Thanks to CBA’s Youth Program, traditional bluegrass will withstand the test of time. So long as kids have a bluegrass community and opportunities to pick and fiddle together, future generations will be able to continue to enjoy bluegrass. The Youth Academy at the Father’s Day Festival provides workshops for youth. The Kids on Bluegrass program gives young folks an opportunity to showcase their talents on stage. The CBA board provides scholarships for young talented musicians to participate in the Kids on Bluegrass program at the International Bluegrass Music Association convention in Raleigh, North Carolina once a year. In addition, all CBA-sponsored events are family-friendly, making parents feel comfortable to allow their kids roam free and make friends.
The program’s multifaceted approach is working. All these opportunities create kids who are passionate about bluegrass. Youth bands such as 35 Years of Trouble, Blue Js, Blue Summit, and Pacific Drive are selling CDs and showcasing bluegrass music at farmers markets, festivals, and restaurants throughout California.
Darby Brandli, president of CBA and director of the Youth Academy, understands the importance of creating opportunities for bluegrass kids to build a community. She says, “Peer support is so important.” 15-year-old John Gooding, CBA’s Teen Ambassador and lead guitar player for 35 Years of Trouble and Blue Js agrees. He says, “A big part of why bluegrass is so fun is the people.”
The directors of CBA Youth Program refuse to sit on the laurels of their success. More programs are being implemented. The Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California will be hosting a new CBA Youth Program-sponsored jam once a month. Starting Sunday, February 26 from 12 to 3pm, CBA youth members–Jake Gooding, John Gooding, and Dana Frankel, along with a few CBA lifetime members–will be leading a youth bluegrass jam. All young fiddlers and pickers are invited to join in the fun. Please RSVP by email to [email protected] The first jam is free.
In addition to the Berkeley jam, the CBA Youth Program is also sponsoring a new youth jam in the Sacramento area. Fiddle teacher, Eric Anderson, will be hosting the jam every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month starting February 6 from 6 o’clock to 8 o’clock. To get more detailed information, please contact Deanna at [email protected]
By building a community for young bluegrass musicians, CBA’s Youth Program is effectively is ensuring that bluegrass will withstand the test of time. Future generations will always be able to enjoy America’s most iconic musical tradition. Keep up the good work CBA! Your constituents appreciate it!