The Bluegrass University Presents
Located at the Sheraton
in Framingham, MA
the weekend before Thanksgiving
November 22nd, 23rd & 24th
Online ticket sales
for JamVember 2019
have now closed
Tickets can still be purchased at the event
using cash or credit (no checks please)
Tickets will not sell out!
Full Weekend ................ $65
Friday Only ..................... $25
Saturday Only ................ $40
Sunday Only ................... $10
Children 12 & under .... FREE*
Teenagers & College Students .................................... FREE*
*via Scholarship Ticket Fund
Online room reservations
for JamVember 2019
have now closed
You can still get a room at
the Sheraton in Framingham
for this weekend
There are a very limited
number of PICKING rooms
still available. QUIET rooms will not sell out!
If you have any questions,
please contact the
Sheraton's Director of Conference Services,
Danielle Stoico at
FRIDAY AFTERNOON CLASSES
JamVember 2019 is coming up the weekend before Thanksgiving - November 22nd, 23rd, and 24th - and this year we will be welcoming our first-ever "Guest Jammers": Greg Cahill, Rick Faris, Nick Dumas, and Dan Eubanks - better known by their collective band name, Special Consensus!
Special Consensus will be at JamVember 2019 all weekend long to host jams, teach workshops, and even play a show on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. All of this will be included with your JamVember ticket, but you can also take a hands-on, in-depth class with a member of Special Consensus on Friday afternoon before JamVember begins.
All four Friday afternoon classes with Greg (banjo), Rick (guitar), Nick (mandolin), and Dan (bass) will be geared towards intermediate-to-advanced pickers, and will meet on the following schedule:
Friday, November 22nd
starting from 1 pm until 3 pm
and then from 4 pm until 6 pm
(with an hour-long break from 3 until 4 pm)
The tuition for these four-hour classes is $65 and is separate from the JamVember ticket cost. Interested students will pay their teacher directly, and you can take a class even if you don't attend JamVember.
Please note: this is this year's schedule* (2019)
Click the PDF icon to download this year's schedule* (2019)
*Schedule subject to change
Last year's Teacher Bios and Workshop Descriptions can be found here:
Last year's schedule featured over 50 instructors hosting 100 workshops and jams, but this was just a fraction of the amazing music at JamVember. There were also a number of rooms on the Lowel Level with no scheduled jams (so anyone could jam there whenever they wanted to), and people were able to jam on the Picking Floor, which was the “T" of rooms at the back of the First Floor past both sets of elevators.
If you're on Facebook, please join the JamVember Facebook group here: JamVember Facebook Page
And please join the JamVember 2019 Facebook Event here: JamVember Facebook Event
And in case you haven't seen it, JamVember got written up in Bluegrass Today: JamVember in Bluegrass Today
Q1. What is JamVember?
A. JamVember is a weekend-long bluegrass "non-festival" focused on jamming, jamming, and more jamming... with scores of workshops and jams hosted by dozens of amazing musicians and teachers, and one big difference from usual festivals: no stage show to distract from the picking!
Q2. When and where is JamVember being held?
A. JamVember will be held at the Sheraton in Framingham, MA, the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 22 - 24, 2019. The Sheraton in Framingham is located at 1657 Worcester Rd., Framingham, MA 01701. (And please mark your calendars for JamVember 2020, the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 20th, 21st, & 22nd, 2020.)
Q3. Where in the hotel will we be able to jam?
A. We will have the entire Lower Level reserved for JamVember, which includes 17 conference rooms, from 6 pm on Friday until 2 pm on Sunday. We will also be allowed to pick in and around the guest rooms at the back "T" (down the hall, past both sets of elevators) of both the First Floor and the Second Floor. We are not allowed to pick in the Lobby, at the Bar, or other locations on the First Floor. Please note: we are NOT allowed to pick on the Second Floor other than at the back "T" (down the hall, past both sets of elevators).
Q4. Do I have to reserve a room to attend?
A. No, you will not need to have a room at the Sheraton to attend JamVember, but you will need to have a valid wristband.
Q5. Will the workshops & jams cost money?
