Western to re-start series of jams, dances in 2006

Western Carolina University will re-start its series of old-time and bluegrass music jam sessions and traditional dance gatherings in January, but the 2006 jam sessions, held at Western’s Mountain Heritage Center, will come with a new twist.

Starting in January, one jam session each month will begin with performances by bands from across the region, said Suzanne McDowell, the center’s interim director.

The Fiddling Dills Sisters and the Cullowhee Valley Boys will lead off the first 2006 jam session at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, with a 45-minute concert in the Mountain Heritage Center auditorium. Following the concert, musicians from across the region are invited to jam until 9 p.m.

Future jam sessions will be held at the Mountain Heritage Center from 7 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 2 and 16, March 2 and 16, and April 6. More participating bands will be announced later.

Two traditional dance gatherings will be hosted in upcoming months by Western’s A.K. Hinds University Center. Dance events will be held 7 to 9 p.m. on two Thursdays, Jan. 19 and April 20, in the University Center Grandroom. House bands and live callers will be on hand to get toes tapping.

The jam sessions and dance gatherings are open to pickers, singers and dancers of all ages and experience levels, but also to those who just want to watch and listen, McDowell said.

For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at (828) 227-7129.