1. If you’re at the Tuesday Night Session to jam, make sure you write down your full name, instrument and experience level on the sign-up sheet, which is always kept at the door. The three categories listed for experience are amateur, student and professional. This is how the host band knows who’s at the club to take part in the jam, what instrument they play and the level of experience they have. If your name isn’t on the list, the feature band won’t know to call your name. If you show up late and the list is already on stage, go up to the stage in between tunes and let them know you want to play and add your information to the sign-up sheet.
2. Come prepared to play if that’s your intention and have your instrument out and ready when the jam session starts. You’ll have no way of knowing when your name will be called to go play, so have your instrument handy. If you’re a drummer or a piano player you won’t have to worry about this.
3. Please be aware of these three things when you get up on stage to play.
a) Performing on the Yardbird Suite stage is a privilege, so play as well as you can. There has been a very high standard of musicianship established at the Yardbird Suite over the last five decades.
b) As a musician wanting to jam, you’re a guest invited onto someone else’s stage and there’s a certain etiquette that should be followed. Make sure your behavior is appropriate while you’re up on stage. If you don’t know, be sure to ask someone whose experienced, or pay attention to what they do.
c) Over and above the players you’re sitting in with, there’s a paying audience in the Yardbird Suite there to hear the music. Make sure you put on a show for them too.
4. Your own playing should be of a high enough level to allow you to keep up with the other players on stage. Be honest with yourself when evaluating your own talent level and your ability to play with others.
5. If you’re allowed to choose a tune to perform during the jam session, make sure you have charts for the players, or a fake book if it’s required.
6. Don’t overstay your welcome on stage unless the feature band invites you to stay longer. Remember to keep your solos to an appropriate length and allow the other jammers their chance in the spotlight.
7. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a chance to play the jam on occasion. From time to time the feature band doesn’t make it all the way down the sign up sheet and some jammers might not get the chance to play. Remember, there’s always next week’s jam session and make sure you sign up early.
8. If you have any questions about the Tuesday Night Session or you have encountered a problem, let the house manager or the Tuesday Night Session coordinator Dave Babcock know and the matter will be resolved. Dave can be reached at:
The Edmonton Jazz Society thanks you for taking part in the Tuesday Night Jam Sessions. We hope you enjoy the experience!