Florence Winter Music Festival returns in January

Jan.12,2022- The Florence Winter Music Festival will host performance and writing workshops for musicians and open jam sessions for the public again this year.

“Jam sessions are sure to reflect the diversity of styles with young and old alike participating,” said Florence Winter Music Festival chairperson Kirk Mlinek. “We have dedicated space for jamming at the Florence Events Center. The room will be clearly marked and available as soon as the doors open on Friday morning (Jan. 28) and close at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The River House Inn and the Lighthouse Inn are also hosting jam sessions. Don’t leave home without your instrument.”

A schedule of jams will be posted at WinterMusicFestival.org. Masks and social distancing protocols will apply at jam sessions.

“Our outstanding workshops are back too,” Mlinek added. “We are incredibly fortunate to have Linda Leavitt as our instructor and emcee for the workshops. Workshops are free to any person holding a ticket to any one of the main-stage shows; others may attend for $20 payable at the door.”

Masks and social distancing protocols will apply during workshops.

Leavitt is a musician, writer, educator and event producer with a passion for bluegrass music. For nearly a decade, Leavitt co-coordinated Taborgrass, an adult bluegrass education program in Portland, and teaches bluegrass singing and how-to-jam workshops at festivals and at Nechville West in Sisters. She serves on the board of the Oregon Bluegrass Association and is the editor of the association’s quarterly journal, The Oregon Bluegrass Express. All workshops will be held at the Florence Events Center.


Workshops include:

  • Beginner’s Bluegrass Jam with Linda Leavitt on Friday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m.
  • Songwriting workshop with award-winning duo Kristen Grainger and Dan Wetzel of True North on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 9 a.m.
  • How to Play as a Duo with John Lowell and Ben Winship of Growling Old Men at 10:30 a.m. John and Ben will explain how it works to play in a duo as opposed to playing in a full band. They will work up a song on the spot to show the process of arranging the tune, figuring out harmony parts, when to play leads and the role of each player.
  • Blues and Rags Guitar with Mary Flower at 11 a.m. Flower will delve into left and right-hand moves that drive both Delta and Piedmont guitar styles. Expect some of her original songs that will demonstrate syncopation, movable chords, alternating thumb and dead thumb. Students will come away with a few new tunes as well as tools to apply to their own arrangements. Both the ability to read tab and fingerpicking experience will be helpful. Students are encouraged to record the class (audio).

COVID-19 protocols will be in place for all jam sessions and workshops, including proof of vaccination or evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival at the venue. Social distancing is required and masks must be worn. Organizers said they will be grateful for the public’s understanding and cooperation and that persons unwilling to comply with these requirements will be asked to leave the building.

Visit WinterMusicFestival.org for schedules, artist profiles, tickets and more.