Jam session promises sweet music

Published 2:52 am Friday, June 6, 2008

By Staff
Musicians to play
at Saturday Market
Staff Writer
People taking a stroll around downtown Washington on Saturday morning may want to keep their ears tuned for sweet sounds of a Southern summer jam session.
The Beaufort County Traditional Musicians Association is bringing the strong tradition of bluegrass music in Beaufort County back to the streets of Washington.
The association will hold an “open song circle” for acoustic musicians at 9 a.m. Saturday at the corner of West Main and Gladden streets. The session is designed, in part, to attract people to Saturday Market, which is held each Saturday from late April through mid-October.
Rob Cuthrell, an acoustic musician who lives in the area, approached the council about creating an association of traditional musicians.
Toler, who was already considering creating an acoustic coalition, met with Cuthrell.
Toler took followed the lead of arts councils in other towns with strong bluegrass roots, particularly the Kinston Community Council for the Arts and the Pasquotank Arts Council
With the help of Cuthrell, Toler began calling area acoustic musicians to inform them about the idea. As he made those calls, he started receiving positive feedback.
Among those musicians were Mac McRoy, a gospel-bluegrass musician, and Paula Tisdale, a Celtic musician, whom Toler met through Music in the Streets.
The association has had three meetings leading up to the jam session.
The association is expecting at least six musicians to pluck and play when the session starts Saturday.
Acoustic musicians are encouraged to join the down-home jam at any time Saturday morning, Cuthrell said.
Cuthrell hopes the pickers will be able to create synergy during their playing.
Cuthrell is not sure what kind of response the group will receive, but he thinks the improvisations will make for an exciting time. He’s not sure how many people will show up to listen, perhaps participate.
The group plans to jam every Saturday through the dog days of summer, excluding next Saturday when the Washington Summer Festival is on the calendar.
Toler believes the jam session will be a success and pave the way for many more due to the tradition of music in Washington.
Cuthrell hopes people will enjoy the session as much as he expects the musicians will enjoy it.