Jammalong Jives into Broken Hill

Jammalong, a concept devised by Dianne and Michael Porter in 2009, will arrive in the Silver City on Saturday, November 18, from 1-4 pm at the Titanic Memorial, Sturt Park.

Mr and Mrs Porter pioneered this initiative to offer an economical, delightful, and sustainable means for individuals to engage in communal musical sessions.

Eventually, parks in Canberra, Melbourne, and other places, hosted groups of people with their instruments and picnic packs in hand, playing old-time songs which are almost universally recognised.

Now, locals of five-and-a-half years Jennie and David Reen, along with son Nathan, are preparing to host Broken Hill’s first Jammalong, which is a free event for locals to attend.

Mrs Reen told the Truth that “I’ve been going to Jammalong camps in Victoria for the last few years, and it’s just a whole bunch of people coming together for the weekend.”

Nathan mentioned that the family went to a Jammalong camp in Benalla, Victoria, two months ago, and upon their return to Broken Hill, they decided to trial an event in Broken Hill.

Mr Reen then added that Jammalong prohibits the amplification of music, so electrical instruments are not allowed. Jammalong sessions also do not play songs which have copyright protections attached, and there is no money changing hands throughout the event.

“We’re all there for the sheer joy of it, and so people are responsible for their own enjoyment and safety, like bringing sunscreen and drinks,” Mr Reen added.

The couple’s mentor, Jose Garcia, previously spearheaded the Melbourne Jammalong contingent before moving to Queensland. However, he is set to journey to Broken Hill for this debut occasion.

“Jose Garcia is very enthusiastic about music, and he encourages open-mic nights at camps,” a proud Mrs Reen mentioned.

Mrs Reen’s passion for music is well-established, having recently showcased her talent at the Eisteddfod alongside fellow Ukulele aficionados. Nathan, too, is musically inclined, mastering the Washboard with the local Ukulele ensemble.

“However, the beautiful thing about Jammalong is that with our style of music, you don’t need song sheets, you can just bring yourself and your instruments, and a chair!” Mrs Reen added.

More information about Broken Hills’ inaugural Jammalong can be found by contacting Mrs Reen on 0425 741 308, she is hoping this event will be only the first of many monthly Jammalong sessions.

PICTURE: From left- David, Jennie, and Nathan Reen, standing beside their Jammalong poster. By Dylan J. Stone.

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