Story and photographs by Wanda Callagy
The recent Pro Jam 4 at Club Helsinki in Hudson was well attended by both listeners and musicians who came from Woodstock, Poughkeepsie and the Capital Region to play. At the Thursday evening jam session, folks had the opportunity to sit in with first-class musicians, including many NYS Blues Hall of Fame inductees and several Grammy nominees.
Sponsored by Harley Davidson, the jam session was organized by Gary McKeever and Sonny Rock. “This was our fourth event, and Sonny and I have been able to put this together on a weeknight so that these working musicians can actually meet and play with new people,” said McKeever. “Most of them are doing gigs on the weekends, and since musicians attend from all over, they get the opportunity to network and see other artists. They may need a drummer or see someone who has a talent that could add to their band or performance.”
Rock says that it has been a gratifying experience. “With the support of the Club we have had the opportunity to do a few of these, and it’s great to see all the players coming to meet up and get the chance on that stage,” he said. “Club Helsinki has been gracious, and it’s the perfect venue for recording and playing, as the acoustics are set up just for that purpose.”
McKeever added that he thought the night was amazing. “We couldn’t do it without the participation of all the talented players, the sponsor and, of course, the folks who attend to enjoy the music that the Club has to offer,” he added.