Where can you see this happen regularly? The lively jam session happens every Friday night at 7:30 p.m. indoors at Prairie Pasttimes, 220 1/2 Broadway, or weather permitting, outdoors on the street by Symphony in Flint Hills Gallery (next to Chase County Courthouse) - Remember to bring a lawn chair!
Whichever Friday of the month it is determines the category: 1st Friday - Gospel, 2nd Friday - Bluegrass, 3rd Friday - Folk-Country-Bluegrass, 4th Friday - Old Time Rock-n-Roll and Vintage Country. All are acoustic instruments except 4th Fri-Rock-n-Roll. Special 5th Friday programs have included Cowboy & Western Music, Songwriters' Night, Singalong Nights, Blues Night, and Kansas Songs.general acoustic, bluegrass, gospel, old time country n rock, and on the occasional fifth Friday, contra dance and folk.
To the best of anyone's knowledge, "Music at the Emma" was Kansas' first public weekly jam session and is surely the longest-continuous jam session. Although the Emma Chase cafe has closed, the musicians have kept name "Emma Chase Friday Night Music" based on an iconic fictionalized community character.
The jam sessions are free to the public although "the jar" is occasionally passed around to raise funds for a special need, for additional sound equipment, or to help support an upcoming performance.
An evening count of musicians might be anywhere from four to thirty. First-time visitors are amazed at this unique phenomenon of regular people, with varying levels of musicianship, take turns leading songs while all the other musicians play along. Mostly vocal, sometimes instrumental, these songs represent a broad variety of genres.
Several regular musicians have become song-writers and frequently perform their Flint Hills tunes at the jam sessions. Some of the musicians now write music and perform their tunes in other venues.
It is not unusual for the audience to include a bus-load of guests from a senior center or a church somewhere, campers, automobile enthusiasts, or those attending a local meeting or family reunion.
Photos courtesy Harland Schuster