Cottage Grove, the covered bridge capital, might not come across as a place for innovative jazz, but at the Cottage Events Venue each fourth Tuesday, the magic happens.
The Jazz Jam is a collaboration between a nonprofit, an impassioned musician, and an innovative event space
The Jazz Jam is like a laboratory where younger musicians looking to build on their skills, can engage with more experienced musicians. Music educator and bassist Liam Onaitis facilitates this all-comers jazz jam.
He describes it as, ”We are just trying to foster a nurturing environment for those interested in coming down and learning more about jamming with other musicians. People get frightened of Jazz but it can be quite an enjoyable style to play once you get to learning some of the basics.”
While the Jam is more of a learning environment than a polished performance, there are some really solid players, some very confident novices and a super supportive audience. There is a great feel in the room and the surprises that come from this chemistry are often delightfully pleasing.
Financial support for the Jazz Jam comes from the nonprofit Music Money 501c3. B.J Jones believes that infusing Cottage Grove with music genres not always heard here builds community and understanding. Music Money 501c3 looks for ways to bring unique musical opportunities to the Grove and how to fund them.
The Jaw Harp Festival, West African Drumming, Ukuleles, street musicians for the art walks, and a Reggae concert are some of the gems Jones and Music Money 501c3 have gifted Cottage Grove.
The next Jazz Jam happens Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Cottage Events Venue, 2915 Row River Road.
Soup, bread and beverages are available for purchase, and a voluntary sliding scale donation is requested to help defray expenses.
The Events space, housed in the old Cottage Restaurant’s passive solar building, is a great place to hear music.
Manager Kim Still said, ”I was excited when B.J. and Liam came to me with the idea of having a monthly Jazz Jam at The Cottage Events Venue. Supporting musicians, and giving folks the opportunity to see live music has been a big part of my life. I booked and ran the stage at the Eugene Saturday Market for 25 years, so bringing regularly scheduled jazz to Cottage Grove has been really great!”
The Cottage Events Venue is a space that is very adaptable for small and medium sized events. There is a licensed kitchen, serving ware, chairs and tables available. The site has been used for receptions, workshops, dinners, as well as other musical events. Check their website: cottageevents.com.
Plan to experience the Jazz Jam on the 26th, and get ready to enjoy the magic of improvisational music on the fly and see our next best musicians come up in the Grove.
Contact Dana Merryday at 541-942-7037; [email protected]