A. No, all of the workshops and teacher-directed jams are free with a valid wristband.
Q6. Where will the workshops & jams be held?
A. All the workshops and teacher-led jams will be held on the Lower Level of the Sheraton.
Q7. Will there be physical tickets issued?
A. No physical tickets will be issued, although registered attendees will receive a wristband when they check-in. All ticketing will be done via e-mail, and we will have a list of registered attendees when you arrive. Please bring your ID with you when you come to check-in.
Q8. Who should we thank for this new event?
A. This event would not be possible without the following: the insanely-talented Laura Orshaw, the supremely-generous Tim Kruzic, Passim Iguana Music Fund, Greg Liszt (videography) and Nate Shupert (videography), Denis Hauptman (graphic design), the Boston Bluegrass Union, all the generous contributors to our Indiegogo Campaign, and everybody else who has contributed in so many different ways. Thank you all!
Q9. When does JamVember start and end?
A. The schedule will vary from day to day, but here are the most important details:
3 pm: hotel check-in begins
3 until 6 pm: jamming on the Picking Floors only - please note that on Friday from 3 until 6 pm jamming will be only be allowed on the First & Second Floors at the back "T" of guest rooms (down the hall, past both elevators)
6 pm: the Lower Level will officially open (please come to the ticket table on the Lower Level near the elevators to get your wristband)
7 pm: the first scheduled jams and workshops will begin on the Lower Level
Friday & Saturday Late-Night
We will have access to the entire Lower Level for 24-hours a day from 6 pm on Friday until 2 pm on Sunday, so Friday and Saturday nights' jams can go all night!
Saturday & Sunday Morning
Workshops and jams will begin at 10 am on both Saturday & Sunday
10 am: workshops and jams will begin
1 pm: the final scheduled workshops and jams will end
2 pm: we'll still be able to jam on the Lower Level until 2 pm.
Q10. Will tickets be available at the door?
A. Yes, both weekend and single-day passes will be available for sale at the ticket table on the Lower Level (near the elevators). You can purchase tickets at the event with cash or credit card (no checks please).
Q11. Will styles other than bluegrass be represented at JamVember?
A. Yes, the main styles other than bluegrass that will be represented at JamVember are Old-Time and Swing. We will have a variety of Old-Time and Swing workshops and jam sessions. But it's also likely that other related styles of music will also be represented at JamVember… anybody interested in Swedish nyckelharpa? It just depends on who shows up!
Q12. If I purchase a Single-Day Pass can I jam all night?
A. Yes, single-day passes are valid until 7 am the next morning as follows:
Friday-Only Pass: Friday at 6 pm until Saturday at 7 am
Saturday-Only Pass: Saturday at 10 am until Sunday at 7 am
Sunday-Only Pass: Sunday at 10 am until Sunday at 2 pm
Q13. Are scholarships available for youth and those who can't afford tickets?
A. Yes, thanks to the incredible generosity of our Indiegogo campaign contributors, we are able to offer scholarships to people under the age of 25. If you or your child would like to receive a youth scholarship, please just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have sliding-scale need-based scholarships available for anybody who feels that they cannot afford the cost of attending JamVember. We really want to make JamVember accessible for everybody, so if JamVember is out of your price range, please email us at email@example.com
Q14. Is there a discounted ticket price for listeners (those who don't jam)?
A. JamVember is for jammers, learners, and listeners alike, and just like other weekend-long bluegrass events, we do not have discounted tickets for those who don't jam. If the ticket price is prohibitively expensive, please check out our sliding-scale need-based scholarships, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
NEW FAQs for 2019
Q15. Can we jam on the Second Floor?
A. Yes, we can jam 24 hours a day in and around the guest rooms at the back "T" (down the hall, past both sets of elevators) on the Second Floor (in addition to the First Floor). Please note: we are NOT allowed to pick on the Second Floor other than at the back "T" (down the hall, past both sets of elevators).
Q16. Will food be for sale at Jamvember?
A. Yes, the Sheraton will be providing a wide variety of quick eats at different times throughout the weekend. The food concession will be set up at the base of the Central Staircase, just across from the Carlisle Room for the following meals:
Friday Dinner from 6:30 until 8:30 pm
Saturday Lunch from noon until 2 pm
Saturday Dinner from 5:30 until 7:30 pm
Q17. Will there be any vendors at Jamvember?
