This weekend, bluegrass enthusiasts from all over the world will converge on downtown Owensboro for The Great American Bluegrass Jam. The event will take place from Friday through Sunday, and organizers promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The activities will include the Kentucky Fried Pickin’ Hotel Jam, the Kentucky State Fiddle Championship, and a concert in the Hall of Fame by The Earls of Leicester. Moreover, guests can take excursions to the Green River Distillery Co., the Bill Monroe Homeplace in Rosine, and other locations.
Chris Joslin, executive director of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum, remarked, “This is a fantastic chance to generate excitement around the music, the museum, and the town, and to make Owensboro a destination.” “We’ve produced some irresistible and genuine experiences, therefore generating a tourist industry around music.”
The Kentucky Fried Pickin’ Hotel Jam will take place at the Holiday Inn Riverfront beginning Friday evening and concluding Saturday night, allowing bluegrass enthusiasts from throughout the nation to meet and perform together. The round-the-clock jam sessions will allow participants to play and collaborate with other musicians at any time.
The Earls of Leicester will play at the Hall of Fame on Friday at 6 p.m. The band was established in 2013 with the intention of preserving and promoting the legacies of bluegrass pioneers Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. They have received a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album and six International Bluegrass Music Association honors. There are concert tickets available here.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Hall of Fame will host the Kentucky State Fiddle Championship. Attendees can register for free in advance online or at the event itself. Competition categories include Flatpick Guitar, Junior, Adult, and Senior Fiddle, Mandolin, Bluegrass Banjo, Dancing, and the Championship Fiddle-Off.
The journey to the Bill Monroe Homeplace will be the weekend’s highlight for anyone interested in discovering the origins of bluegrass. The day excursion is available on both Friday and Saturday, departing and returning to the Holiday Inn Riverfront on both days (tickets and more info found here). The tour will begin at the family farm where Bill Monroe was born and end at Uncle Pen’s cottage on a hill upon arriving in Rosine. The Rosine Graveyard, the Rosine barn for lunch and music, and the new Bill Monroe Museum are additional destinations.
In addition to tours of the Green River Distillery Company, the museum will give a comprehensive map of ongoing activities, live music, promotions, and downtown shops.
This musical genre continues to expand, according to Joslin. This new generation of bluegrass performers is ushering in the golden age of the genre. We are attempting to develop a bluegrass economy in Owensboro around the museum and hall of fame.”