Friday, 20 February 2015

Juke Joint Jam Academy - April 9th, 10th, 11th, 2015

April 9th-11th, 2015

February 10, 2015, UPDATE! Click here for the schedule of workshops and instructors.

A three-day event celebrating acoustic blues jamming, leisure, learning, and fun in the heart of the downtown historic blues precinct of Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Clarksdale, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, is known as the birthplace of the Blues. Mississippi is known as the birthplace of American music. This form of music can be "explained" or written down, but in its root form, the skills of improvising or jamming, or working a groove, can thrill you and give you great satisfaction, without any need for (or worry about) sheet music.

The Juke Joint Jam Academy participants will explore how to improvise, jam with others, and expand their current playing skills.  This Academy will be held during the 2015 Juke Joint Festival, where the town comes alive with thousands of blues lovers and players from all over the world.

Thursday, April 9th
Friday, April 10th
Saturday, April 11th

The Juke Joint Jam Academy will be held at The Holy Moly, originally a substantial masonic temple, but now revitalized to be an inspiring and comfortable venue for music, storytelling, and film, together with areas for workshops and space for shared arts based activities.
A dedicated theatre/concert venue with three stages will be utilised by instructors as well as the participants during the three-day Juke Joint Jam Academy, giving valuable experience, improving performance, and making progress with new improvisation skills.

The instructors, with details on each below, have been drawn from the birthplace of American music, Mississippi, as well as from other parts of the U.S.A. and Australia, with their expertise being in the roots of the blues, specifically improvising.

The Juke Joint Jam Academy will focus this year on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, and percussion for the acoustic player who has already begun their journey into the world of the Blues and roots of American music but wants to be more engaged in the art of the JAM, or improvising with others.  Each instructor will unlock their personal treasure trove of licks, tricks, and schtick, to help make you "play well with others." Fortunately, the skills you'll learn during the Juke Joint Jam Academy, will be transferrable to your favourite electric instruments.
Thursday and Friday will be broken up into 3 sessions, from 9a.m.-4:30p.m.; Saturday will be made up of 2 sessions and feature a final participant performance event at 6 p.m.

The cost for the event has a special early bird price of $295 for the 3 days, which also includes a wrist band/entry into all of the Juke Joint Festival venues on Saturday night.  This pricing will be available until March 1st, after which pricing will increase to the walk-in registration price of $350 for the 3 days.
Places at the Juke Joint Jam Academy are strictly limited to a maximum of 50 participants. Running concurrently with the internationally famous Clarksddale Juke Joint Festival, it's sure to fill up fast. Please note: The "Juke Joint Jam Academy" is a related event and not affiliated with the Juke Joint Festival or the non-profit Clarksdale Downtown Development Association. The wrist bands for Juke Joint Jam Academy participants are paid for by The Holy Moly. We pay the full-price for the wrist bands to help the Juke Joint Festival continue its good work.

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The Holy Moly Juke Joint Jam Academy 2015 - Faculty Artists

Terry Harmonica Bean (guitar and harmonica)
Terry Harmonica Bean is a contemporary Mississippi Hill Country bluesman, a lifelong resident of Pontotoc, Mississippi, who has created his own distinctive version of the harp-blowing, guitar-grooving one-man band.

Bean came up in a blues world filled with country jukes and late night house parties. “I always did love the sound of the blues,” he says. “Ever since I was a little bitty boy that’s the music I heard. My daddy used to play with B.B. King, but he had to stay at home and couldn’t go on the road.” One of 24 kids, Bean is the only one still playing blues. “I just like to play, I can’t let the blues die - I don’t want to let it go.” As a harmonica-playing guitarist who sings, he’s a triple treat determined to hang on. In addition to his regional Mississippi, Bean has performed across the world.

Bean has taught at several workshops across the nation and is known for encouraging players to jump into the mix, if the joint is jumping you’ll find Terry Harmonica Bean in the middle of the jam pulling others in with his welcoming hospitality.

Rich DelGrosso (mandolin and guitar)
Rich DelGrosso’s performances at clubs and festivals, and the airplay of his recordings, have garnered him seven Blues Music Award nominations. Six of the seven were for Best Instrumentalist-Other for his mandolin work, and another, in 2009, for his recording “Live From Bluesville,” which was nominated Acoustic Album of the Year; a recorded live jam session with BMA nominees and winners Fiona Boyes and Mookie Brill at XM radio’s “B.B.King’s Bluesville.” His latest release, from Mandolin Blues, Time Slips On By, has already received critical acclaim in the US, UK, and Italy.