A. Yes, we are honored to feature two wonderful vendors: guitars by Gillander Guitars (in the main hall on the Lower Level) and paintings, drawings, handmade wooden earrings, and more by Green/Brown Art (on Saturday near the registration desk).
Q18. What are the "Non-Guided" jams?
A. In addition to over 37 workshops, 46 teacher-directed jams, and almost a dozen additional scheduled activities that don't fit neatly into one of these categories, there will also be over forty "non-guided" jams. These jams without a host are designated by style and level, and most are held in style-specific and/or level-specific rooms. Whenever possible, Non-Guided jams are scheduled to either be at the same time or immediately before or after, comparable teacher-directed jams. For instance, at the end of many teacher-directed jams, you can continue jamming without a host, or you could leave a teacher-directed jam early and head across the hall for a Non-Guided jam at the same level. Please note that these levels may mean different things to different people, and jams in the same room may vary widely depending on who shows up. But hopefully, there are enough jams scheduled so that everybody can find just the right jam!
Q19. Will there be a stage at JamVember?
A. Yes, the room closest to the elevators on the Lower Level, the Ashland Room, will be used for the JamVember Stage on Saturday from noon until 9 pm as follows:
-- Open Stage from noon until 2:30 pm: Bring your jam to perform on stage. Sign up immediately beforehand to perform a short slot on the JamVember Stage.
-- Band Scramble Performance from 3 until 4:30 pm: Sign up by 12:30 pm in the Carlisle Room to join a band for the afternoon and perform! See below for further details.
-- Bluegrass Karaoke from 5 until 7 pm: Sing or play a song with a house band of ringers. The Bluegrass Karaoke House Band will include Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo), Eli Gilbert (guitar), Korey Brodsky (mandolin), and Rick Brodsky (bass).
-- Special Consensus Performance from 7:30 until 8:45 pm: Special Consensus will perform a single set on the JamVember Stage starting at 7:30 pm on Saturday. Please note that the Ashland Room has limited seating, and you will want to arrive early to get a good spot.
Q20. What's the bluegrass band scramble?
A. If you've ever played in a jam session, or if you can play three chords in rhythm, then you can join the Bluegrass Band Scramble at JamVember! People enter the Band Scramble individually, and bands are created by picking names out of hats - roughly one for each instrument so that all the bands have the musicians they need. You and your new bandmates then have a two-hour practice session to prepare songs for a short stage performance. Rich Stillman will guide you through the process; here's the schedule:
Noon until 12:30 pm -- Band Scramble Sign-Up
12:30 pm until 1 pm -- Band Formation
1 pm until 3 pm -- Rehearse with your new bandmates
3 pm until 4:30 pm -- Band Scramble Performances
Goals: The Band Scramble will give people a chance to develop their jamming and performing skills. No one who enters has any idea who they'll be playing on stage with just hours later - your bandmates are picked at random, and it's up to you as a group to find your strengths – and even your band name - and get ready for a short performance on stage in front of your friends.
Entry and registration: Participants should sign in at noon on Saturday and indicate their instrument and whether or not they sing. If you sing but don't want to play an instrument, please indicate "singer" as your instrument. Please note: singers are encouraged to join us even if they don't want to play an instrument!
Band selection: Bands will be selected by choosing roughly one of each instrument from a hat. The decision of the hats is final, although we reserve the right to make adjustments to be sure all bands have enough pickers and singers.
Preparation and performance: Each band will be assigned a practice space and will prepare roughly three songs for stage performance, including introductions of the tunes and the band members. Preparation should include the selection of a band name as well. The tunes selected for the performance should include one instrumental at most. Rich will provide a list of common songs on Saturday, but you can also email him in advance at email@example.com
Space in the Band Scramble is limited, so please try to arrive early!
LAST YEAR'S JAMMERS
Even though it was only our first year, we had people come from all over New England, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, TN, FL, and TX! The following people let us know they'd be joining us last year; won't you join us at JamVember this year?
