Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Saugerties's John Street Jam Plans Final Nights

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 9:00 AM


It’s with a heavy heart I write this post bearing the news that the John Street Jam, one of the Hudson Valley’s most beloved and long-running monthly music events, is closing its doors in April. The first of its final two sessions will happen for the last time this Saturday. Held in in Saugerties for the past 11 years, the series was conceived by hosts Steve and Terri Massardo as a curated acoustic-singer-songwriters-in-the-round session and carried on the tradition of the convivial hootenannies of the 1960s coffeehouse folk scene. Unknown to the Massardos before they began the series, the cozy quarters of the historic Dutch Arms Church, where the Jam has taken place nearly every month since 2003, had actually been the site of such activities nearly 50 years ago. Obviously, whatever spirits had been lingering from the previous epoch had wanted to the music to continue.

But, alas, it seems the time has come for those spirits to, well, give up the ghost. And it’s understandable that after so long Terri and Steve would need to move on from what’s basically been a labor of love for the couple, who raised the cost of admission only once during the Jam’s decade-plus run (from $3 to $5) and arrived early with the other volunteers before every show to arrange the tables of baked goodies, coffee, and refreshments and set up the seating for the average 100 or so attendees. “Unfortunately, my job schedule changed recently and that’s ended up in me having to take vacation time off to run the Jam,” explains Steve about the two-round, eight-performer evenings. “When Terri and I first started doing this, we were afraid we’d run out of musicians who wanted to play and audience members. But instead it just grew and grew, and now we just have so many good friends we met when they played or came to hear the music.”

For a hint of the John Street Jam’s famously loving vibe, watch this clip from a 2013 session:

The John Street takes place this Saturday, March 14, at 7:30pm at the Dutch Arms Church in Saugerties, New York. Performers include Jude Roberts, the Compact, Jim Gaudet, the Virginia Wolves, Dennis Havel, Barbara Dempsey, Don Sparks, and Fred Gillen, Jr. Admission is $5. The final John Street Jam will take place on April 11. For more information, call (845) 943-6720 or visit http://www.johnstreetjam.net/index.html.

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