Ester Jelly Jam folks enjoy playing out, especially when other people join in. Besides playing out at planned events, some of us are also into committing random acts of music and enjoy playing in unexpected places, such as hiking trails, marathons, in front of university buildings, and in the Gold Hill Store parking lot.
Ester Jelly Jam at the UWA Holiday Bazaar, November 2014.
Ester Jelly Jam facilitated a jamming hour at the 2012 Fairbanks Winter Folk Festival at Pioneer Park. Photograph by Terry Norman, who BTW took over 1000 photographs at the Festival. Starting at the bass and moving to the right: Kayt, Taiga (youngest member, in blue), Naoki, Diana, John, Skip, Lynn, Maria, Marty (concertina, with her back to us), Ryan (aka Ry-Ry), Heidi, Sine, Shauna, Brett, and Shane. Amanda is in the back on the stage, and Killian (two years old) is somewhere near Daddy-Brett. We had lots of fun, and as the tune goes, "it felt good to be out of the rain."
Really really dedicated EJJers play as the Really Free Jam Band for the August 2011 Really Free Market at UAF. Naoki Takebayashi on banjo (the one with the really fabulous hair), Diana Wolf on mando, Kayt Sunwood on bass, Sine Anahita on fiddle. We were later joined by Shane McBurney on mando. It poured rain most of the morning, but the Really Free Market folks had set us up with a pop-up tent shelter. Okay, so it leaked because it had several dozen holes from sparks from last year's Starvation Gulch... We didn't complain, because it was really free! Besides, a friend picked up two free baby gates that we can use at Hartung Hall to keep the toddlers and crawlers safe from the towering piles of junk in Hartung's kitchen. Photo by Todd Paris.
EJJers doing our part to raise funds to build a community library in downtown Ester, Alaska. This was our first real performance, even though Naoki reminds us that we don't do performances. We like to think that we are just playing our regular tunes in front of people. Strangers. In a bar. Who clapped for us. Call it what you will, we had a rocking good time playing at the Ester LiBerry Fundraiser and Pie Throwdown, August 20, 2011. The setting was the Golden Eagle Saloon. Kayt Sunwood, Skip Nodler, Dana Bowne, Jon Bowne, Shauna Budge, Shane McBurney, Sine Anahita, Diana Wolf, and Naoki Takebayashi. Photo by Monique Musick.
Sunny day at the Really Free Market at University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 2011. Mary Pagel on guitar, Kayt Sunwood on bass, Naoki Takebayashi on banjo, Sine Anahita on fiddle, and Diana Wolf on mandolin. Mark Oldmixon on the generator bike, with our university's chancellor, Brian Rogers, grinning, but not picking. Photo by Todd Paris.
Enjoying the Alaska summer at the Ester Community Market, 2010. Kayt Sunwood on bass, Sine Anahita on fiddle, Diana Wolf on mando, Naoki Takebayashi (long fabulous hair) on banjo, and Hanna (in cap with her back to us) guitar. Photo by Deirdre Helfferich.
Jamming at the Fairbanks Winter Folkfest, 2011. Mary Pagel on guitar, Kayt Sunwood with bass, Sine Anahita holding fiddle, Naoki Takebayashi playing banjo (note that he's the only one actually playing), Diana Wolf has her back to us. Not sure if she was playing whistle or mandolin. The guy with the fiddle played some rocking bluegrass fiddle, but I didn't catch his name. If you know him, please let me know who he is <esterjellyjam at gmail dot com> Photo by Steve Holmann.
Our moment of youtube fame arrived in July 2011 when Andrew (uafairbanks) posted this video of Ester Jelly Jammers playing for Ice Cream Thursday. Later, some musicians from the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival joined us, contributing Irish percussion and tin whistle to the mix. Beautiful day to play in the shade.
Shane McBurney led the tune--he's the one on mando; Shauna Budge on fiddle; Kayt Sunwood on bass; Sine Anahita on fiddle; Naoki Takebayashi on banjo; Diana Wolf on mando. Naoki's wonderful laugh starts off the tune, which is the Old Time classic Soldier's Joy.
Depending on who you ask, the tune is about miltary payday or morphine addiction. Because two of our members are evolutionary biologists who specialize in Arctic plants, we like to think that the tune is about poppies.