Jam ND seeks to unite student musicians // The Observer

Jam ND, a new club in Notre Dame, seeks to connect musicians around a mutual love for music and live performance. The club is looking for all types of musical artists, including singers, rappers and songwriters, to join the band and jam out.

Sophomore Evan Peters, president of Jam ND, said he found the inspiration to start the club after attending the Student Activities Office’s activity fair in the fall semester. As he looked around the row of tables showcasing the various bands, he said he couldn’t help but feel something was missing. He said he was unable to find a band that allowed musicians to just get together and play music in a casual environment.

Peters said he thinks other musicians would like to show off their talent, but might not be able to devote themselves to a more time-consuming commitment like marching band.

“Our club is much cooler than other clubs,” Peters said. “It ties into performance and expression, and it’s a great way to meet other musicians on campus.”

Before coming to Notre Dame, Peters played keyboards in his high school’s jazz ensemble. He said he enjoyed playing with the other band members during and outside of class. For Peters, the carefree musical environment of a jam session is very important, as it allows body and mind to get in sync and just play music.

“When we weren’t playing in class, we would go into the practice room and improvise,” Peters said. “I would love to see that experience here at Notre Dame.”

Apart from his playing abilities, Peters is also an avid composer. He has been writing for many years and says he hopes other composers will join the group he leads.

“Jam ND would give other composers an outlet to share their music,” Peters said. “Other musicians can jump on their track and make it complete.”

Sophomore Hayden Strong is secretary of Jam ND. Strong connections with Peters over their love of music and their individual experiences at School of Rock, a music program that introduces children to music through lessons and playing together in bands.

Strong plays guitar, bass, and drums, and he also sings, but said he has struggled to find other musicians to play with. For him, Jam ND is between the creation of a group and an organized music club.

“We want to target somewhere in the middle where we can make it easier for other musicians to meet, but remove the stakes and expectations associated with other bands,” Strong said. “We want to create a relaxed and collaborative space where musical ideas can flow.”

Although there are more than 10 music performance clubs in Notre Dame, Peters expressed certainty that Jam ND will stand out and claim its own space. Peters and Strong said they are excited to bring musicians together and organize events such as on-campus performances, Battle of the Bands and visits to local coffee shops.

The first Jam ND meeting will take place on Sunday at the LaFortune Student Center.

Tags: Battle of the Bands, club, Jam ND, SAO, Student musicians

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