Jammin’ outdoors; Austin ArtWorks Center brings open jam session to the Bandshell

Published 7:41 am Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Those familiar with the Austin ArtWorks Center’s ArtRocks Open Jam Sessions are no strangers to the variety of talent one can hear at the event. An event for musicians and non-musicians alike, the jam sessions allow anyone to participate.

This Friday, for the first time, the ArtRocks Open Jam Sessions will be held at an outdoor concert venue during “Jammin’ at the Bandshell.” The event begins at 7 p.m. at Bandshell Community Park.

“We only run (the ArtRocks Open Jam Sessions) through the school year and the house band wanted to play outside,” said Austin ArtWorks Center operations manager Kelsey Ritchie. “We were able to get the Bandshell and the (house band members) are running it themselves. We’re hoping it goes well so we can do it next year.”

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The idea came from the growing popularity of the monthly jam sessions.

Like the ArtRocks Open Jam Sessions, “Jammin’ at the Bandshell” invites musicians and music fans of all ages and experience to enjoy playing and listening. All participants will be backed by the house band, Ventura Highway, consisting of Scott Jasmin, Scott Anderson, Mark Conway, Pete Wangen and Terry Schmidt.

Organizers want to include as many singers and musicians as possible during each session, so there will be a limit of two songs for each performer. If time allows, people can return to the stage later in the session. Ventura Highway’s instruments will be available for performers to use. Participants are asked to bring four copies of chord charts to enable Ventura Highway members to follow along and sign up in advance, with songs they wish to perform, on the “Jammin’ at the Bandshell” Facebook event page.

All musicians are welcome, whether or not they bring chord charts or have signed up in advance to participate. It’s all about celebrating live music performance, according to organizers.

Those who want to watch are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets and picnics to relax and enjoy the music. The event is free and open to the public.

“Jammin’ at the Bandshell” will be held from 7-9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 22, at Bandshell Community Park, located at Fourth Street and Ninth Place Southwest. The Austin ArtWorks Center plans to have additional “Jammin’ at the Bandshell” sessions on Friday, July 27, and Friday, Aug. 31.

For more information, visit the “Jammin’ at the Bandshell” Facebook event page or www.austinareaarts.org or call 507-434-0934.