Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting an acoustic old time jam session every third Saturday of the month starting July 16 at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
“Musical expression was and still is often a part of daily life in the southern mountains, and mountain music is strongly tied to the Smokies history and culture,” said Lynda Doucette, Supervisory Park Ranger, Oconaluftee Visitor Center. She continued, “We would like to invite musicians to play traditional Appalachian tunes such as gospel songs and traditional ballads as they were played on the porches in the old days.”
The jam will be held on the porch of the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center which offers nice roof cover for shade and protection from rain in a beautiful setting. “We would like to grow this event so that it becomes part of the experience of the many visitors who come to the visitor center. The idea is to perhaps perpetuate the customs of handing down songs and music through the generations. Visitors have an opportunity to learn and observe first hand these traditions,” Doucette continued.
Anyone who plays and would like to share their talents can join in the music gathering regardless of playing level even beginner musicians. The jams will follow an “around-the-circle” format, where folks may lead tunes/songs or pass the tune choice to the next person. “We hope people will get their instrument and come on out to enjoy a step back in time with us.”