There’s some mighty, mighty magic happening on the Seattle music scene on Monday nights: the EntreMundos Jam Session at Capitol Cider. Each week, musicians, fans, neighbors on the hill and other locals gather together for what is one of the most extraordinary hangs in the city. If you’re in Seattle and haven’t rolled through yet, you should. Here are eight reasons why:
- The host band EntreMundos. This blazingly fun sextet kicks off the evening with a short set of high-energy Brazilian tunes. The band, which features Adriana Giordano on vocals, Eric Verlinde on keys, Dean Schmidt on bass, Jeff Busch on drums and Tor Dietrichson and Ernesto Pediangco on percussion, infuses the room with madly infectious enthusiasm and sets a joyful tone for the session.
- EntreMundos means “between worlds” and this is an apt description for the session. A multitude of genres – jazz, blues, world, R&B and more – are represented and all kinds of musicians, both vocalists and instrumentalists, show up to play. Artists from other disciplines, such as tap dancers and poets, also get in on the action. There is something for everyone here and sessions are always full of great surprises.
- The musicians that come to the EntreMundos sessions are typically at a very high level. As such, the music is extremely good. It’s a listener’s paradise. It’s especially cool to see top cats from different genres mix it up. It’s a playground of sound, groove and camaraderie.
- Although many professional players sit in, musicians of all levels are welcome. The vibe is inclusive and supportive. There is a refreshing absence of pretense, one-upmanship or competition. The focus is definitely on what unites us – the love of music – and that sensibility is palpable. The session is also a safe place to occasionally try out new stuff. The other night, I trotted out, for the first time, some original and slightly silly lyrics. I threw them over a twelve-bar blues, counted off the tune and let it rip. It was goofy fun. Everyone was generous and encouraging.
- People and music aside, there are practical considerations that make this Monday night session so inviting. Capitol Cider is located in the heart of Capitol Hill, on Pike St., just west of Broadway. It’s smack in the middle of town and easy to get to from many neighborhoods. There is no cover to get in, which might be helpful for those on a budget (But tips for the band are highly recommended). If you’re into hard cider, this is definitely your spot. They have about a bazillion varieties on tap. There are also several non-alcoholic drink options to choose from. I haven’t yet tried the food there but it looks pretty tasty. One way or another, you will be sated.
- One thing that makes the Entre Mundos sessions so vibrant is the crowd. Unlike a lot of sessions, it isn’t just a bunch of musicians waiting around until their name comes up on the list. In fact, for every musician that shows up to play, there are probably 3-4 (or more) people who are there just to hang. Some people are definitely there for the music. Others are there to meet friends or whatever. But as soon as the session gets cooking, everyone in the room is engaged. Tables are moved aside to accommodate the many dancers. There are whistles and applause. Sometimes people sing along or play percussion instruments. The room can get pretty crowded but it never feels claustrophobic. It’s the best party ever.
- The EntreMundos jam session has become a community. By virtue of the fact that you show up, you’re a part of it. The scene is robust with happy faces, friendly banter and truly exquisite music. Floating throughout is genuine warmth and a feeling that we’re all sharing something very special. There’s a sense of familiarity, even with someone you’re just meeting. In these hard and troubled times, it’s vital to feel a sense of connection and to have refuge. The EntreMundos jam provides both. And we’re all the better for it.
- The jam takes place on Monday nights. Seriously, what else have you got going on?
The EntreMundos jam session happens every Monday night at Capitol Cider, which is located at 818 E. Pike, Seattle, WA 98122. Music starts at 9:30pm. For more information, please visit: http://www.capitolcider.com/
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in each moment.”
– Henry David Thoreau