There are lots of interesting bluegrass happenings this time of year in San Diego. Here’s a quick run-down on some of this month’s special activities:
November 8: Point Music Film Festival debuts in San Diego, featuring films with and about music. Included in this year’s inaugural event are three bluegrass-related films, plus a live performance by the bluegrass band James Reams and the Barnstormers, who some may have seen last spring as the headliner at the Ramona Bluegrass Festival. The film festival takes place at the San Diego’s 10th Avenue Theater. For tickets and info visit: www.brownpapertickets.com/ event/660166.
November 9: Vince Gill and the Time Jumpers will be appearing with the San Diego Symphony at Copley Hall. This should be interesting, combining one of the truly great voices in bluegrass and country music along with the super-hot Nashville group the Time Jumpers performing with our outstanding local symphony. For tickets and info: http://purchasing.sandiegosymphony.org/single/EventDetail.aspx?p=4613.
November 16: The Annual St. Mark’s Bluegrass Concert, sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society, will be presented at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 3502 Clairemont Drive in Clairemont. The show starts at 4:30pm and will be followed by refreshments. Admission is free; donations for this fundraiser are encouraged. There will be two bands in concert presenting the theme for the evening: classic bluegrass that honors the masters.
IBMA AWARDS HONORING THE BEST IN BLUEGRASS FOR 2013-14.
The annual IBMA Awards Show took place in the historic Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday, October 2. It was a great night, with top-level performances and awards in a variety of categories – the bluegrass equivalent of the Oscars.
Taking home the highest award, Entertainer of the Year, was Balsam Range. To learn the rest of the award winners visit the IBMA website, or better yet, listen in to the Bluegrass Special hosted by Wayne Rice on KSON radio (97.3 and 92.1 FM) and hear his broadcast announcing the winners. Visit kson.com/bluegrass.
Take pride that local Chris Stuart co-produced the Awards Show this year, put in a ton of work, and rewarded us all with a spectacular show. Note also that local Wayne Rice, DJ for KSON’s Bluegrass Special radio show, co-produced the awards show for many years, so San Diego can take pride in the contributions of these locals to this great program.
GETTING STARTED IN PLAYING BLUEGRASS – THE SLOW JAM.
Maybe you are one of the many who plays some guitar, dabbles in banjo, or played some classical violin as a kid and are attracted to bluegrass music. But, how do you do that stuff? It sounds so hard and so fast, and involves all that mysterious improvising! Well, take heart. There is a slow jam that might be just right for you.
The San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS) sponsors a slow jam every third Monday of the month taught by acclaimed teacher Janet Beazley. Learn the details and how to sign up at www.sandiegobluegrass.org. or email Janet at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is held on third Mondays from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Our Savior Lutheran Church, 4011 Ohio Street (corner of Lincoln) in North Park.
Janet takes songs and instrumentals from the classic bluegrass repertoire, breaks them down, and teaches them at a non-breakneck pace, suitable for beginners and intermediates. She teaches how to sing in the bluegrass style – that high lonesome, three-part harmony singing. And, she teaches how to take a solo, how to learn to improvise, and how to play in a band – all at a pace you can digest, with music handouts, and other aids. To boot, it’s great fun!
Stop by some third Monday and take a look – I’ll bet you will want to sign up. Admission is $5 for SDBS members and $10 for non-members. All ages are welcome. You can join SDBS on site for a year for $20 for the whole family and get your immediate discount. Janet also teach a slow jam in Poway on the first Sunday of every month from 2:30-4 pm. at the Poinsettia Senior Park clubhouse.