By Sam Blumenthal 

Students from several Junior Appalachian Musician (JAM) programs in the region attended the Earl Scruggs Music Festival. Seventy-five students in total participated, plus more than 50 parents and 15 JAM instructors. The local Tryon, NC, students were at the festival all three days, participating in workshops, spending time together, performing on the secondary stage, and watching many of their heroes perform. 

Artists like Jerry Douglas and Kimber Ludiker led workshops with JAM students, and the PACJAM Ramblers, the local Tryon JAM program’s house band pictured above performed on the Foggy Mountain stage.

Here is a video of Dan Boner of East Tennessee State University playing “I’ll Fly Away” with some of the JAM students. It was quite incredible.  

The Tryon JAM program was very appreciative of the IBMA Foundation grant that helped them to plan and execute programming for their students at the festival. The festival has also made an effort to facilitate JAM involvement and will continue to do so in future years, in hopes the JAM program at the Earl Scruggs Music Festival will become a model for other festivals to follow. 

RETURN to the October 2023 issue of The Cornerstone.