The primary music genre you’ll find at Wallowa County’s Juniper Jam Music Festival on Saturday is “original.”Billing itself as “the sweetest little music festival in Eastern Oregon,” the festival began 10 years ago as a fundraiser for the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance, trailing on the energy of the Livestock Music Festival which ended its run a year or two before.
Founded on an appreciation for songwriters, the festival has always featured a wide range of sounds including folk, country, blues, rock, jazz and Americana-style music. The unifying factor is that every song at the festival is original.
This year, more than 50 individual musicians will perform on two stages. Food and artisan vendors and kids activities round out the event.
Over the years, the small-but-sweet festival has featured budding regional acts, some of which have gone on to wider exposure. Past examples include Fruition and the Shook Twins, who appeared in 2011 and 2012. Sometimes these musicians return in one fashion or another, as with TK & the Holy Know Nothing (see band line-up below).
“I’m always on the watch for bands,” explained Janis Carper, festival director. “It’s nice to get them before they get out of our area. It’s been really fun to watch some of these groups take off.”
This year’s festival features an alternate tuning workshop by Tracy Spring. The cost is $15 and registration is available at juniperjam.com. Additionally, there are number of performances by festival musicians in Enterprise in the days leading up to and after the festival.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Juniper Jam Music Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1
WHERE: Wallowa County Fairgrounds, Enterprise, Ore.
COST: $25 at the gate, $20 in advance from Joseph Hardware, The Bookloft, The Dollar Stretcher or www.juniperjam.com; ages 12 and under are free.
Juniper Jam bands
TK & the Holy Know-Nothings – A side-project of Portland songwriter Taylor Kingman, this band features Tyler Thompson from Fruition, Joshua Simon from Shook Twins and Lewi Longmire from Left Coast Roaster and Brothers & Sister.
The Don of Division Street – Led by Portland musician Matt Cadenelli, this band combines music styles similar to Wilco, Nick Lowe, the Kinks and Neil Young.
Anita Lee & the Handsome Three – This Portland rock band has country edges and rich harmonies.
Shane Cooley & the Midnight Girls – Based in Austin, Shane Cooley weaves poetic lyrics against the sounds of folk, rock and blues.
The Mondegreens – Three part harmonies are a central feature of this Seattle-based indie rock group.
The Get Ahead – Five-piece group from Portland with a mission to move people, plays a mix of classic rock, blues, soul, R&B and gospel.
Kory Quinn Band – This alternative country artist from Portland takes listeners through a collection of music styles and stories.
Mary Bragg – This award-winning Americana singer-songwriter from Nashville explores the journey to discovering our truest selves.
Brother Busk – These two brothers, Max and Weston Stuart, began busking at 10 and 17 in Portland and perform music they write themselves.
Jay Cobb Anderson – This Lewiston-native plays with Fruition performing folk music.
Tommy Alexander – This Portland-based pop and indie artist focuses on raw, truthful lyrics.
Tracy Spring – This award-winning singer-songwriter from Bellingham combines blues, swing, old R&B, jazz and folk.
Calico Bones – Wallowa County natives, this sister duo blends their voices in a sassy folk style.
Chris Baron & Megan Cronin – Blending guitar, violin and voice, this duo performs “folk Americana with swagger.”
Joey Carper & Elwood – This young, singer-songwriter duo features two multi-dimensional musicians.