This writer/teacher/performer, is widely regarded as the leading exponent of mandolin blues. For over thirty years DelGrosso has written articles for Blues Revue, Living Blues, Mandolin Magazine, Frets, and Sing Out!, and has published mandolin and guitar instruction books for Hal Leonard Pub. He has presented workshops across the Americas and Europe, earning him a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation in Memphis.

Jon Parry (blues violin)
Jon Parry was given classical training on the violin beginning at age seven by his mother Louise and by Walter Sundstein, then assistant concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony. As a child Jon developed a life-long love of the blues playing along with records his father brought home. Son House, Father Earl Hines, John Lee Hooker, and Huddie Ledbetter were some of the artists he immersed himself in as a youth.

By the age of 15, he was opening shows for Taj Mahal, Big Mama Thorton, and B.B. King, among others. Jon has performed professionally as a sideman across America, at concert halls, festivals and clubs ranging from The Kennedy Center to the barrooms of New Orleans. He is a long time member of the legendary Goose Creek Symphony. Jon has recorded and performed with artists such as Hank Williams Jr. and Danny Barnes.

In the formative period of the early 1900s the violin was a predominant instrument of the blues. By 1930 over fifty black blues men had been recorded. Because the violin could not be effectively electrified, it did not evolve with the art form of the blues. Jon’s main mission in life is to help re-introduce the violin back into the blues and has developed an effective method of teaching blues fundamentals from the violin’s perspective.

Randy "Da Bones Man" Seppala (bones, washboard and percussion)
A revival is taking place of an ancient hand percussion instrument called the rhythm bones. They are played with all types of music including traditional Irish, folk, bluegrass, jazz, ragtime, polkas and blues.

Randy Seppala, aka Da Bones Man, is one of the leading players of the rhythm bones in the United States and is a native of the Upper Peninsula. Rhythm bones are one of the oldest folk instruments and are commonly played throughout North America by traditional music groups. Randy has played with dozens of groups in the U.P. but is renowned for the bones he makes and plays all over the United States. Randy also plays spoons, washboard, and other traditional rhythm instruments.

The Holy Moly Juke Joint Jam Academy 2015 - Facilitators

Mary Hilts 
Mary Hilts manages all administrative aspects of the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival and Workshops for Centrum, a non-profit arts organization in Washington State.

A native of Los Angeles, California, and graduate of Washington State University, Mary also completed Jazz Studies at Shoreline Community College, and holds a degree in Music Performance from Los Angeles Harbor College. Prior to working at Centrum, she was in artist relations and management, coordinated booking and promotions, as well as contract negotiation, public relations, and tour management. A musician, artist, and advocate for social justice, Mary moved to Port Townsend, WA in 1981.

The Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival celebrates the tradition of acoustic blues and the masters who create and preserve those traditions through workshops, jam sessions, and public performances in and around Port Townsend, WA. For more information, visit

Mary has kindly supported The Holy Moly Juke Joint Academy as a friend and mentor, and she is much appreciated for lending her considerable experience and knowledge to this new event.

Adrian Kosky
Adrian Kosky is a singer songwriter with four CDs to date, a member of two bands in Australia and collaborator on other people's musical projects.

Adrian is also a music facilitator making music happen in his own and other's communities. Quirky instruments have a place in his heart and he follows the muse wherever it leads him.

Currently, Adrian is a resident of the U.S.A. and with his wife, Carla, has revitalised The Holy Moly, an old masonic temple turned artcentric over the last two years. From busker to builder, Adrian enjoys the creative approach to life.

Carla Maxwell playing a Simmerman mountain dulcimer
Carla Maxwell
Carla Maxwell, Memphis teacher, musician, folk artist, and small business builder, met Adrian Kosky, a bloke from downunder, around 10 years ago at a music event. She took a trip to Australia and decided to call it home for 5 years, helping Adrian Kosky in his various projects there and playing roots music around the local pubs and coffee houses.

Prior to meeting Adrian, Carla had years of experience running the Memphis Dulcimer Gathering, and facilitating house concerts and workshops in her own home.

On a trip back to the U.S.A. in 2012, Carla and Adrian returned to Clarksdale, a place they had visited a number of times before, and with a view to the future, purchased the old masonic temple building. They renamed it “The Holy Moly." Now, with Carla’s background in education, music, art, and small business, and with her husband Adrian’s history in revtalisation work and music interests, they have brought new life to a corner of downtown Clarksdale.

Carla likes to play the Mountain Dulcimer, draw cartoons of people, facilitate music events, and hang out at juke joints when her friends are playing. When not running The Holy Moly Drug Store, she sometimes finds the time to administrate all that is connected with The Holy Moly, and builds and maintains blogs and facebook sites for The Holy Moly and her Australian business interests.

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