Music is what brought me to Boston in the first place. I moved here from Florida in 1975 to attend Berklee College of Music. Now, more than forty years later I'm still here. Though I only worked full time as a musician for a few years after graduating from Berklee, music has remained an important thread throughout my life. In the mid 1980's while working as a software engineer at Wang Labs I found that I was not the only starving musician who had migrated to the software biz as a day job. There were many of us, and eventually I joined a small ad-hoc group of other jazz players who worked at Wang. We called ourselves the "Wang jazz workshop", meeting after work and playing the occasional lunch time concert. Some years later we had all moved on to other jobs and Wang as we had known it disappeared, but we continued to meet for years in a basement in Chelmsford. Though these weekly jam sessions lacked the joys of playing for other people, they became our lab for polishing our skills and trying out ideas, as well as serving as our guy's night out.
In addition to a love of Jazz, in recent years I have connected to a tradition that is close to my own roots, the old-time music of the Southern Appalachians. As a boy in East Tennessee, I learned a bit of folk guitar growing up, which I left behind for Rock & Roll and Jazz. But a couple of years ago though I took up the fiddle which has opened my eyes to a who new "jamming" tradition and old-time music scene in the area.
The beauty of a jam session is that there is no performance to prepare for, no future gig, nor any band to try to hold together. It's just simply playing music for the pure fun of it.