Monthly Jamboree and Open Mike
Monthly jams are held on the first Sunday of each month from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. We usually meet at Hoover Middle School in San Jose, in and around the cafeteria. During the summer we often hold the jam at the nearby Municipal Rose Garden Park instead.
Join Our Mailing List to receive one monthly email reminder a few days before each SCVFA Jam. To join, email president AT fiddlers DOT org with ‘join mailing list’ in the Subject. You can remove yourself from the list at any time.
What Is It? The jam is a family-friendly gathering of people who enjoy traditional music as played on acoustic instruments such as the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, accordion, harmonica and pennywhistle. We get together to “jam” (play informally together), and take turns performing on stage. Our players often range in age from under 10 to over 80.
We begin at 1:00 pm with several jam groups forming outdoors. Usually several styles are represented, such as old-time, bluegrass, country, gospel, Celtic and folk. At about 1:30 we open the stage indoors to “open-mike” performances, with chairs and tables set up so people can sit and enjoy the music. The jam usually concludes with a door prize drawing shortly before 5:00 pm. Details about upcoming jams can be found on our Upcoming Jams and Events page.
Location: Hoover Middle School is at the corner of Naglee and Park avenues in San Jose. The school’s main entrance is on Park, but the cafeteria entrance and nearest parking are at
1450 Naglee Ave., San Jose, CA. Here’s a map.
Summertime jams in the park are held under shady trees in the grassy (non-rose) half of the Municipal Rose Garden park — about two blocks southwest on Naglee, near Garden Drive.
Admission: Adults: $6 for SCVFA members and $8 for non-members, which helps pay the rent for use of the school. Youths 17 and under are free. Occasional special events may have an additional admission charge. The summertime jams at the Rose Garden park are free.
Open Mike: At the school, jam participants are encouraged to sign up to play on stage, as solo performers or groups, for 15 to 20 minutes each. Musicians gain experience performing for a small audience and using a PA system, and non-musicians are entertained. (There is no open mike at the park, and special events, such as the Youth Fiddle Contest and occasional concerts, will sometimes preempt the open-mike performances.)
Learning Groups: We usually organize a slow jam group for beginners and a tune-learning group for intermediate-level players. The Slow Jam starts around 1:30 and the Tune Builder starts around 2:00 pm. Both are led by experienced musicians. Bring your acoustic instrument and practice playing with others, learn some new tunes, and pick up tips on jamming. See the Learning Page for more information.
Miscellany: Attendees often provide various snack foods (a small donation is encouraged if you partake). Sandwiches and other deli food are available at nearby Zanotto’s Family Market (at Naglee and Bascom). School restrooms are accessible in the library building across the courtyard.
Per school-district rules, alcohol and smoking are not permitted on the school grounds or in the buildings, and pets are not permitted in the cafeteria (service animals excepted).