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Jammin’ Java hosts new student jazz sessions on Thursday nights

On Thursday nights, the Jammin’ Java is host to live music acts from on campus and the surrounding area. Individuals and groups come forth to share their talents with anyone who will listen. Performances are usually soft rock or singing accompanied by instrumentals – music to fit the study atmosphere.

It all started four years ago when senior John Chambers was asked by a fellow student, Christin Klaassen, if he was interested in looking for local acts to play music on campus. Chambers agreed and worked it out with the Jammin’ Java to have music played on Thursday nights.

At first it was slow-going, as not many people attended the shows. However, Chambers has noticed an increase in attendance, especially this semester.

“This semester I’ve been e-mailed by twelve people in one day interested in playing, and the turnouts have been pretty good,” Chambers said. First-years are usually very inquisitive about what type of music is played and who is allowed to play.

“I’m not sure how they get my e-mail address, but I get e-mailed quite a bit by first-years who are interested,” he said.

There are few returning performers, however.

“Usually there are too many people that want to play or people don’t have enough material to do more than one show,” Chambers said.

Recent performers included junior David Robertson, sophomores James Foster and Nate Lohse, Isaac Gillespie and friends and the band Look Machine.

“It was really fun,” Robertson said. “We took time to write some really good songs that we wanted people to hear.”

Robertson added that he hopes to play again later on in the semester and that people will continue to come out on Thursdays.

Expanding onward from the Thursday night music sessions, Chambers and others are planning on starting a Tuesday night jazz jam session. The jam session will consist of jazz improvisation and will start at 8:30 p.m.

A group of regulars will be performing most of the time but others are still welcome to come and play as well. So far the group includes Chambers on bass/guitar, senior Isaac Greenslade on trumpet, sophomore Kyle Herman on drums and first-year Steve Fischer on tenor/sax.

Chambers has accomplished a lot during his tenure here at Eastern, from helping to start the Thursday night music sessions to acquiring a new sound system for the Jammin’ Java last year. However, Chambers will be graduating in May.

As of yet, a successor has not been found. Musicians, however, are not so hard to find.

“There are a lot of good musicians on campus,” Robertson said.

*For more information about performing at the Java or organizing music nights, contact John Chambers at jchambers@eastern.edu.

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