Jam Tent

Anyone who’s stopped in at the Jam Tent knows that it’s only for the hearty players! Although that is only a statement of pure jest, it can also sound a bit intimidating. There can be 10-20 accordions and other instruments playing at once. But, please, don’t be intimidated. It’s so much fun! You won’t want to miss out on it.

This year’s Jam Tent presents a variety of fun activities. Whether you play in the tent, lead a session of musicians, enter a raffle or buy an inexpensive, good reliable accordion, you’ll learn a lot about accordions. The Jam Tent is a vast umbrella that can help you enjoy the festival even more!

Every activity is tied to supporting scholarships for up-and-coming accordion students. These learners will be on the festival stage as they grow up and advance in their skills. In the meantime, the Jam Tent can keep you informed about what we are planning and how students will be featured in and around the Jam Tent.

For more than a decade, the Jam Tent has served as an anchor to all accordionists in search of connecting with others. Under the auspices of the Golden State Accordion Club, it grew into the most popular hub at the festival. It’s a great place to hang out, meet a friend, swap stories, and share the latest in the accordion world. Stop by and play for an hour or so. It’s up to you. Make the most of your festival experience! Sign up to lead a session or kick back and just enjoy the music.

When you visit the tent, you’ll be able to chat with George Bachich, our accordion repair professional who brings a lifetime of experience to restoring old accordions. He loves to share his stories and will offer tips about accordion repairs at the “Accordion Autopsy” table. If you like, you can stop by the Jam Tent headquarters and discuss the history of Italian accordion sheet music with Cotati’s historian Sheri Mignano Crawford. She’s available in the afternoons. Plus, we expect to sell accordion-related ephemeral items such as sheet music and CDs. You never know what treasure you’ll find and be able to take home a souvenir.

In addition, the Jam Tent is just a great way to relax and meet folks. You’ll make new friends who also love to play the accordion or just enjoy listening to it. The Jam Tent welcomes all musical instruments inside and encourages everyone to participate. Maybe you’ll learn a new tune or see an old friend again. Create some lasting memories and take them home to share with family and friends. Music binders provide the sheet music, and you provide the musical excitement. A rotation of leaders keeps the enthusiasm high and organized. Small, featured groups may appear throughout the day to hold everyone’s attention and provide respite from the jam sessions. 

On both days, accordions are sold all day until 4:45P. Toward the end of the festival, the principal accordion will be raffled off at 4:30P Sunday. Buy your raffle tickets and please plan to attend the raffle at 4:30P. You must be present to win. This raffle is separate from any other raffles that might be offered by the festival administration.

Proceeds from sales and raffle all go toward the Cotati Accordion Student Scholarship program. Each year students compete for cash prizes and this is a great way to support the next generation of students

The tent is open on two sides, chairs for guests surround the players. Even if you don’t intend to play, sit down and enjoy listening. The music is non-stop from 9:45A to 5:00P both days. It is located at the north gate entry.  See you there.  (SMC 2022)