The Bluegrass Bangkok movement started from a night market in Thailand: “Train Night Market Srinakarin”. This man – Prawit – regularly holds informal jam sessions at his store at the night market. A core group emerged, and they continued playing through COVID, but socially distant on a rooftop. From that, a band was formed: ROOFTOPIA.
They loved jamming so much that they wanted to build a community, so they formed “BLUEGRASS UNDERGROUND BANGKOK.” The reason for “underground” is because it’s an unknown music type in Thailand, and they wanted the feeling of a “movement” that’s building. They announced our first big jam, and to get people ready they created jam-along videos.
The first Bluegrass Underground Bangkok was a big success. Their YouTube channel was growing, so they decided to highlight some interesting Thai artists who are into Bluegrass. A second Bluegrass Underground Bangkok jam event followed, with an even bigger turnout. From this, they wanted to start bringing bluegrass from private jam events to jamming in front of people. They created the Bluegrass Brewery Project, where they toured craft beer breweries all over Bangkok to expose bluegrass music to a bigger crowd.
Thailand, a very popular tourist spot, started to attract visiting musicians, such as Ben Errington from Scotland, to join their jam sessions. To bring more bluegrass-loving Thai musicians together from other countries, they decided to start an online jam as well. This one even had a special guest: Tony Trischka. The community kept growing, so they hosted their biggest jam yet, a tribute to Doc Watson’s 100th Birthday.
One of their biggest rising stars is Thai mandolinist Chang Ching, who has been learning the mandolin since he was 6 years old.
The journey continues. Their next step will be to host the first-ever bluegrass jam camp in Thailand called ROOFTOPIA BLUEGRASS CAMP FOR BEGINNERS.
In the meantime, organizer Sunny Sachdev visited North Carolina for an inspirational trip.