Watermen's Museum jam session brings out pros and amateurs


Grab a guitar or banjo and gather ‘round with local musicians for a jam session at the Watermen’s Museum in Yorktown March 14.

The museum’s monthly jam session, which takes place every second Wednesday, brings together both professional and amateur musicians for a night of music. The event features the museum’s in-house band ShantyGrass, who play along with whoever else wants to show up, museum president Steve Ormsby said.

“We have moms and dads, kids and old-timers. Locals and tourists show up on a regular basis,” he said.

The museum sets up about 30 chairs in a circle at its Carriage House building, which overlooks the river. Attendees are encouraged to bring their instruments and sing along, but people are also free to join in without participating in music making. The only rule is everyone has to choose a song for the group to play. Anyone who can’t think of one can draw a song title from the museum’s “cup of shame” to make a selection, Ormsby said.

The event aims to be educational, and people can learn a lot about watermen through their traditional music.

“Music has not only been infused throughout their culture, but it also helps tell the stories of the past,” Ormsby said.

Event turnout ebbs and flows throughout the year, but typically between 30 and 50 people show up with instruments ranging from banjos to bagpipes. Participants are also asked to bring a small dish to share, with offerings usually consisting of sandwiches, pizza, dips and deserts.

Music Jam at Watermen's Museum

When: 5:30-9 p.m., second Wednesday of every month.

Where: 309 Water St., Yorktown.

Cost: Free.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

Copyright © 2019, Williamsburg Magazine