Market Square Jam

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Blacksburg’s Market Square Jam is an official Crooked Road affiliated venue that provides fun and entertainment on Wednesday evenings, June through September. The Jam takes place at Market Square Park from 8-10 p.m.

Catering to traditional old time music, the Market Square Jam brings regional musicians together to pick a tune, enjoy fun times with their friends and family, and take in all that downtown Blacksburg has to offer. 

In Appalachia, Old-Time Music refers to a variety of traditional music styles - ballads, folk songs, fiddle and banjo tunes, sacred songs, and even some popular songs recorded in the early 20th century. It grew out of a mix of cultural influences - Scots-Irish, English, German, African, Native American, French and others - that shaped Appalachia. 

Traditional stringed instruments starting with the fiddle and banjo, and later the guitar, upright bass, and dulcimer predominate. This music was originally played for family and friends, but with the invention of recording and radio in the early 20th century it was played more and more for public entertainment and profit. Several times it has seemed on the verge of extinction, but it has always revived. Today it flourishes through family gatherings, as well radio, television, and the internet, not to mention the hundreds of festivals that take place throughout the year, and gatherings like the Market Square Jam in downtown Blacksburg

If you’re a musician or just interested in learning, come on out to the Jam and play with the best. Or, if you’re just looking for a place to kick back on a Wednesday night, bring a chair or a blanket and join us at the park. Note: Minimal bench seating is available in the park. Musicians and attendees are encouraged to bring chairs. 

2016 Host Bands

June 1 Russ Boyd and Friends 
June 8 The Happy Hollow String Band
June 15 Indian Run String Band - Celebrating the Crooked Road Mountains of Music Homecoming Festival, June 10-18 
June 22 Hoyt Street Hotshots
June 29 Sam Linkous and Friends
July 6 The Thumbdingers
July 13 Farm Use Only
July 20 Mac and Cheese
July 27 Reed's Feed and Seed
August 3 Indian Run String Band
August 10 The Happy Hollow String Band
August 17 Sugar Run Band
August 24 New River Bound
August 31 Liam Kelly
September 7 The Happy Hollow String Band
September 14 Mac and Cheese
September 21  Sam Linkous and Friends
September 28 Indian Run String Band

 

Jam Hosting

As a thank you to our musicians and an expression of the town’s commitment to the preservation of heritage music, we happily invite you to serve as a Jam host. Host bands are just what they seem, a group of musicians committed to leading the jam on a particular evening. Host bands are given a stipend of $150 and are welcome to take additional donations from the crowd. The key is hospitality. In partnership with the town, the host band is responsible for creating a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for all participants and attendees. Hosts are encouraged to interact with the crowd and share stories that would further awareness of this long-standing tradition.

For more information about the jam or to inquire about being a host contact the Community Relations Office at 540-961-1199 or email cro@blacksburg.gov

Inclement Weather Policy

In the event of minor inclement weather, the Market Square Jam will go on as usual. However, should the weather be significantly disruptive, the host band may decide whether or not they wish to host that evening. Musicians are always welcome to play under the shelter and are encouraged to come out and jam, even in the absence of a host.