“ICE JAM” – A One-Day Bluegrass Acoustic String Camp Offered by the Iowa Theatre Artists Company at Die Heimat Next Door Event Center on Saturday, February 1st

AMANA: The Iowa Theatre Artists Company (ITAC) of Amana will offer area bluegrass musicians a one-day bluegrass camp at Die Heimat Next Door Event Center in Homestead. The camp will include two work sessions and an old-time jam on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Instructors are Marc Janssen of Iowa City and Paul Roberts of Sharon Center. Both instructors are returning for their fifth year. “Ice Jam” is a group-instruction camp for acoustic string musicians in the beginning and intermediate skill levels.

 A few of the 2019 Ice Jam students and teachers, Paul Roberts of Sharon Center (back center on banjo) and Marc Janssen of Iowa City (to Left of Roberts, on mandolin)  Last year 16 students took part in the one-day bluegrass camp.

The Saturday schedule begins with check-in at 8:30 am and a first instructional session scheduled from 9 am to 11:30 am. A second class runs from 12:30 – 3:00 pm. An old-time bluegrass jam for students and area musicians begins at 3:00 pm and runs until 5 pm. The jam is open to the public and is free admission.

In addition to performing, Marc Janssen teaches fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and banjo. He is an active member of the Iowa City traditional music scene and performs regularly in an old-time duo with his wife as Marc & Brandi Janssen. The Janssens also lead the honky-tonk country band, The Slow Draws, and the bluegrass quartet, Goin’ Up Caneywhile also providing the rhythm section for the 1920s-style jazz band, Dandelion Stompers. They are also active on the barn dance scene with various old-time bands.  When not performing or teaching, Janssen operates a violin shop in his Iowa City home. His website is: theprairiefiddle.com.

Paul Roberts has been playing bluegrass music since 1978. He plays banjo, bass and guitar, and is a singer-songwriter. He has performed with two of Eastern Iowa’s professional theaters, Iowa Theatre Artists Company and The Old Creamery Theatre. Roberts has been teaching students to play banjo, guitar, bass guitar, and the big bass fiddle for more than 16 years. He has been an instructor at Strawberry Jam Camp for 11 years and will be returning to teach again in July. He plays banjo with The Great Bluegrass Herons in addition to performing with The McPunk Brothers, Goin’ Up Caney, Banjoy, and in his church band Sharon Praise. Both Roberts and Janssen performed multiple times this past summer at the South Amana Swap Meet and Farmers Market.

Cost for the one-day camp is $75.  Pizza lunch and beverages will be provided. For more information and enrollment, please contact Meg Johnson: (319) 551-1264 or email: itac@southslope.net. Enrollment is limited.

At A Glance:

  • What: ICE JAM
  • For: Beginning and Intermediate Bluegrass Acoustic String Musicians
  • Event Sponsor: Iowa Theatre Artists Company, 2812 G Street, Amana, Iowa 52203
  • Event Location: Die Heimat Next Door Event Center, 4430 V Street   Homestead, Iowa
  • When: Saturday, February 1, 2020
  • Time: 8:30 am – 5 pm
  • Cost: $75
  • Pre-Registration is Required
  • Contact/Phone:  – (319) 551-1264
  • Email: itac@southslope.net

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