Cleveland County JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) is designed for students in 5th through 9th grades and is being considered for opening in the fall of 2022. Students must live in Cleveland County to be eligible for the program. Specific locations and information regarding the program elements will be available soon on our JAM website. The Cleveland County JAM program will provide instruction in old-time, traditional and bluegrass/gospel music native to the region. Cleveland County has a rich heritage of musicians including the Scruggs family (Earl, Horace, Junie), Don Gibson, Hubert and JC Davis, and others. This program will work to preserve this musical heritage of Cleveland County and teach young musicians in several instruments including guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass and autoharp.
Instructions will be provided in small group settings for the most part but individual lessons might also be available. Programs will be scheduled for after school hours, on Saturdays, or during the summer months and will most likely be one day per week although there may be some weekend or week-long summer camps as well.
Complete details and registration information will be available as soon as the program is finalized and will appear on this JAMkids webpage.
Initially, the majority of classes will be held at the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby however, depending on student location, transportation and other factors, some classes may be held at other locations in the county.
While there may be minimal fees for participation, students unable to pay will be covered by scholarships. Instruments will be available for loan and students who have instruments may bring their own as well.
The JAM Program will be seeking funding for paying instructors, purchasing instruments and general operating expenses. If you would like to DONATE to the JAM Program, please make a note on your DONATION: JAM and we will apply your contributions to that account.
CURRENT LOCAL MUSICIAN FACULTY (varying availability)
Josh Ray Hudson Guitar, Bass, Songwriting
Dan X. Padgett Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Bass, Mandolin
Darin Aldridge Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle, Banjo
Steve Putnam Fiddle
Tommy Forney Fiddle, Guitar
Madison Bridges Banjo, Guitar
Steve Leatherwood Guitar, Bass
Marta Jones Bass
Ray Allison Guitar, Mandolin, Instrument Procurement
CONTACT (for more information):
Steve Leatherwood, President NC Bluegrass Music Association
Mary Beth Martin
Dan X. Padgett
For more information and current updates on the Cleveland County JAM program and events, registration forms and schedules follow this page as we develop JAM documents and forms.
Please do consider a donation to help with the JAM Program. The Program will need funding as well as instruments in good playing condition and other teachers if you are interested. Please contact Steve Leatherwood at steve@NCBGMA.org for information or assistance.
Appalachian Music Documentary to Premiere on Blue Ridge PBS
Independence, VA – Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc., the headquarters office for 50+ after school JAM programs, has partnered with Blue Ridge PBS to release a 90-minute documentary, Bridging the Gap: a Journey through Appalachian Music, that will premiere on Roanoke’s Blue Ridge PBS (Channel 15) Saturday evening, May 7 at 9:00 p.m. EST. The documentary will also be available on demand via their ECHO streaming channel online any time after the premiere. ECHO is a streaming first digital channel that broadcasts out of Roanoke on channel 15.5 and can be watched globally at www.blueridgepbs.org/echo This LINK is available on our PARTNERSHIP PAGE BLUERIDGEPBS.org
The film features JAM Program Director Jim Lloyd who takes us on a musical journey that traces the history of Appalachian music through live performances by an all-star cast. Short segments of stories and demonstrations highlight the significant changes impacting what we consider “Appalachian”, “old time”, or “bluegrass” music and dance today. In addition to Lloyd of Rural Retreat, VA and JAM, Inc. Executive Director, Brett Morris of Galax, VA, the cast included Jim Costa of Hinton, WV, Heather Berry Mabe and Tony Mabe, both of Walnut Cove, NC, Ralph McGee and Rex McGee, both of King, NC, Andrea Smith of Stuart, VA, and Carl Johnson of Shelbyville, TN. The project was filmed by legendary filmmaker Herb E. Smith of Whitesburg, KY.
The show was originally planned to be an interactive concert at a regional event for JAM kids throughout the program’s 4-state region in May 2020 sponsored by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and the North Carolina Arts Council. “We had to use our imaginations and go forward the best way possible,” commented JAM Executive Director, Brett Morris. “We hope that this will be a lasting resource for years to come for JAM kids, although we’re sad that none of them got to see it in person.” Special thanks go to the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center in Yadkinville, NC for their facility. For more information, please visit www.jamkids.org and www.blueridgepbs.org
HERE'S a great documentary about COUNTY SALES on Bluegridge PBS if you would like to watch! https://youtu.be/ixpGYiYOTBU