Zen Tea, where I play at least twice a month. We were talking about the back room, which she plans on expanding into a small concert venue. It struck me that the back room could also be used to hold a jam session. I was speaking hypothetically, but Connie's eyes lit up, and the next thing I knew, she had me agreeing to host a monthly jam session.
The first Zen Tea Sunday Jam will take place this Sunday (9/23) from 2-5, and I'm really looking forward to it. It'll evolve over time as I figure out what works and what doesn't, but for now, it is going to be a round robin style session. We'll go around the circle and take turns leading songs. There may also be instrumentalists who don't necessarily want to lead a song, but would like to play along. While we don't need everybody to be playing all the time, I do want this to be an inclusive group, so I'm asking the musicians to bring chord/lead sheets if a song has a lot of chord changes, or to walk us through a song if the changes aren't too complicated.
Ideally, this will be an eclectic experience. I've extended invitations to musicians of various backgrounds, including folk, jazz, and Latin. Several people will have original songs, too. Of course, the music being played ultimately depends on who shows up, but I'm hoping for a mix of styles.
I have no idea how many people will show up to this first jam session. Even if just four or five musicians show up, it'll be a start. I've heard from a handful of musicians who are already busy on Sunday but are interested in coming in the future. It may take a little while to establish this as a regular thing, but I feel that this will eventually become a monthly event that many people will look forward to.
Eddie's Attic for you Atlanta music lovers. If we musicians do what we can to support Zen Tea and help bring in business, we'll be doing our part to help bring a new concert venue to life.
If you are interested in keeping up with the Zen Tea Sunday Jam, please visit www.facebook.com/ZenTeaJam and "like" our page.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.