Free Monthly Jams

As Best You Can

Hosted by Jalaine Madura
First Sunday of every month
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation)

The name means what it says: play your music as best you can, in a no-pressure setting. After all, who better to provide a friendly and understanding environment for a guitar player…than other guitar players? You’ll take turns going around the room playing whatever you’re working on. It could be a piece you’re preparing for an upcoming lesson or a tricky passage you’re trying to work out. Maybe you want to test-drive a solo you’re polishing for an open mic or a recital. Perhaps you have a piece of guitar music that you think is great and you’d like to share it! Please note: this is not an open mic and is not intended for spectators (though if you want to present your piece in “performance mode,” go for it!). Just come ready to participate and play something…anything…As Best You Can.


Bluegrass Jam

Hosted by Rob Bulkley
Fourth Sunday of every month, September - April
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation)
Every Fourth Sunday from September through April, Rob Bulkley and friends host a bluegrass jam. Rob plays guitar and sings bluegrass with The Wild Hares. He’s participated in and led jam sessions since at least 1973 – slow, fast, and everywhere in between. He has a huge repertoire of sing-able bluegrass and country songs. Bring your favorite songs. Rob will happily call out the chords! He’ll pace this bluegrass jam according to the abilities and wishes of the participants. Learn more about Rob at rbjams.weebly.com.

Circle Sing

Hosted by Debby Boland Watt
First Saturday of every month
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation)

Debby Boland Watt facilitates improvisational Circle Singing at Dusty Strings on 1st Saturdays. An experienced voice instructor and Circle Song facilitator, Debby leads all comers on a vocal journey to create spontaneous songs using rhythm, language and harmony. Mentored by Bobby McFerrin, Debby helps all voices find places to sing. Everyone is welcome. No experience needed.


Everybody Plays!

Hosted by Jalaine Madura
Second Sunday of every month
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation goes to American Red Cross)

A new meet-up for players of any stringed instrument! Take turns playing whatever you’re working on in a friendly, supportive setting. Play a solo, ask the group to back you up while you play lead or sing, or share a song or riff you’re working on. Everyone participates as both performer and audience member. Bring your stringed instrument and come play!


Gather & Sing!

Hosted by Bruce Baker
Every Wednesday
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation goes to jam leader)

Come as you are, no instruments necessary! All levels are welcome at this weekly tradition led by Bruce Baker of Rainy Camp: A Weekend of Folk Singing, who provides guitar accompaniment. Call out songs you wish to sing from a binder full of song lyrics that is provided. Additional song suggestions encouraged! Occasional guest leaders and additional musicians from Dusty Strings Music School.


NEW! Music for the Holidays and Winter

Hosted by Jalaine Madura
Every Sunday from December 1, 2019 - January 5, 2020
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation)

Do you have favorite carols or songs about winter you like to play and sing? Preparing music for friends and family this holiday season, and want to practice in front of others before performing it? Starting December 1st, Jalaine Madura hosts this open session for everyone to come play and enjoy winter-themed music, whether vocal or instrumental, religious or secular, old or new. Whether it's the 13th century French carol “Entre le bœuf et l'âne gris” or the slip jig “Snowy Path,” everything - and everyone - is welcome! Please bring music stands if you have them and, if possible, copies of lyrics, sheet music, or TAB to share. For more info, contact the host, Jalaine Madura, at asbestyoucan@outlook.com.


Old-Time Jam

Hosted by Molly Tenenbaum
Second Saturday of every month, September - April
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation)

Please note: there will be no Old-Time Jam on Saturday, December 14th. Come celebrate Dusty Strings' 40th Anniversary at our annual Open House that day!

Bring your fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica, or other instrument and lead or follow your favorite old-time tunes! Paced according to the abilities and wishes of the participants, you'll have fun, expand your repertoire, and meet others who play this music, which encompasses Appalachian music, music from the Southeastern United States and Midwest, mountain music, pre-Bluegrass, and early country music. Hosted by Dusty Strings old-time music teacher Molly Tenenbaum, who can lead and suggest tunes, call out chords and encouragement, and generally help everyone have a good old time!


Uke Jam with the Honeyville Rascals

Hosted by Sunga Rose & Michael Alexander
Third Sunday of every month
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Free ($5 suggested donation goes to the jam leaders)

Now in its seventh year! Sunga Rose & Michael Alexander lead this fun jam that is aimed at beginning ukulele players.  In addition to being one half of the Honeyville Rascals, Sunga is the band-leader, singer and ukulele player for the vintage jazz trio, Miss Rose & Her Rhythm Percolators and the founder of Ukestra Seattle - a 14-member ukulele ensemble. She has been teaching group classes, workshops and private lessons since 2009 and especially loves working with beginning players. Already an accomplished bass & banjo player, Michael's interests in Americana and retro jazz led him to the ukulele and its many possibilities. He feels that in a perfect world, everyone would be handed a ukulele at birth. Michael is the other half of the Honeyville Rascals and a member of Ukestra Seattle. We stick to simple tunes that the whole group can join in on. Singing is encouraged. Playing music is fun and playing the ukulele is the most fun of all. Let's all jam together!


NEW! Vocal Improv Choir with Debby Boland Watt

Facilitated by Debby Boland Watt
Third Saturday of every month
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM
$5 - $15 suggested donation

Create completely spontaneous, free form vocal pieces with Dusty Strings voice teacher Debby Boland Watt! A fast paced choir for those with previous vocal improvisation skills and experience, Debby gives each person a choral part as she builds a free form, spontaneous vocal piece. The pieces are further developed with soloists, layering of rhythmic and melodic patterns, call and response, vocal percussion, and free improvisation. Participants should have attentive listening skills and a firm grasp of rhythmic forms. If you think you would do well in this environment, come join Seattle's first vocal improv choir!

Debby brought the popular Circle Sing to Dusty Strings six years ago. Attended by dozens of remarkable people interested in facilitated spontaneous music, each has found that, with compassionate purpose, using their voices to make music together increases joy. A vocal performer, choral director, studio musician, and teacher for over forty years, Debby has toured throughout North America and Western Europe. She studied choral conducting at Western Washington University and Cornish College of the Arts.

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