Bluegrass Corner

Great Local Events!

Reports show that the Julian Family Fiddle Camp was a great success. Held last month in the mountains outside Julian, students studied banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, fiddle, and more. Also last month, Della Mae, internationally acclaimed all women’s bluegrass band, gave a concert to a sold-out house at the city of Del Mar’s beautiful new town hall venue as part of the Del Mar Foundation’s Bluegrass and Beyond Series. Grammy-nominated Della Mae, among other artists, has travelled the world for the U.S. State Department as ambassadors for traditional American music.

We are indeed blessed in San Diego to have so many great opportunities to hear and learn bluegrass music. Speaking of which, the largest local bluegrass event is approaching. It will be Summergrass time again August 16–18 at the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista. This three-day festival, now in its 17th year, has it all—great bands, camping, workshops, vendors, a kids music camp, and more. Stay tuned for more information as the event approaches. In the meantime, you can read about Summergrass, preview the lineup, and get early bird tickets here:

Getting Engaged with Local Bluegrass.
We are fortunate that San Diego has one of the most active bluegrass communities outside of Appalachia. Here are some of the ways you can get engaged in the San Diego bluegrass scene, whether it is to hear great music, to learn to play an instrument, to jam with other musicians, or to simply have a great time with bluegrass friends.

Join the San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS).
This local non-profit hosts weekly jam sessions, presents a featured band in concert once a month, sponsors a free music outreach program, has great bluegrass instruments for free to lend to members, and lots more. If you’ve never been to an SDBS session, do yourself a favor and stop by. These sessions are all open to the public, players and listeners alike:

• 2nd Tuesday: There’s an indoor open mic and outside patio jam session every second Tuesday of the month from 6:30–9pm at Fuddruckers Restaurant in Grossmont Center. Admission is free.

• 3rd Monday: There’s an instructed slow jam every third Monday of the month from 7–8:30pm at the Our Savior Lutheran Church at 4011 Ohio Street in North Park. Admission is $5 for SDBS members and $10 for non-members; you can join SDBS on site to get the immediate discount

• 4th Tuesday: There’s an open mic and jam session from 6:30–8pm every fourth Tuesday at the Boll Weevil Restaurant, 9330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (corner of Clairemont Mesa Blvd. and Ruffin Rd.) The fourth Tuesday also presents a featured band in concert from 8–9pm. Admission is free.

• Every Wednesday: Every Wednesday from 6:30–9:15pm the SDBS-sponsored Emma’s Gut Bucket Band meets for a jam session at the Whitman Elementary School at 4050 Appleton, in Clairemont Mesa. Admission is free.

You can join the SDBS for only $20 for the whole year for the entire family. Members receive a monthly e-newsletter (the Tune Up), e-blasts about local bluegrass events, discounts on selected items, and more. That’s a bargain! Visit SDBS on the web at:

If that’s not enough to keep you busy, here are more non SDBS opportunities.

• 1st Tuesday: Every first Tuesday of the month is bluegrass night at the Round Table Pizza in Escondido (corner of Ash and Washington) from 6:30–9pm featuring open mic, outside jamming, and a Featured Band in concert from 8-9 pm. The 1st Tuesday is presented by the non-profit North San Diego County Bluegrass and Folk Club. Visit them on the web at: Admission is free.

• Every Thursday: Every Thursday from 6:30–9pm there is an open jam session at the Round Table Pizza in Encinitas at 1321 Encinitas Blvd. The jam is led by Jason Weiss and is open to all players. Participants contribute $5, which goes to cover the cost of pizza and salad for the group.

In a future column we’ll address where you can find bluegrass on local radio and where to find local clubs and venues that present bluegrass music.