Monthly Jamboree and Open Mike
Monthly jams are held on the first Sunday of each month from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
We usually meet at Hoover Middle School in San Jose, in and around the cafeteria. During the
summer we often hold the jam at the nearby Municipal Rose Garden Park instead.
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What Is It? The jam is a family-friendly gathering of
people who enjoy traditional music as played on acoustic instruments
such as the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, accordion, harmonica
and pennywhistle. We get together to
“jam” (play informally together), and take turns performing
on stage. Our players often range in age from under 10 to over 80.
We begin at 1:00 pm with several jam groups forming outdoors.
Usually several styles are represented, such as old-time, bluegrass,
country, gospel, Celtic and folk. At about 1:30 we open
the stage indoors to “open-mike” performances, with chairs
and tables set up so people can sit and enjoy the music.
The jam usually concludes with a door prize drawing shortly before 5:00 pm.
Details about upcoming jams can be found on our Upcoming Jams and Events page.
Location: Hoover Middle School is at the corner of Naglee and
Park avenues in San Jose. The school's main entrance is on Park,
but the cafeteria entrance and nearest parking are at
1450 Naglee Ave., San Jose, CA. Here's a
Summertime jams in the park are held under shady trees in the grassy (non-rose) half
of the Municipal Rose Garden park — about two blocks southwest on Naglee, near Garden Drive.
Admission: Adults: $6 for SCVFA
and $8 for non-members, which helps pay the rent for use of the school.
Youths 17 and under are free. Occasional special events may have an
additional admission charge. The summertime jams at the Rose Garden
park are free.
Open Mike: At the school, jam participants are encouraged to
sign up to play on stage, as solo performers or groups, for 15 to 20 minutes
each. Musicians gain experience performing for a small audience and using
a PA system, and non-musicians are entertained.
(There is no open mike at the park, and special events, such as the
Youth Fiddle Contest and occasional concerts, will sometimes
preempt the open-mike performances.)
Learning Groups: We usually organize a slow jam
group for beginners and a tune-learning group for intermediate-level players.
The Slow Jam starts around 1:30 and
the Tune Builder starts around 2:00 pm.
Both are led by experienced musicians.
Bring your acoustic instrument and practice playing with
others, learn some new tunes, and pick up tips on jamming.
See the Learning Page
for more information.
Miscellany: Attendees often provide various snack foods (a small
donation is encouraged if you partake). Sandwiches and other deli food
are available at nearby Zanotto's Family Market (at Naglee and Bascom).
School restrooms are accessible in the library building across the courtyard.
Per school-district rules, alcohol and smoking are not permitted on the school
grounds or in the buildings, and pets are not permitted in the cafeteria
(service animals excepted).
(Photos by Pete Showman and Richard Brooks)