Open Jams

At LEFF you’ll find plenty of opportunities to play music with others, in informal pop-up jams or organized sessions lead by knowledgeable performers.

Besides the scheduled jams, Jammers are welcome to play in other locations as long as they are considerate and don’t block halls, stairways or exits.

Feel like being a part of an organized jam?  Check out one of the sessions below.

Old-Time Jam at a former Lake Erie Folk Fest. Photo by Jen Hearn

Youth Jam – Hosted by Erin Thomas & Joel Specht
1 – 1:45pm, Room 109

One of the most precious aspects of Old Time music is passing the traditions to the younger generations. This is a chance to participate in that process by joining our first LEFF Youth Jam! We will play some straight forward tunes with few chord changes, and make sure our pace in inclusive to all. A tune list resource page is available to download in case it is helpful.

Erin Thomas is a life-long lover of music, beginning her musical journey composing, singing, and playing piano. At age 38, Old Time music stole her heart and she began learning fiddle, mandolin, baritone ukulele, a bit of banjo. She works at Hawken school as the Assistant Director of the middle school and teaches art, painting in her free time, and reading more books than she ought.

Old-Time Jam – Hosted by Fair to Fiddlin’: Joel Specht, Erin Thomas and Joe Kengor   
2 – 3:45pm, Room #152 (Shore’s Landing)

The Old-Time jam will be led by Fair To Fiddlin’ with Joel Specht on banjo, Joe Kengor on guitar, and Erin Thomas on fiddle. We welcome anyone into the jam. If you want to just listen or are looking to join the jam circle, a good time will be had by all. Band member, Erin Thomas shared that she has never experienced more kindness and inclusivity than she has with the Old Time community. Come experience it for yourself!


Bluegrass Jam – Hosted by Rick Campbell  
4 – 4:45pm, Room 115

Rick Campbell at Raccoon County Music Festival

Rick Campbell is a music teacher who enjoys teaching people of all ages the basics and more of bluegrass music. Rick also formed and leads the bluegrass band Young and Blue which consists of some of his students who play a variety of instruments including guitar, mandolin, banjo, and upright bass.

Rick welcomes all people, at any level to come and join the Bluegrass Jam & Beginning Bluegrass Banjo workshops at The Lake Erie Folk Fest.

Irish Jam – Hosted by Samantha & Michael McNamara
4 – 5:45pm, Room 152 (Shore’s Landing)

Samantha McNamara has been a violin performer and educator for many years. She is the founder of the McNamara School of Irish Music and is a sought after traditional Irish music performer. She can routinely be heard playing the fiddle at feiseanna all across the United States, on the radio, and at pubs locally in northeast Ohio or anywhere Irish music is appreciated. Her husband, Michael McNamara, is a very talented Irish flute player. His depth of knowledge of tunes and various styles brings excitement to any session!

 Join Samantha and Mickey for a great traditional Irish session. All traditional instruments, ages and abilities welcome!





Lake Erie Folk Fest logoShore Cultural Centre
291 E. 222nd Street
Euclid, Ohio 44123

(216) 289-8578

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