For 12 years, Portland Casual Jams have supported groups in the Portland area who play live music and develop their skills in collaborative, inclusive environments with a wide range of abilities. Using Meetup.com, 3500 musicians have connected to weekly and monthly events including unique community jams that offer experiences learning and enjoying how to share live music with others.
The community jams within Portland Casual Jams have become increasingly popular for their ability to transform lives, enhancing physical and mental health as much as building skills and teamwork. People learn together, play together, and develop musical connections forming priceless memories. Volunteers have worked incredibly hard to develop software for jams, organize events, lead groups, educate musicians, and build Portland’s community jams into a remarkable success.
And now our community jams are growing up!
Members have requested more space, better technology, more types of jams and events, more equipment, and more education. It is time to explore beyond the corners of local pubs, churches, or private garages. It is also time to share the joy of community jams in Portland with other cities. With its unique approach to music collaboration and supportive technology, Portland Casual Jams has developed as a model for other music-loving communities around the world.
In response, a nonprofit organization called Community Jams is being created to share the joyful experience of community music jams locally and around the world. Some major goals include:
• Manage spaces designed for live music played by inclusive community groups
• Develop and manage technology to help groups play, record, and stream live music jams
• Build a collection of donated instruments for community jams
• Develop mobile programs to share community jams in Portland and beyond
• Develop weekly programs for musicians of every age, ability, and walk of life that teach key concepts around playing live music as a group:
– Playing as an informal team
– Playing for performance
– Improvising with live music
– Practicing and recording live group music
– Integrating specific instruments into jams
– Singing with freedom and confidence
– Improving quality of life in physical and emotional ways
Let us know how you would like to get involved and help Community Jams work for everyone!