More than 40 local musician s will converge on Madison Street Park in Marianna on Thursday, Dec. 28, to play and sing for the community.
The annual Reagan Jam Session runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. that evening and the informal concert is free.
Event coordinator and founder Royce Reagan said the show will have a wide variety of musical styles, everything “from rock to Bach,” he says. The show will open with a 15-minute blast of the blues, with all or most of the musicians involved laying down a brief solo riff.
Thereafter, each act will have six minutes to perform. Expect to hear bluegrass, gospel, country, alt rock, hard rock, folk, oldies from the 1960s, and more.
A special guest will be 90-year-old harmonica player Jerry Chambliss. There will be handbells, a ukulele, and probably a mandolin, along with acoustic and electric guitars, drums and more. There will be solos, duets, trios, and full band vocals.
“This is ‘weather music’: If you hear something you don’t like, stick around: In a few minutes it’ll change up to something you do like,” Reagan said.
This is the second year Reagan and friends have invited the public to their annual holiday jam, but they’ve been getting together like this to play for about 10 years, around Christmas, when some of the buddies who have moved away are back in town to visit family.
“Most of them have not practiced with the group they’re playing with,” Reagan said, “but you’ll think they did, because they’re very, very good musicians.”
Grand Ridge School teacher Chuck Nolen will be the emcee. He’s a former announcer for WTVY in Dothan, Alabama. Marianna High School football coach John Donaldson is also expected to play, and Gavin Pittman, a jam regular who has battled health problems of late, is back in good-enough health to play again this year. A few youngsters will join the adults on stage.