciated stocks or your 401/k required minimum distributions to help us fulfill our mission and decrease your tax burden. Please contact me with any questions as to how this could work for all of us: info@jaminc.org. And making a simple monetary gift is easy via PayPal or your charge card online.

We’re deeply grateful for your interest in what JAMinc strives to do, sharing the ideal that music and the arts are a vital part of what makes life worth living.

We wish you all the joys of the holiday season …

Tim Timberlake, President

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines perform Nov 30

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines performed at In Your Ear Studio on Nov. 30, 2018. For 25 years Paul and Annie have been hailed as one of the world’s best blues duos. They have recorded six albums together including the W.C. Handy Award-winning Moving to the Country (2000), and received numerous award nominations from the Blues Foundation.

They have performed and recorded with John Sebastian, Susan Tedeschi, Pinetop Perkins and Rory Block. They have opened for Ray Charles, Dr. John, and Little Feat, and performed on international radio and TV shows including Late Night with Conan O’Brien and A Prairie Home Companion. They continue to perform American roots music and their own compositions at festivals, concert halls, and clubs all over the world.

As a working team, Paul and Annie have racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on the road in the U.S. and Europe, collaborated on original songs, and released the Blues Foundation Award nominated TALKING GUITARI WANT YOU TO KNOW (Tone-Cool/Artemis 1996), MOVING TO THE COUNTRY (2000), the W.C. Handy Award winner for Acoustic Blues Album of the Year, and GOIN’ HOME (2004), which was nominated for two Handy Awards.

About Paul Rishell

Paul Rishell was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950, descended from a long line of Methodist preachers and Norwegian painters. At the age of 10, he discovered that he could keep time on the drums, though his feet didn’t reach the pedals. He started a band a few years later, playing surf music and rock ‘n roll, until a friend turned him on to the country blues records of Son House, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. He immediately took up the guitar and in the early 70s Paul moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts and had the chance to play with many of the first and second generation of blues masters — including Son House, Johnny Shines, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Howlin’ Wolf.

Paul Rishell’s debut recording,BLUES ON A HOLIDAY (Tone-Cool) was released in 1990 to resounding critical acclaim. The album was half acoustic, half electric, and established Paul as a masterful, versatile blues player and as well as a deeply soulful singer and songwriter. He followed that with SWEAR TO TELL THE TRUTH in 1993, which featured heart-stopping solo performances as well as guest artists Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters and “Little” Annie Raines.

Paul’s original music has been used in plays, films, and countless television shows including Friends, Oprah, and A&E’s Biography. He has built up a stellar reputation over 40 years as a performer, teacher, and torchbearer of the country blues tradition. His former students include Susan Tedeschi and Michael Tarbox. Dirt Road Blues, Paul’s instructional video/CD-Rom for Truefire.com, was released in 2008 with detailed demonstrations and transcriptions of his original songs and songs by Scrapper Blackwell, Blind Boy Fuller, and many others. He is currently serving as a visiting artist at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

“…Rishell is a master of country/blues styles, particularly slide played on a National steel guitar. Raines, a rare female ace blues harmonica blower, shows that she is as strong an acoustic country harp accompanist as she is a harder-edged, electrified Chicago-style lead player à la the great Little Walter…” – Billboard

Internationally known jazz pianist Justin Kauflin gives advice to Trinity music students

On the morning after performing at the Tin Pan for the Richmond installment of his international concert tour, jazz pianist and Virginia native Justin Kauflin visited Trinity for an informal performance and discussion with Trinity music students.

Having lost his vision at the age of 11, he has devoted his life to music, and has been fortunate to learn under the mentorship of some of the top names in jazz – such as Jae Sinnett, Clark Terry and Quincy Jones, the legendary producer who has worked with Kauflin on his most recent recordings.

Read more on the Trinity website »

A special concert with the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura Nov. 15

JAMinc board member Samson Trinh, who is a music educator at the Steward School, is excited to announce that The Steward School will host The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura for a city-wide performance at The Carpenter Theater on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 10:30 am.

While not a show sponsored by JAMinc, it dovetails perfectly with our mission to open minds, hearts and ears to music deserving a wider audience through education, performance and support.

This event is FREE and open to Richmond area schools and communities as well as the public. Featured in the critically acclaimed documentary, Landfill Harmonic, the Paraguayan musical group of children and teenagers play instruments made entirely out of garbage.

The orchestra was established by environmental engineer and music enthusiast, Favio Chávez, as a simple means to keep kids from playing in the landfill.

The 45-minute program will begin at 10:30am which includes an introductory viewing of the first 10 minutes of the documentary followed by the Recycled Orchestra in concert.