Steve A. from New Hampton, NH
Kurt L. from Littleton, MA
Jackie & Eddie G. from Ravena, NY
Elise L. & Ben W. from Hooksett, NH
Dave D. from Arlington, MA
Tom K. from Cohasset, MA
Kelly S. from Putney, VT
Richie K. from Huntingdon Valley, PA
Korey B. from Newtown, CT
Kathy F. & Mike M. from Portland, CT
Keith H. from Lowell, MA
Tim F. from Mansfield, MA
David B. from Waban, MA
Dan M. from Norwood, MA
Alison S. from Brookline, MA
Dan A. from Boston, MA
Natalie J. from Dedham, MA
Dave S. from Belmont, NH
Chris A. from Walpole, MA
Sam S. from Arlington, MA
Tim G. from Dedham, MA
Danny M. from Providence, RI
Kelley H. from Lincoln, MA
Mark O. from Athens, PA
Eric L. from Boston, MA
Tim K. from Columbia, MD
Adam K. from York, PA
Jim M. from Braintree, MA
Joseph L. from Acton, MA
Meghan & John G. from Portland, CT
Annie R. from Massachusetts
Ron J. from South Hadley, MA
Russ A. from Concord, NH
Joe K. from Arlington, MA
Andy R. from Riverton, NJ
Bonnie L. from Riverton, NJ
Dirck S. from Arlington, MA
Ellen H. from Arlington, MA
Aina & Tom B. from Atlanta, GA
Mary B. from Simsbury, CT
Don B. from Belmont, MA
Anna Marie R. from The Villages, FL
Sharon K. from Stow, MA
Mark T. from Lexington, MA
Gwen H. from Framingham, MA
Steve B. from Natick, MA
Angela H. from Boston, MA
Cindy T. from Hyde Park, MA
David A. from Acton, MA
Dave S. from Wakefield, MA
Stan M. from Durhman, NH
Joni C. & Mark G. from Pownal, VT
Lillian F. from Lanesboro, MA
Dave M. from Westwood, MA
John B. from Massachusetts
Joe D. from Colchester, CT
Dave O. from Barkhamsted, CT
Phil R. from Framingham, MA
Tracy & Todd M. from Suffield, CT
Chris R. from Brookline, MA
Rod H. from Arlington, MA
Marla & Joe S. from Northampton, MA
Gary S. from Westford, MA
Matt C. from Clinton, MA
Reid P. from Wakefield, MA
Steve W. from Cambridge, MA
Karen D. from Atkinson, NH
Dave G. from Gardiner, NY
April & Bill J. from Phippsburg, ME
Ty S. from Natick, MA
Cathy & Tim C. from Concord, MA
Ed L. from Green Lane, PA
Risa L. from Lexington, MA
Don C. from Burlington, MA
Andy B. from Needham, MA
Kenny H. from Arlington, MA
Gretta & Jacob S. from Montpelier, VT
Ken T. from Wakefield, RI
Todd S. from Pepperell, MA
Quinci S. & Michael M. from Hudson, MA
Mary & Robert F. from Harvard, MA
Tony K. from Penacook, NH
Lois F. from Framingham, MA
Harry F. from Portland, ME
Dan K. from Pittsburgh, PA
Nancy & Gary A. from New York City, NY
Ken S. from Grafton, MA
Simone H. from Auburn, ME
Christine W. from Arrowsic, ME
Mike G. from Framingham, MA
Nate S. from Nashville, TN
Lisa G. from East Providence, RI
Dan L. from Cambridge, MA
Amy C. from Milford, NH
Sandra W. from West Newton, MA
Tom S. from Elizaville, NY
Nicole B. from Cohoes, NY
Lois H. from Marlborough, MA
Rick L. from Wethersfield, CT
Maria vB. from Marlborough, MA
Bill A. from Leominster, MA
Donna J-K. from Hadley, MA
Michael M. from Newton, MA
Sean O. from Shrewsbury, MA
Kevin T. from Barrington, NH
Andrea G. from Rensselaer, NY
Andy S. from Canton, CT
Judy A. from Brookline, MA
and many, many more!
*Ticket holders are not guaranteed to attend