This is from Devon Leger, a fiddler who will be teaching next week at Fiddle Tunes:
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Since 2003, I’ve been attending the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend. It’s a week-long series of workshops and concerts that draws traditional musicians from all over the US and abroad. The festival is known for its jamming scene, and informal music jams pop up everywhere on the grounds of Fort Worden. These jam sessions are the primary way that many traditional musicians learn by ear. Musicians pick up tunes and pass on tunes in these sessions and share laughs and jokes.
I’ve been recording these sessions ever since I first started attending, and collecting bootleg tapes of the sessions from years past. I’ll share some share some of these tapes from the 2008 festival, which had some incredible jam sessions. My tapes aren’t professional since I intended to use them for practicing and learning tunes. But the recordings sound good and document master musicians in a relaxed atmosphere as they share music. I’ll alternate field recordings of jam sessions from the festival with professional studio recordings of the same bands, so you can really hear how special these impromptu recordings are.