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Thread: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

  1. #1

    Post Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    I'm an intermediate player looking for others to form a smaller regular jam session in Manhattan or Brooklyn (okay, any of the five boroughs). I know there are plenty of established jams in the city -- they are terrific, but also rather large. You don't get a lot of breaks and it is too loud to hear. A smaller jam is better for progress and can be more fun. Looking for 2-3 others who have a decent repertoire (fiddle tunes as well as songs) and want to meet weekday evenings -- day TBD. My apartment building (downtown near City Hall) has a music room, but it's first come first serve. If you have a place we can play, could work too. If you play guitar or other BG instrument, so much the better.

    About me: I have been playing mandolin for 20 years, mainly bluegrass, old-time, celtic. Memorized lots of tunes but getting into improvisation. Fan of Thile, Flinner, Marshall, Grisman -- also Nate Lee, Frank Solivan, David Benedict. Used to do the festivals a lot -- plan to again. Personally, I'm 58-yo, digital marketing exec, moved from Virginia in 2011.

    Email me and we can connect by phone -- thanks!
    Michael

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    For larger jams, here are the ones I know about or have gone to:

    Sunny's Bar in Red Hook (Sundays) -- a fairly advanced jam with good players, at least a dozen at the three I went to
    The Sheriff's Jam at The Gray Mare (2nd Tuesdays) -- longest running NYC jam, also pretty advanced and large (can be more than 20)
    Liz Wolf's uptown jams (various days) -- intermediate/beginner level, also 20+ players
    Mona's Bar (Mondays) -- haven't been, but I know they have some top players, not sure how open a jam it is

    If you live in NYC and want to play regularly with 1-2 others -- let's talk!
    Mike

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  4. #3
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    Also, the Green Room Jam on 23rd Street.

    Sounds like the OP knows about most of these.
    Jim

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    I'm the OP -- let me clarify:
    I'm looking for 1-2 players to simply get together and pick. Not a formal public jam, just us in one of our homes maybe weekly or bi-weekly. I totally don't expect NYC's hot players to be interested -- but if you are an intermediate player, know a few dozen tunes more or less at speed, then this is the absolute best way improve fast. Definitely better than the big public jams (but absolutely do them too!). Respond here if interested -- Manhattan and Brooklyn are ideal. I look forward to hearing from you! Best, Mike

  6. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    Mike: since you attend these jams I am surprised that you canít find people like yourself to get together with. I lived in NYC and Brooklyn for decades and met all my music friends at jams and music parties. No problem of course to connect with mandolin players here. If you are in the old time, bluegrass, contra dance, Irish, etc. networks I would think it might just be a matter if talking to folks at these and seeing who is also interested. Sorry if that sounds super-obvious.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
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    Playing lately:
    1924 Gibson A4 - 2018 Campanella A-5 - 2007 Brentrup A4C - 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin - Huss & Dalton DS - 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead - '83 Flatiron A5-2 - 1939 Gibson L-00 - 1936 Epiphone Deluxe - 1928 Gibson L-5 - ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo - ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo - ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo - National RM-1

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    Registered User E.R. Villalobos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    Mike- thanks for the locations. I'm more of a beginner but I'm always interested in places to hear music.
    My buddy Mark Miller has the Brooklyn Bluegrass Collective for Sunday brunch at The Porch, his restaurant and music venue in the Sugerhill neighborhood of Harlem.
    Mark and his wife Beth were the founders of Spuyten Duyvil, a roots / folk / rock collective.

    Spuyten Duyvil (to spite the Devil) now there's a uniquely local, old-time New York City phase.

    Gene on the UWS

  8. #7

    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    Jim -- you are absolutely correct: going to the jams is the ideal way to find folks to get together and play with, and I am doing that. Just not enough I think -- it takes time to get to be a known quantity. And I'm trying not to drink, which makes the bar jams problematic, at least for the time being.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    We have a monthly non-alcoholic old time jam up near me at an old farm in northern Westchester. Probably not super accessible to you unless you have a car or a ride. I was running it for over a dozen years then stopped for Covid but we are starting on this Friday evening. Message me for more info.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    What community
    in Northern Westchester?

  11. #10
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickin' Buddies in New York City

    Yorktown Heights
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    1924 Gibson A4 - 2018 Campanella A-5 - 2007 Brentrup A4C - 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin - Huss & Dalton DS - 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead - '83 Flatiron A5-2 - 1939 Gibson L-00 - 1936 Epiphone Deluxe - 1928 Gibson L-5 - ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo - ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo - ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo - National RM-1

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