The Wednesday Night jams have a different model than an open mic or other performance. Because it’s not about taking the spotlight and having your turn as a rock star. It’s about making music with folks who become your friends. It’s about realizing that all of us are putting ourselves a bit on the line in a safe space. It’s about being supported by everyone in the room and supporting everyone else in turn. It’s about getting so excited about the music that we’re making that it quite literally takes me a couple of hours to calm down afterwards. – Paul

Coming to the jams has been such a great experience for me. The friendships I have developed there are priceless. Everyone is so welcoming and willing to share knowledge. I continue to learn from the other members each time I go – how to play together, practicing new chords, and improving my guitar performance. There is a wonderful energy that comes from playing together as a group. It is dynamic and I look forward to to going each time. – Carla

Been attending various sessions for over a year and have appreciated the combination of task-orientation (improving my singing and playing) and acceptance of my limited talent (if I may call it that).  Bodhi Wolff has kept us “on track” with both online songs and whatever selections various musicians bring to the sessions to play and sing.  I particularly appreciate the “players” attending the “Tarrying Tuesday” sessions, who (while not having anything better to do on a Tuesday afternoon, nonetheless) contribute to make the whole session much more than an individual contribution.  – Vinny

I have lived in three continents so far, in a few cities, big and small. There is always a guitar with me so I can enjoy my day. During my rebellious teenage years, I formed a band with my high school friends. It was one of the best time of my life. When I first played at Bodhi’s Wednesday Play Together Jam, it felt like I was back in my teenage years. The energy, the openness, the warm welcome and the guidance really help enrich my skill and soothe the soul. The new friends have been more than amazing.  – Henry

When I was 15 or so I played bass in a band for about a year. I didn’t have much musical talent but I did have fun. Fast forward forty-five years, between a career, raising kids, and remaining married, I had no time or energy left for bass playing. Once retired, I decided that I really didn’t care how well I played, the point was to have fun. I found the Portland Casual Jams meetup and went. This confirmed my notion that I was not much of a musician, but somehow it didn’t seem to matter. This is the main asset of the jam. They care more if you’re there, trying, learning, and having fun than the perfection of the music. – Bob

I started coming to Portland Casual Jams sessions and workshops after my life partner passed over in 2011.  He was an amazing professional musician and I did not play much, but happily supported his music. After he was gone, I realized that I needed music to still fill my home and so I started to get more serious about learning guitar and looked for opportunities to play and to meet other musicians.  A Google search yielded PCJ and after one Wednesday Easy Jam, I was hooked. The people that I met at PCJ became my dear friends and adopted family. Beyond helping me through a long and deep grief, they helped me to find a new joy. I learned that I could stretch out to try playing with others, to learn new music and best of all, to start learning to sing after a life-time of being told not to.  The amazing learning experience, the confidence boost and the warm sharing and camaraderie that I have gained in my experiences with PCJ are beyond value. I would be at a steep loss if I were not able to continue to connect at vocal workshops, Wednesday Jam Nights, Christmas Caroling, Saturdays in the park and all of the other wonderful opportunities for musical expression and community bonding. – Kathleen, member since 2012