PARIS – Back in Paris now, I attended a great open mic/jam on Saturday that I have written about several times. It has never ever let me down, even though it can vary from week to week. But the feeling at Le Paradis bar jam is invariably worth the attendance. And when I think of it, the second version of the Joy jam bar in Milan on Wednesday was even better than the first edition. In any case, despite their differences, there is a similarity of feeling between the two: People loving to play and people loving to listen, to music.
In bars, in open jam situations with no stage, just musicians getting up and playing together, musicians who do not know each other, and the clients who do not know the musicians. Joy jam milan second
I’m just running on at the mouth at the moment, trying to make text areas on this page with which to divide up the space where I will put the videos from each of these open jam sessions. joy jam milan first
I waited longer than usual to post, and so therefore, I have been terribly irresponsible, and only the general, fantastic vibe of the two nights has remained with me. Along with the point that a jam session, whether it is in Milan or Paris or Shanghai or Seoul or Melbourne or New York or London, is ALWAYS a moment of great emotional celebration, togetherness and release. joy jam milan fourth
MILAN – Definitely I think I have the most fun when I am in a city where there are not usually that many different open mics or open jam sessions, and suddenly I discover a new one. If I am in Paris, London, Toronto or New York, or even Melbourne, and I find a new open mic or jam, I’m really happy to attend. But unless it is absolutely extraordinary and different, it’s not the same buzz at all of the kind I experience in a city like Milan, where last night I attended the first ever weekly open jam at the Joy Milano bar. And this time, the joy was not just in the discovery of a jam session at a bar in Milan, but in this one being absolutely completely different than any I have attended before, with some amazing musicians – not the last of which is the man who organises the jam, Raffaele Kohler, a well-known Milan trumpet player. Joy Milano Jam Second
The Joy bar is located in part of a municipal building that includes an auditorium for local events, and public speeches. But the bar is independent, privately owned. So it sets up its own events that have nothing to do with the municipality. For this jam to succeed, therefore, it will require musicians to know it exists – it’s not located in the kind of place where passersby will hear the music and drop in. Third at Joy Milano Jam
I was at first worried that because the first two musicians present were brass wind instrument players, that this might be a jazz jam, and that I could not fit in. Then in walked a banjo player with some penny whistles, there was a cajon player, and then two electrical guitar players, and others followed. And the music was every style anyone wanted it to be. Playing my own songs with the “brass section” turned out to be quite wild and educational, and another bit of evidence of the importance and fun of open jam sessions. Joy Milano Jam first
The first edition of the Joy Milano jam last night, as you will see from the videos, was a fabulous success, with the sit-around-the table open free-for-all feel of jams I find occasionally, but rarely with such a fun feel. (By the way, check out the difference in quality between the videos, some of which were done on my new Osmo camera, the others were done on my old Zoom.) The people running the bar let the jam go without the least comment on volume, and while I had to leave at midnight, I understand it was to go on a lot later. A great sign. Joy Milano Jam Sixth