Rock Jam for Young Musicians

Blues UndergroundBudding young rock and blues musicians will now be able to strut their stuff every Friday night in downtown Nanaimo. Starting this week (Friday, February 27, 2009) an open jam will be held for 11-23 year old musicians at The Blues Underground located just behind the Queen's nightclub near the China Steps.

Tom Dodge, founder/director of The Blues Underground, says young musicians need a "jam space" where they can meet, interact and perform music together. For the past year and a half, Tuesday night acoustic jams and Thursday night electric jams have been staged on a regular basis at The Blues Underground. The non-profit organization is also the site of a popular music school where local youths are shown the ropes by talented, veteran Nanaimo musicians such as bassist Todd Sacerty and drummer Phil Wipper. Dodge -- who heads up the Blues All-Stars, a motley crew of older musicians that hosts the Thursday night jams -- notes younger players from the music school will help facilitate the Friday night jams.

"One of the reasons why we're starting the Friday jam is that it allows young musicians to play the kind of music they want, including their own original compositions," Dodge says. "Some of the more advanced performers from the Friday night jams will possibly be showcased at the Thursday night blues jams," he adds.

Meantime, Dodge says 2009 will be a busy year for The Blues Underground, as plans are underway to broadcast the Thursday night jams live on CHLY -- 101.7 FM, and a new musical youth talent search is in the works. Also hitting the stage in April will be Slim & the Deuces with Harpdog Brown for a fantastic dinner show. As well you will see Victoria's own Bill Johnson in May. Tickets will be limited and on sale soon.

Dodge is quick to point out The Blues Underground is more than just another music venue. "The Blues Underground is situated in a part of town that has received a bad rap over the years. But, we like to think that by holding these drug and alcohol-free events for people of all ages, we're helping to turn the red zone blue."

For more information phone 250-616-6242.

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