Bluegrass Corner

Happy New Year!

Welcome to a new year of great bluegrass music! We close out the year 2018 with fondness, looking back at many wonderful bluegrass experiences:

– The Summergrass Bluegrass Music Festival, held in Vista over a long weekend in August, featuring ten-plus top national and touring bands, workshops, a Kids Music Camp, camping, food, vendors, workshops, and jamming.

– Bluegrass concerts at the Pacific Beach and La Jolla Community Churches.

AMSD’s bluegrass presentations

Bluegrass Day at the Del Mar Fair.

Family Fiddle Camp in Julian.

– Band scrambles.

– Campouts, jam sessions, and more throughout a great year.

Looking forward to 2019 San Diego can expect more of the same. We will see the Family Fiddle Camp in Julian in April, Bluegrass Day at the Del Mar Fair in June, and Summergrass will be back in August with a great new line up. There will be special concerts peppered throughout the year as they are booked. We’ll keep you updated in this column as we learn more. The regular “Bluegrass Tuesday” events, open to all, will continue as well:

First Tuesday of every month: Concert, open mic, and jam session at the Round Table Pizza in Escondido, at the corner of Ash and Washington, 6:30—9pm. Free and open to the public. Donations requested. Sponsored by the North County Bluegrass and Folk Club.

Second Tuesday of every month: Open mic and jam session at Fuddruckers Restaurant in Grossmont Center, La Mesa, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive. Open to the public and free. Donations requested. Sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society.
Third Monday of every month: Instructed slow jam, 7—8:30pm at the Our Savior Lutheran Church, 4011 Ohio Street, North Park, San Diego. Sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society. $5 to SDBS members, $10 to non-members. You can join SDBS onsite and get an instant discount.

Fourth Tuesday every month: Featured band night, open mic, and jam session at the Boll Weevil Restaurant, 9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., corner of Ruffin Road. 6:30—8pm open mic, 8—9pm featured band in concert. Free, and open to the public. Donations requested. Sponsored by the San Diego Bluegrass Society.

In addition there is an open bluegrass music jam every Thursday night in Encinitas at the Round Table Pizza, 1321 Encinitas Blvd., 6:30—9pm, open to the public, and $5 per person, which includes pizza and salad. Sponsored and led by Jason Weiss. Beyond that, there are coffeehouse open mics, old time jams, Saturday jam seasons in Vista at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, house concerts, Bluegrass Brunch with a live band every Sunday at Urban Solace Restaurant in North Park 10am—2pm, and more. There simply is no excuse not to get out and participate in as many of these great opportunities to enjoy bluegrass music as possible.

Great 48 Jam Session. Every year the California Bluegrass Association sponsors the “Great 48” Jam session in Bakersfield. This year’s event will take place over the weekend of January 10-13, 2019 at the Marriott Convention Center in downtown Bakersfield. This event brings together pickers from both Northern and Southern California as well as from Arizona, Oregon, and beyond. It is a unique opportunity for players to jam with new friends. The event also presents vendors, workshops, music showcases, and concerts. I hope to see you there! The San Diego Bluegrass Society, the North County Bluegrass and Folk Club, and Summergrass will be there.

The above events are all open to the public. Try them out. If you want to get involved beyond just showing up, consider joining the North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club, the San Diego Bluegrass Society, or, better yet, join both. It’s only $20 per year for the whole family for a full year to join each of these non-profit organizations. You will receive their newsletters, email updates, and more. Most important you will be helping to keep bluegrass music alive and active in San Diego. Learn more at their websites:


Finally, a note of thanks to the Troubadour for a great holiday party, held on Sunday, December 16th in San Diego. The Troubadour event brought together singer songwriters, bands, soloists, and all variety of musicians, including but not limited to bluegrass performers and jammers. This year’s event featured great variety of pot luck food, a bar, a jam session, and open mic presenting more than 40 acts!

The Troubadour serves as the glue that holds San Diego’s independent music scene together. I know I saw many cross-genre friends at the party with whom I renewed long-standing friendships. We all come from a variety of paths in life, and no doubt hold wildly differing political viewpoints. But, we also share a common bond in music. It is understood that we check our politics at the door, and it is around that special love of music that the Troubadour brings us together. For that we are thankful.

(note from the editor: And thank you, Dwight, for contributing to the Troubadour with bluegrass news and updates for all these years!)

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