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Portland Casual Jams -- lots of NEW Workshops, event-series, and opportunities

From: Rob "Bodhi" W.
Sent on: Monday, October 17, 2011 3:50 PM


         We’re entering that stretch of time in the autumn months when there seems to be something fun and exciting happening every few weeks.   Change seems to be in the air – so I’m glad to offer you a few more opportunities to explore your musical needs.

            Keep reading to see 3 new types of events we will be offering!

            And remember to check out the Calendar section on the Meetup page to see all of our events, read detailed descriptions, and sign up for space-limited events!


Jam Sessions

            We will be hosting public-access jam sessions *twice* a month now.  On the East Side every First Saturday afternoon, we will be holding jam at Vino Vixens (ages 21+).  On the West Side every Third Saturday afternoon, we will be holding an all-ages jam at The Aria Caffe (sic).  Both events are free, open to the public, and available for any instrument, any style, any proficiency level. 

Open Mic Night

            We will be hosting our own special open mic night once a month at the Dublin Pub on the first Sunday of the month.  This is your opportunity to bring rehearsed, polished pieces and try them out in front of an audience.  If you want to try to add extra players, or sit in with others, we have an “orchestra pit” signup for those brave enough to try jamming a song in front of a live audience!   These nights provide a great opportunity for players who are looking for some audience exposure!

New Events:

            Wednesday Workshops

Alternating week by week, we will be offering two different series of workshops.  There is limited space for these workshops, so there is a maximum of 12 attendees per session.  Space is limited, so sign up early – please check the event listing on the Calendar at to see available space. 

Please Note:  There is also a suggested donation of $5 per session to help keep these workshops going. 

Your options include …

a)       Music Development Club (Starts Weds. Oct 26th, and every other Weds. After)

This is the workshop series for absolute beginners, players who are new to working with others, players who are less proficient at their instrument, or who are working on a secondary instrument (including voice) which they are less proficient with.  This is where you Practice in Private, so you can eventually Play in Public!  We’ll be taking it slow, using a lot of communication, and working as a group to learn standard, jam-friendly songs and create some great music.  Individualized feedback and focused attention along with a focus on the basics of music education allows you to develop and grow as a musician, giving you the confidence to attend other public music events in the future!

b)       Performance Workshop (Starts Weds. Nov. 2nd,and ever other Weds. After)

Aimed at the already-proficient musician who wants to start increasing the audience-appeal of their performances, the Performance Workshop series will help you identify personal Performance goals and develop your own personal stage presence and style.  Acts will be performing for the rest of the attendees, and then engage in a series of feedback events intended to help identify strengths and weaknesses of the performance with an eye towards increasing that audience “Wow!”-factor.   The discussions will be moderated with an eye towards honest feedback, helpful suggestions, and open communication.  


So Wednesday Workshops will alternate, with each group meeting every-other Wednesday.


Then, on Fridays, we are glad to offer you ...



Stepping Stone Nights (Starts Friday Nov. 4th, and continuing Fridays after)

            This is your chance to experience an open mic event, or present your own musical showcase, but without the pressure of  public audience!   Space is limited, so sign up early – please check the event listing on the Calendar at to see available space (and to see the featured artist for each event).

            Each Stepping-Stone night consists of a short open mic, followed by a short scheduled artist showcase set, and ends with a group jam at the end.  All of this is held in a private venue where the small audience will consist solely of you, your fellow players, and your guests, so you can present your music without needing to fret about a large public audience.  

            If you’ve wanted to hit the open mic scene but need to get your feet wet first, then this is your chance!  Sign up for a 3-song set and perform in this private, safe environment.

            Each week, a scheduled Showcase artist will present a 30 to 45-minute set of rehearsed material.   These are artist who have been playing out in public for awhile (usually in the open mic circuit) and who are ready to start presenting a longer set of material, but who wish to do so in front of a smaller audience before they start booking out more seriously.   This is also an opportunity for other acts to try new material or new styles in front of a small focused audience.

            Individuals or groups interested in signing up to be a featured Showcase artist at a Stepping-Stone event should contact me directly via e-mail at [address removed] or [address removed] 

            At the end of the night is an opportunity for the group to decide a musical activity to continue on with, whether this be more performances, a short jam session, or what have you.


So there you have it!

If you are a complete beginner and not sure what to do when playing with others, we have the new Music Development Club workshop series for you.  Once you’ve gained the confidence and background to just relax and play with others, then you can hit any of our scheduled Jam Sessions.

If you’re a performer who wants to seriously develop that side of your music, we have the new Performance Workshop series for you.  If you want to get your feet wet as a performer without the pressure of an audience, we’ve got the Stepping-Stone nights (open mic and showcase series).   When you’re ready to hit the public stage, take your act to our own Open Mic night!



And don’t forget – if you want to schedule your own event, jam session, music-party, etc., we have a suite of tools available to help you schedule your event and tailour it specifically to your desires.   Contact me directly and we can get your event up and running!


I hope everybody has a great autumn, and a safe and exciting holiday season!


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