Yet again, Disc Jam offers one of the most musically adventurous festivals of the year. When perusing over the 60+ acts playing over four days on four stages, it’s hard to argue with that assessment. Conceived in June 2011 at Sturbridge, MA, Disc Jam has blossomed into a premier 4-day music festival destination set to take place June 9th-12th at a majestic location on Gardner’s Farm in Stephentown, NY for the 2nd year in a row – reasonably priced at $150.
Jam stalwarts Electron, Dopapod, Kung Fu, Tauk, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and Consider the Source provide the heat as other popular acts include many small but quickly ascending acts: Nth Power, Hayley Jane and the Primates, Mister F, Teddy Midnight, Space Bacon and William Thompson Funk Experiment, who are all ready to rip it up proper. One should get excited for the late night sets provided by Dopapod, Govinda, Lespecial and Space Jesus. The artists-at-large include many of the players in Turkuaz, Ryan Dempsey, the talented keyboard player from Twiddle and Ed Mann, who spent 15 years as a member of Frank Zappa’s band. Another highlight is sure to be the just announced Cappadona Live Band, a superjam featuring music from Michelangelo Carubba (Turkuaz), Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz), Turkuaz Horns, Nate Edgar (The Nth Power), Colin Jalbert (Mammal Dap), Johnny Durkin (Mike Dillon Band) and Honeycomb. Disc Jam brings together the finest in jam, jamtronica, funk, electronica and bluegrass and also offers other activities like live painting, art installations, yoga sessions, quality vending, hula hooping and Disc Golf.
Now celebrating its sixth year, Disc Jam has garnered a reputation for providing exemplary disc golf. This year is no different with two different tournaments offered on a 9-hole course, sponsored by Innova with impressive prizes awarded to the victors. Disc golf is played via individual score or in teams of two when in a doubles tournament, very similar to traditional golf. One can learn more about the fun game here.
Owner and promoter, Tony Scavone shared some insight into the Fest. “We’ve come a long way since our first year holding the festival back in 2011. I think we had five or 600 people show up and even that was more than what we expected to attend. We have continued to see our attendance quickly improve with every year. Bands like Dopapod and Twiddle, have grown from small acts and developed into national touring acts. Today we have an absolutely gorgeous and massive venue in Gardner’s Farm with people coming to the festival from as far away as Colorado and California. We no longer need to shuttle people by bus to play disc golf now that we were able to build our disc golf course on site; it’s really come a long way in so many regards.”
When asked about how he books the bands, Scavone stated, “I’ve always taken the approach to booking the festival’s musical lineup based on a few things. My personal preference really is the number one factor, but in recent years I’ve been polling fans on social media and listening to the fans more. Disc Jam has always supported the up-and-comers, the bar bands, the local acts, who are ready to take the next step up the ranks. We love to help bands who have been busting their butts working on their music.”
When asked why 2016 would be a special event, Scavone continued “We finally have a home. This year will be the first year we’ve been in the same venue for two years in a row. We finally can plan and coordinate the event based on what happened last year. In years past we’ve outgrown every venue that we’ve been in and that makes it so much easier than scrambling to produce the event on a new property while promoting a move. Typically when a festival moves locations it can be devastating to its chances to succeed. We finally can focus on some of the finer things the event has to offer and improve the overall experience for the attendees.” Scavone concluded, “Musically speaking, Cappadonna from the Wu Tang Clan might be my most anticipated set! We have special guests that will make this set something people will be talking about the rest of the summer; I can’t wait for that one.”
This is a festival one should motivate to attend. Having attracted about 3,000 attendees last year, the festival with a deep and satisfying lineup, should attract even more this year due to such positive word of mouth. It celebrates the small festival vibe while drawing some of the bigger name bands from the Northeast and beyond. There is car side camping and day passes available with tickets and info available at www.discjammusicfestival.com.
10 Artists not to miss at Disc Jam:
This quickly-ascending electro funk band knows how to bring the heat. Between Jeremy Schon’s meticulous guitar work or the confident front man Greg Ormont exhibiting style and strange facial expressions, this is a band to watch as they are professional musicians, yet the kind of guys you’d like to have a beer with.
Hayley Jane and the Primates
Hayley Jane’s beauty is only surpassed by her energy and overt vocal prowess. The band packs relentless grooves buoyed by Hayley’s charismatic stage presence.
The front man (Mihali Savoulidis) and bassist (Zdenek Gubb) of Twiddle put on an amazing intimate show with stripped down versions of Twiddle favorites mixed with an a sundry list of unique and varied covers.
Consider the Source
Experience a trip with this high-energy Middle Eastern Sci-Fi fusion. Guitar wizard, Gabriel Marin, has built a reputation as a master shredder while bassist, John Ferrera is a talent that virtually all bassists in the scene look up to.
The jam/funk juggernaut is buoyed by double threat, superior axe man Tim Palmeiri and funkateer brass man, Rob Somerville, who deliver an incendiary show every time out.
Tauk just had the honor to open for Twiddle at a sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre. Any in ear shot are always impressed by the intensity that resonates from this quickly-ascending instrumental outfit.
Pink Talking Fish
Most cover bands pale to the original or are stale and not interesting. PTF creates intricate and meticulous song combinations and share seamless segues between the storied material inherent in Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish they so respectfully cover.
William Thompson Funk Experiment
The pride of Worcester, MA, William Thompson Funk Experiment is channeling energy throughout the scene after some focused touring. Described as “Psychedelic Alternative Future Funk” it is consistently satisfying sight to witness this energetic band in person.
Typical jam-band name aside, The Brooklyn based outfit creates jams where the guitarist, JackWillard, explores new worlds and Chris Gironda adds exemplary fills which create a contagious groove.
Brooklyn-based and part of the BJS, Teddy Midnight has been touring all of the North east for the better part of 2016. They have pulled in many new fans and have recently filmed their first music video and opened a sold-out show at Irving Plaza for Twiddle. Each member is a professional and accomplished musician, all contributing major layers to a full sound but it is the magic produced by guitar maestro, Wiley Griffin, that keeps you fully attentive to the fray.