The Chatfield Brass Band winding up its summer concert season with its annual postgrand
parade performance.
The Chatfield Brass Band winding up its summer concert season with its annual postgrand parade performance.

They’ll be jammin’ in Chatfield Friday night!

 “We think it’s a great way to kick off the Western Days weekend in this town, with its great musical heritage. The session will feature the Chatfield Brass Band (CBB) Jazz Combo who will play tunes of their own as well as support musicians who want their assistance. But with a jam session, we won’t know for sure until that night who else is playing,” stated Chatfield Brass Band member Steve Strange. He’s the organizer of the Chatfield Western Days CBB Friday Night Jam, set to take place in the City Park band shell on Friday, Aug. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Saxophonist Strange has heard rumors that Chatfield blues singer and guitarist Don Scott and several participants from prior years, such as singer Donald Johnson and singer-guitarist Chuck Dolder, have indicated they plan to attend. There is also a couple from Hawaii who play the ukulele and sing that are scheduled to be there as well. 

“We hope there are other musicians from the area who will join us for the evening as well. All will be given an opportunity to play at least a couple of songs of their choice, but if they prefer to strum quietly in the background while others play, that’s OK, too,” said Strange.  “Last year, we enjoyed a ukulele player who was 5 years old and combined choreography with his ukulele playing.  We’re hoping for other young musicians this year…but choreography isn’t a requirement.”   

The jam session is happening rain or shine because City Park has such a lovely band shell and lots of determined musicians who just might play past the 8 p.m. closing hour.  “We want to give everyone a chance to play, so if the band shell isn’t scheduled past 8 p.m., we can keep going.  We’ll decide based on the interest in the audience and on the number of musicians who have more to play.”  Strange noted, “musicians should bring their own instruments. We will have a sound system they can plug into and an outlet they can plug their own amplifier into, if desired. If they need special arrangements, they can contact me. I would love to hear from anyone planning to come, just to know how many chairs to set up and what kind of music to anticipate. But registration is not needed. If you decide at the last minute to come to the jam, grab your washboard or harmonica and come on down.”   

Attending the jam session as audience members offers people an opportunity to enjoy some music as they pick up their dinners from the food vendors in the park, to have some entertainment prior to attending the play, or to just have a spot for 90 minutes of relaxation and fun. 

Furthermore, it’s a chance to hear spontaneously-played music, notes that come directly from the imaginations of the musicians. 

“We think everyone will enjoy hearing songs of all types, singing along with the music and enjoying the musicianship of players both young and not so young,” said Strange.  “Most musicians love to have an audience, so the more audience, the happier they are.  We want to have an audience, especially if we have younger participants and give them an opportunity to show what they can do.”

Strange thanked CBB director Carmen Narveson for her assistance in arranging the jam as they are hoping to hear more in the coming week or so from people who are participating in addition to those already mentioned.  Anyone who has questions is invited to call Strange at (507) 285-1511 or e-mail him at stevegstrange@gmail. 

“If you come to play, or come to listen, either way, you’ll have a good time,” he said.

Additionally, there are performances and other activities in the band shell throughout Western Days, including Kent Larson playing his accordion on Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Chatfield Brass Band winding up its summer concert season with its annual post-grand parade performance, and a two-hour concert by folk/blues artist Charlie Warner from 4 to 6 p.m.

Sunday includes the non-denominational community church service from 9 to 10 a.m., square dancing from noon to 1 p.m., local Elvis tribute artist Brad Boice bringing on a hunk-a hunk-a burnin’ love from 3 until 5 p.m., and for the polka aficionados, there’s the “Polka Dots” getting in the oompa groove from 7 to 9 p.m., just before the Western Days Fireworks Finale lights up the August sky.