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HISTORY

On July 13, 2003, our first  Sunday Jam Session took place at the Sanctuary Coffeehouse in Somerville, NJ.  Jim Jasion, the founder, envisioned a Traditional Jazz jam session geared to the membership of the New Jersey Jazz Society, many of whose members, lived in the area.

Unexpectedly, the first participants came from other "walk-ins" to the coffeehouse and some local high school students who were studying jazz.

When the coffeehouse closed early in 2005, the Sunday Jam Sessions were moved to The Red Tower III Family Restaurant on Route 22 in Bridgewater, NJ.

In April, 2006, the sessions were moved to Thursday evenings and a new Sunday Jam Session was instituted at PJ's Coffee in Highland Park.  In September, after a month's hiatus, the Thursday Jam Sessions were moved to the Day's Inn of Hillsborough.

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                      Us on March 9, 2008, the first "Great Day In Highland Park"

                   Row 1 - Left To Right - Max Jacob, Jim Jasion, David Kolchmeyer  
                   Row 2 - Left To Right - Michael Lawton, Naama Nebenzahl, Ken Fink, Yolanda Digrius  
                   Row 3 - Left To Right - Grant Gardner, Bob Balogh, Aaron Moment, Dan Epstein, Tariq Ismael

In April, in 2007, the current schedule and venues were adopted, with a Sunday Jam Session continuing at PJ's and a Wednesday or Tuesday Evening Jam Session at Rhythm's Nightclub in Manville, NJ.  In late May 2009, out stint at Rhythms came to an end but we have been able to secure an interim private summertime venue for our Tuesday evening jam sessions.

Currently we have two regularly scheduled jam sessions, Sundays from 1 - 5 PM at PJ's Coffee, located at 315 Raritan Avenue Highland Park, NJ and Tuesdays 7 - 10 PM at a private studio belonging to our Tuesday House Band guitarist, John Forrestal, in Edison, NJ. We also do 2 pro bono appearances Monday and Wednesday evening from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM at the Home Town Buffet, with Monday given to a septet with a full rhythm section  consisting of piano, drums, guitar and bass, and 3 front-line horns, consisting of trumpet, tenor sax and trombone and Wednesdays featuring a more intimate chamber jazz concept with a drummerless trio of piano, guitar and bass.  Sit-ins by experienced musicans we have played with during the jam sessions are welcome.  The buffet is located at 561 US Highway 1 (at the intersection of Route 1 and Plainfield Avenue) in Edison, NJ.


MISSION

As we've grown, we've begun to fill a niche all too often neglected in current day academic musical training for young jazz students.   That is, the opportunity  to play in a small to medium combo setting,  without recourse to a fully fixed score, relying upon one's own ear and improvising ability to create a cohesive ensemble sound.  This goes beyond the typical performing experience of many a current day musician-in-training.

We extend the following invitation to music students, their instructors, their parents, friends and other interested musicians.  This is to:

 

(1)

Learn, by listening and/or performing about the real Jazz, not just what is being   spoonfed to the public as 'Smooth', 'Cool' or 'Soft' Jazz by the large record     corporations. 

 (2) 

Fostering community-based local live musicianship by making jazz easily accessible to a local audience, and in so doing developing and nurturing a knowledgeable audience / clientele for the music.      

 (3)

Providing a networking opportunity for musicians to connect with other musicians.