Bluegrass association announces monthly jams

The East River & Missouri Valley Bluegrass Music Association will sponsor a monthly open jam session at the Washington Street Arts Center on the second Sunday of each month from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Washington Street Arts Center.

Bluegrass musicians at all levels of experience are welcome, as is the public.

The association was formed as an organization of professional and amateur musicians, music fans and patrons dedicated to the preservation, support and advancement of bluegrass music as a unique American art form.

The area to be served by the bluegrass association encompasses the upper Missouri River basin, including southeastern South Dakota, northwest Iowa and northeast Nebraska.

The association’s purpose is three-fold:

  • To sponsor and promote the performance of bluegrass music in informal gatherings as well as in professional concert settings;
  • To promote, educate and nurture the development of young people and novice adult players; and
  • To educate the community at large in the rich history, traditions and especially the repertoire of bluegrass.

With the support and encouragement of the Vermillion Area Arts Council (VAAC), the association will be housed in the Washington Street Arts Center, located at 202 N. Washington St. in Vermillion.

The association was founded through the efforts of musicians Alan Reinpold and Jon Hittle.

A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Reinpold has been a member of the board of the South Dakota Friends of Traditional Music for several years and has been active in the promotion of that organization’s annual summer festival.

Hittle has been performing professionally on string bass since the early 1970s with bluegrass groups in multiple states, and has been involved as bassist, publicist and promotion manager for various bluegrass artists. He also teaches string bass and conducts bass workshops, in addition to publishing numerous articles.

Reinpold and Hittle will serve as the executive coordinators of the association’s activities until a board of officers is approved by the membership at large.

Anyone seeking more information can contact Reinpold at (605) 987-4191 or Hittle at (877) 621-4118.

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