Three free bluegrass and old-time music concerts performed by students, alums, and instructors in the Junior Appalachian Musicians program are planned this spring as part of the 50th -anniversary celebration of the North Carolina Arts Council. The free concerts start at 2 p.m. and will take place March 17 in West Jefferson, April 14 in Black Mountain, and April 21 in Robbinsville.
The popular Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) after-school program provides students with the opportunity to learn the music of their region from master players.
Presented by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) on behalf of the N.C. Arts Council, the concerts series, JAMming Across the Blue Ridge, offers the public a unique opportunity to experience up-and-coming traditional musicians from the mountains of North Carolina.
JAM is part of the Arts Council’s Traditional Arts Program for Students (TAPS). Students receive instruction in an art practice with deep cultural roots in their home communities taught by accomplished traditional artists. In addition to the JAM programs, which teach Appalachian string band music, TAPS offers instruction in traditional pottery, American Indian powwow and craft traditions, Korean traditional arts, and jazz and funk traditions.
“This is one of our most exciting programs because it allows us to sustain the diverse traditional arts that are valued in our communities,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council. “When we inspire future generations to learn about their artistic heritage we are celebrating and strengthening the unique character of our state.”
The BRNHA has provided start-up funds, grants for musical instruments, and ongoing promotional support for JAM programs throughout the region.
“Music is a living tradition in the mountains of North Carolina,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. “Our support of JAM is one way that we foster the passing of traditions from one generation to the next.”
Below is the JAMming Showcase Schedule:
Northern Region Showcase
Saturday, March 17, 2 p.m.
Ashe County Civic Center, West Jefferson
Representatives from Alleghany JAM, Ashe JAM, Boone JAM, Caldwell JAM, and the Surry County TAPS programs.
Central Region Showcase
Saturday, April 14, 2 p.m.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Black Mountain
Representatives from Buncombe, Haywood, and Madison counties JAM and the Toe River TAPS programs.
Western Region Showcase
Saturday, April 21, 2 p.m.
Stecoah Valley Center for the Arts, Robbinsville
Representatives from (John C. Campbell) Folk School JAM, Stecoah Valley TAPS, and Jackson and Swain county JAM programs.
To learn more about the TAPS program visit: