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July 2024
Vol. 23, No. 10

Bluegrass Corner

Bluegrass News for March

by Dwight WordenMarch 2023

Bluegrass Day at the Fair is Back!

Kids on stage at Bluegrass Day at the Fair.

Mark your calendars for Sunday June 11 from noon to 5 pm. The popular Bluegrass Day at the Fair will be back on the Paddock Stage at the Del Mar fairgrounds after several years of hiatus due to fair cancelation for Covid. Details for Bluegrass Day at the Fair 2023 are in the works, but you can expect a band scramble open to all, a youth performance, fiddling demonstration, band concerts, and more. We’ll provide more details when they become available.Bluegrass Day at the Fair has a long and storied history, going back decades. It’s a great chance to show off bluegrass music to the tens of thousands who attend the fair daily, and is a top notch experience for our outstanding bands to strut their stuff. It also showcases youngsters performing on stage under the tutelage of their instructors, who are often classically trained, daring to take on fiddle tunes and bluegrass music. The history of Bluegrass Day at the Fair goes all the way back to when Sean and Sara Watkins performed as teens, before going on to fame as Nickel Creek, Grammy Awards, and more.

SDBS New Venue.

Pick up band in action.

In between performances.

The San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS) tried out a new venue on Monday, February 20. The Southwestern Yacht Club on Shelter Island opened its doors to SDBS and bluegrass fans for a trial run. The facility is beautiful and our event was graced with a large meeting room, complete with dance floor and views of the bay. There was table service for food and drink, including outstanding Boston Clam Chowder to die for!

SDBSers John Deckard, Roger Taylor, Dwight Worden, and Alex Finazzo set up the sound system and things were off to the races! There were three separate pick up bands that performed during the event, with several individual players dropping in for stand in roles, including a trio of fiddlers and banjo player extraordinaire Lenny Bole, in addition to familiar faces Kit Birkett, Roger Taylor, Phil Levy, Dale Desmuke, Jim Blakemore, Jeff Haines, Nancy Wyatt, Dwight Worden, and lots more. There were also many new faces who came just to listen.

As part of the event the MCs took a poll to see how folks liked this new venue. The response was unanimous—five stars out of five—with strong support for returning again in the future.

Summergrass 2023.
San Diego’s premier bluegrass festival, Summergrass, will return this year August 18-20 at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista. We’ll fill you in on details as they become available.

SDBS Slow Jam Going Strong.
Bluegrass music is played fast with the instruments producing a blur of notes. Even accomplished musicians from other genres can find it intimidating to join in a bluegrass jam. If you have beginner or intermediate skills on guitar or another instrument and would like to learn to play “for real” bluegrass, try out the SDBS-sponsored Slow Jam. Skilled teachers break down classic bluegrass tunes, slow them down, and teach you how to play them. The focus includes slowing down singing and harmony to learn how to do that as well.

The group meets every third Monday of the month at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, 4011 Ohio Street, San Diego CA 92104 (on the corner of Lincoln and Ohio in North Park). The sessions are an hour and a half structured slow jam learning experience from 7-8:30pm led by Mary Jane Cupp and special guest teachers, with guidance from music teacher Janet Beazley. The fee is $5 per session for SDBS members and $10 for non-members (you can join SDBS on site.) For more information and to sign up visit the SDBS website and look under “events” at

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