SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) — The inaugural Sisters Folk Festival Bluegrass Jam Camp is scheduled to take place June 23-26, outdoors at the Sisters Art Works venue in Sisters.
The dynamic 4-day program will focus on musicianship and collaboration through ensemble practice and performances on the traditional bluegrass instruments of guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and bass. Topics will also include music theory, song arrangement, singing and harmony. Jam campers will learn collaboration and performance skills, culminating in a final concert by camp participants that will be open to the public.
The camp is geared for intermediate level musicians aged 18 and up. Because the focus is on bluegrass, campers will learn the style and techniques unique to that genre, as well as how to successfully jam and perform with others informally or in a band configuration. The days will be “jam-packed” (pun intended) but there will be plenty of time for fun and socializing with fellow musicians.
Bluegrass Jam Camp instructors are members of the professional, Colorado-based bluegrass band FY5 -- led by award-winning songwriter Mike Finders and bassist Erin Youngberg -- plus guest instructor Eli West. FY5 has developed and run several other instructional bluegrass camps including at the Pagosa Folk N’ Bluegrass festival in Colorado and Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. The popular band performed at the 2019 Sisters Folk Festival. Eli West is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Seattle and a past performer at the Sisters Folk Festival and other SFF events over the years. West has also taught at numerous music camps around the country.
Sisters Folk Festival has adopted a “pay what you can” model for this opportunity to ensure that no one is prevented from attending purely for financial reasons. The suggested registration fee is $395, but participants are given the chance to select a payment level that is comfortable for them at check-out. As the organization turns its focus toward equity and inclusion, this fee structure represents an effort to increase accessibility to arts education for all, regardless of financial means. Participants who are able can elect to “pay it forward” to help others.
Enrollment at Bluegrass Jam Camp will be limited to approximately 30 participants for 2022 and is already more than one-third full. A limited number of on-site camping spots are available, and numerous other accommodation options are available in and around the town of Sisters.
Sisters Folk Festival is a year-round nonprofit organization that strengthens community and transforms lives through music and art.