About

TrailJams is about making acoustic music together, outside, for the enjoyment of the musicians and of people passing by.

Hi, I’m Jonathan Lay. As a musician, some of the most joyful and satisfying times I’ve had is playing and singing in the company of other musicians. It might be a late night pub sing or an afternoon of playing tunes. Making music with other people is a rich experience that leaves you feeling good for a long time. When the weather is good, taking that music outside where you can enjoy trees, sunlight, and fresh air increases that richness. Add to that the joy that you see in people who pause to listen, smile and maybe dance or sing a little bit.

It’s all of that that led to the creation of TrailJams. TrailJams is about making acoustic music together outside, for the enjoyment of the musicians and of people passing by. That’s certainly not a new idea — people have been doing that for as long as there have been people. But sometimes it can be hard to find other people to make music with, a place to play, and a set of music that you can share. That’s where TrailJams comes in — helping you connect with other musicians, choose a time and place to play, learn music and technique, and stay in touch with each other.

Why outside? Because it’s refreshing in the best of times, and now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, getting together outside means there is plenty of fresh air and space.

Why next to a path or trail? So that other people can enjoy your music, or just enjoy that someone is making music. Because it’s a trail, passersby can enjoy the surprise, listen a while, and then move on. Your “trail” might be a river, a sidewalk, a walking path, or a hiking trail.

What kind of music? Whatever you like. You might focus on Irish / Celtic tunes, American Old-Time tunes, Klezmer, Blues, Jazz, or any other style or mix of styles.

Why acoustic instruments? Playing acoustic instruments means you don’t need electrical outlets, amplifiers, microphones, or speakers. It also means that you probably won’t be loud enough to bother anybody.

Jams and Session Examples

Irish & Celtic

Play from the rich heritage of tunes from the Celtic lands.

American Old-Time

American fiddle tunes, traditional and in the tradition.

Trail Mix

Mix it up: Old-Time, Irish & Celtic, Blues. A little of this and that.