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Abingdon VA
September 7-10
Jubilee House Retreat Center

Our flagship jam camp event of the year. 

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What it's like

Large group instruction
     and
small group jamming all day long and as late as you like.

Small Groups

The way bluegrass is supposed to be played.

We'll arrange small groups for you according to skills, interests, instruments, singing to get you the best ensemble experience. Sometimes groups can change so you can get experience with more people.


Large Group Instruction . . .

happens periodically as the occasion calls.

Especially first meeting of camp and typically mornings but other times too. These sessions are for everyone to get on the same page together. 


Breakout and Topical Sessions

Mixed groups according to topic like:

Finding melody - Faking a solo when you don't know or haven't practiced the melody - Singing and also Harmony singing - Instrument specific breakouts - Pick up notes - Fills - Tone, timing and technique - Learning strategies - How to find your key(s) - who knows what will come up. We can't always hit everything but some things we always get to work on.


After Hours Jamming 

Pretty much a spontaneous and less rigorous time just letting it all hang out.

Small or larger groups tend to congregate in the various jamming spaces around Jubilee House. Indoors, outdoors - faster or slower - straight up bluegrass or off the beaten path stuff. Or you may just want to retire and nurse your sore fingers. Sometimes the teachers may put on an impromptu concert.


The Food

Authentic real food by Crystal and Theresa

Tuesday evening supper, three squares Wednesday Thursday, breakfast and lunch Friday. Crystal and Theresa make real food like your mama's - right in the Jubilee House kitchen. If you have special diet restrictions please let us know and we'll do our best to take care of you.


Class Performance on the Rhythm & Roots Festival Stage

Opening the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival Friday

We'll all ride into Bristol town and assemble backstage (outdoors) at the -  -  - stage for sound check. Typically the teachers will play a couple of songs and then we'll all play  a couple more together of songs  Don't get stage fright . . . the crowd for Friday's opening is quite small and friendly. After our "gig" we all get to roam the festival streets free - courtesy of the Rhythm & Roots festival . There's several stages, eateries, arts and crafts, buskers and the like. A great evening of fun. Friday's tickets are free and you can get nicely discounted tickets for the weekend too. We can stay over the weekend at the very nice rates at Jubilee House .


Tuition, meals and lodging

are all separate. 

Tuition -  $400.00
Meals - $X00.00
Lodging - $65.00/night


Gilbert Nelson

aka Dr. Jambo 

Gilbert leads jam camp with inspiration, energy, example, knowledge, and insight. 


Leigh Nelson

aka General Leigh

Affectionally known as "General Leigh"  Leigh is Gilbert's "backup brain" She's part musician, part organizer and problem solver. Her gentle and knowledgeable instruction make learning fun 


Bob Minke

Master Instructor

Bob has been  part of jam camp with us from the beginning. A professional performer and multi-instrumentalist, Bob brings understanding and perspective that compliments what we other instructors  are doing. A wealth of historical knowledge and storytelling. You'll love Bob as much as we do.


Derwin Hinson

Master Instructor

Derwin grew up in bluegrass music, growing up playing in his family band. Derwin has performed with some big names in the biz and has a long track record instructing almost all the bluegrass instruments. (I've never seen him with a fiddle!) Derwin makes learning fun!


Don Julin

Master Instructor

Don Julin is a master mandolinist and author of the Mandolin For Dummies book. Don has played with some very big names and excels in music theory, and plays a variety musical styles. Most of all Don is about people, Easy to approach and generous giving knowledge and understanding  to all the campers. Don is fun to jam with. You'll see. 


Click for Upcoming Events.

Find out what's coming up for you.

Contact me.

We'll put our heads together.