September’s annual June Lake Jam Fest is this weekend and for the first time it’s going virtual. The festival is in its sixth year continuing its mission as a 501c3 benefitting the Mono Arts Council, which puts music programs in schools in Mono County.
My spin on the festival is my personal experience as a musician participating in the event. The festival’s organizer, Janet Hunt, can attest to firsthand has a very serious passion about the cause of spreading the love of music to children. A few stats about the area from the Mono Arts Council website:
- Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
- 53-61 percent of students in Mono County are identified as socioeconomically disadvantaged.
- Students who take four years of arts and music classes average almost 100 points higher on their SAT scores than students who take only one-half year or less.
The festival, as mentioned above, is going all online this year due to the pandemic. The music starts on the June Lake Jam Fest Facebook page Friday at 6 p.m. PST and lasts through Sunday night. The event poster is above.
Furthermore, the festival is an incredible experience for musicians and music fans. Imagine taking a weekend getaway into the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, near Yosemite, and staying in a small town nestled between a loop of pristine alpine lakes, with snow-capped mountains. The music is outside all day and into the evening, with after parties at the intimate, stylish T-Bar Social Club, within walking distance from the lakeside festival.
Now imagine being a musician, and getting to play in a world-class outdoor environment, with top-notch sound and lights from DJE Pro, and rubbing shoulders with some of the best musicians and best people in the jam community. Lifelong friends are made. Accommodations are akin to a five-star resort.
Says Janet: “To me, the epitome of the June Lake Jam Fest experience was when Cubensis (Grateful Dead tribute) called everybody in the park to come up and participate in one last song together during the second festival, trading off on instruments and singing together, having a great time. I knew at that point we were onto the same thing.”
Another testimonial from Manny Sanchez of GrooveSession: “We love June Lake Jam Fest, their mission, and all of the kind, beautiful souls that attend every year. We believe in the power of music and the arts, as well as the importance of access at a young age to instruments and after school programs. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are today.” Both my band and GrooveSession have each taken time out on Jam Fest weekends to perform at school assemblies in the region as well, to further spread the word.
As Manny says, “the word is love.”
More info – www.junelakejamfest.org
— Jon Siembieda
June Lake Jam Fest
Safe at Home
Friday, Sept. 11
6 p.m. — Hunter & The Dirty Jacks
7 p.m. — Jason Sinay
8 p.m. — The Mother Hips
9 p.m. — GrooveSession
Saturday, Sept. 12
5 p.m. — Hempstring Orchestra
6 p.m. — Alex Gordan Band
7 p.m. — The Storytellers
8 p.m. Melvin Seals & The JGB
9 p.m. — Cubensis
Sunday, Sept. 13
5 p.m. — MHS Jazz Band
5:30 p.m. — The Alligators: Pigpen Tribute
6 p.m. — Mestizo Beat
7 p.m. — Shaky Feelin’
8 p.m. — Jerry’s Middle Finger (extended set)