Check out this NPR clip of the Recycled Orchestra: Live Rooftop Concert

Please note, educators who plan to bring classes to attend The Carpenter Theatre can register here.

Smaller groups or individuals interested in attending additional events (Mon, Nov. 5th Landfill Harmonic film screening and Nov. 14th Musical Makers Fair) can register here.

Jazz Virtuoso Justin Kauflin at Tin Pan Oct 31

Justin Kauflin at the piano

Jazz virtuoso Justin Kauflin returned to RVA three years after our In Your Ear show in a special engagement in cooperation with the Tin Pan on Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018!

Check out this on demand stream of Justin’s In Your Ear performance at Idea Station’s website.

“Soulful and heartfelt, punctuated by…virtuosic bursts from Kauflin – long ribbons of notes in which he proved himself a master of melodic development.” – Jazzwise Magazine

Justin Kauflin is a “jazz pianist who favors a clarity of touch and ideas, rarely spinning into an orbit he can’t control” (The New York Times). After losing his sight at the age of 11, Kauflin gravitated towards playing jazz piano, despite having a background in classical violin. He received top honors at jazz festivals across the U.S. and began performing professionally by age 15, most notably with the Jae Sinnett Trio. In 2004, he received the Presidential Scholarship to attend William Paterson University in New York and while studying there, he was taken under the tutelage of the legendary Clark Terry (winner of the 2010 Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz) and was then invited to play in the Clark Terry Ensemble. At age 23, Kauflin produced, composed and performed on his first album, Introducing Justin Kauflin and then began regularly headlining with his trio at the straight-ahead jazz club in Virginia, Havana Nights, where he also served as House Pianist. He continued to garner numerous awards such as the VSA International Young Soloist Award, he was selected as a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk Competition in 2011, and was voted “Jazz Artist of the Year” in VEER Magazine.

Simultaneously, Absolute Clay Productions chronicled Justin’s inspiring relationship with mentor, Clark Terry. Five years in the making, the resultant documentary, Keep On Keepin’ On, produced by Quincy Jones, made its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2014. Winning both Heineken Audience and Best New Documentary Director Awards, Keep On Keepin’ On was released in theaters in 2014 through RADiUS-TWC, is now available on Netflix and was Oscar Shortlisted for best documentary (2015 Academy Awards). Justin was subsequently signed by legendary producer and music icon, Quincy Jones for management, and after joining Quincy’s roster of artists, Kauflin was part of Jones’ 2013-2014 world tour, which traveled throughout Switzerland, France, Korea, Tokyo and Japan. Throughout 2014, in addition to Keep On Keepin’ On screening performances across the U.S., Justin worked with Jones on his second full-length CD and debut album for Jazz Village, DEDICATION. The CD consists of 12 original compositions, 9 of which are dedications to mentors, friends & family, and with a 3-part suite reflecting his faith. It was released January 12, 2015 and debuted at #6 on CMJ Jazz chart, #10 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Chart, hit #1 on JazzWeek’s chart, and remained in the top 10 for 9 straight weeks.

With years of dedication, Kauflin has proven himself to be a piano extraordinaire and an undeniably rare talent. Kauflin is currently playing at international jazz clubs, festivals, and most recently performed at the 2015 International Jazz Day with UNESCO in Paris. Kauflin has been touring the world with his trio, and released his new album Coming Home, produced by Derrick Hodge and Quincy Jones, on September 14, 2018.

Justin Kauflin – Piano
Billy Williams – Drums
Chris Smith – Bass

The 2018 Scott Street Five String Finals

The Scott Street Five String Finals

JAMinc hosted The Scott Street Five String Finals at the 2018 Richmond Folk Festival. The six finalists appeared on stage on Sunday in Richmond before a panel of judges consisting of Jim Hurst, James Bailey, Richard Ward, and Victor Furtado.

To read the complete recap, visit the Richmond Folk Festival website.


  • 1st place – Austin Hefflefinger (age 13), Rimersburg, PA
  • 1st runner up – Taylor Parks (age 14), Bloxom, VA
  • 2nd runner up – Jacob Moretz (age 13), Boone, NC


  • 1st place – Caleb Coatney (age 16), Boone, NC
  • 1st runner up – Claire Childress (age 15), Big Stone Gap, VA
  • 2nd runner up – Henry Coatney (age 14), Boone, NC

Bua kick off Fall Music Series on September 26!


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”.

Robbie Schaefer’s Full Set Available Now!

Robbie Storyteller

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.


First place winners Logan Redding and Madison Shepherd with Gini Street