June 30, 2019 @ 12:15 AM
By Katie Carmer
Returning to a familiar place is a special delight—especially when that place feels like home.
When Cisco and the Racecars arrived in Kiev for our second Bluegrass in Ukraine tour, we were exhausted from 30 hours of travel. Unlike last year, though, when exhaustion mingled with trepidation as we tried to navigate the airport signs written in Cyrillic, our tiredness gave way to giddiness. Even if most of us couldn’t pronounce Вхід, we knew it meant exit. Those letters were no longer alien symbols. We knew exactly where to find our instruments in the oversized luggage section of baggage claim. Best of all, the faces that met us on the other side ...
May 16, 2019 @ 12:22 AM
Into the life of Jam Pak and Cisco & The Racecars came this young woman. I was opposed to including cello. One day I went to the store and upon my return, I heard the most beautiful mellow sounds blending with the bluegrass going on in the living room. She won our hearts that very day and has become part of the Jam Pak commUNITY. I think her essay, which recently received an alumni award from Notre Dame, reminds us all of the power of music that we hold in our hands. Anni Beach
A Desert Song by Katie Buetow
On a rainy January morning in Chandler, Arizona, I stood nervously outside the front door of a small ranch house. Inside, the distinct, rapid plunks of a banjo reverberated, only slightly ...
August 31, 2018 @ 4:22 PM
Founders Anni and Vincent Beach in 1996
Anni and Jam Pak
In 1994, Anni Beach serving as a substitute teacher in Chandler, Arizona, took her mandolin and new-found passion for bluegrass music to every classroom in which she taught. Following a day of teaching at Galveston Elementary a block from her home, two little boys knocked on her door asking if she would play and sing some more with them. She wanted to do something good for her bread and butter, immigrant- filled neighborhood and with the support of her husband Vincent, Jam Pak was born the very next week with six little kids in the front yard.
It quickly grew to numbers .........
August 26, 2018 @ 4:17 PM
Jam Pak isn't just some place I go to meet up with friends and play music. Jam Pak is where I go when I see my second family. It's more to me than just a group of friends. They are my rock. Jam Pak has brought me many experiences that I can't experience anywhere else. Jam Pak is my everything and I love them all to death. It's more than music. It's family.
Jam Pak is the one place where I can be myself. It is filled with so many different kinds of people. Jam Pak is my second family. It is so much more than just meeting up with friends at a place. The music connects us all. We all put our blood and tears in our music. Jam Pak is my home, nothing can ever change that.
A simple, yet .........
August 25, 2018 @ 2:54 PM
Here's your chance to really make a difference!
Arizona has officially certified Jam Pak as a Qualifying Charitable Origanization for the state's Tax Credit Option! We are grateful to be right up there with all those select charter schools and other worthy charities. Now you can refocus your tax dollars to our best hope for the future...our children!
Here's how it works:
- A "Tax Credit" is literally a decision to pay a portion of your State taxes to a nonprofit organization rather than the government.
- Without paying one extra cent in taxes, you can use your Tax Credit Option to divert a portion of your State taxes to our award-winning efforts to help children of all kinds.
- To take advantage, you ............
August 23, 2018 @ 2:36 AM
To our Fans, Friends, and Families of Jam Pak
Jam Pak was born in our front yard in April of 1994. For all these years, we have supported ourselves on personal income and gifts and donations from gigs. Then in 2012 when our beloved Debi Stone died, her family set up The Debi Stone Memorial Fund to be managed by the Arizona Bluegrass Association for the benefit of youth in bluegrass music. Over the past four years Jam Pak has been the only group to use the donations which were made to that fund. Because of the generosity of Debi's family and friends we were able to keep our large band afloat. And to honor the life and memory of Debi with our music.
Recently, the Debi Stone Memorial Fund was closed until ......
August 2, 2018 @ 1:06 AM
I believe that you have received a report on the remarkable success of Bluegrass in Ukraine from Anni Beach and the Jam Pak Neighborhood Band. However, I wanted to add to their report my own recollections and observations and express to you and TMU my sincere gratitude for your support of this project.
There were many highlights and remarkable moments throughout the tour, but I will share with you a few.
Stara Syniava. The band really didn’t know what to expect when the bus arrived in the village of Stara Syniava. There is not much in America life that compares to life in .........
September 2, 2012 @ 12:45 AM
I received a call from Theater Works to ask if we could put a small band together to provide music for a play. The script called for a string band and it seemed like something we could do. Our young musicians jumped at the chance to do the theater and they have proven to be really great. Mark Hickler agreed to help arrange the piano music with the twenty songs , mostly old-time music, and familiar tunes, into stringed arrangements. There is also some acting and lines involved.
We already traveled to Sedona and did a staged reading at the Canyon Moon Theater and it was really successful. Our young musicians Francisco Briseno, Giselle Lee, and Jonathan Young are a big hit. As .........
September 2, 2011 @ 12:42 AM
2011 - Jam Pak Goes to Washington
Excerpt of the article written about the trip in the July 2011 issue of Arizona Bluegrass Beacon by Anni Beach
Photos courtesy of Giselle Lee
Three Jam Pak musicians, Elyssa Tapetillo, Giselle Lee, and Francisco Briseno, all banjo players, flew with me to Washington, DC for one week. We designed an Independent Education Project which included working at Septima Clark Public Charter School, an all boys school in the heart of southeast Washington. Jam Pak helped to establish a banjo program called BanJam this past school year funded by a grant which, unfortunately, is no longer available.
Our goal was to find and train a person .........
September 3, 2010 @ 7:05 AM
Vincent Beach memorial service.
When I think of our friend Vincent Collin Beach what comes to mind?
The first thoughts that come to mind are he was such a talented, remarkable, soft-spoken, patient, kind and gentle soul. Vincent made a significant positive impact on the lives of all people that he came in contact with over his eighty-five (85) years.
We first met Vincent and Anni Beach when she became a regular at our weekly jam sessions early in 1995. It has been a pleasure and honor to become friends with such a very special couple.
I have such delightful memories of Vincent and I sitting off to the side at jam sessions, camp-outs or pot-luck dinners and talking politics and government all evening or .........