Michelle Bellamy (front) with Matt Grubb perform at a past 'Fam Jam.' - Photo by Ezra Marco

'Fam Jam' for charity

Ashland folk musician Michelle Bellamy knows how to throw a party. With a solid lineup of Rogue Valley musicians at her disposal, Bellamy cooks up regular "Fam Jams," jam sessions that not only showcase local talent, but entertain and bring about awareness for local nonprofits.

A "Fam Jam" will hit Rosso's from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. The jam will feature such local groups and songwriters as Lovebite, The Rogue Suspects, Craig Wright, Frankie Hernandez, Ras Cricket, Andy Casad, Gene Burnett, Lost Maven and The Herbal Crew.

The lineup promises a loose mix of rock, funk, reggae, bluesy psychedelia and unrehearsed arrangements.

"I invite musicians and allow them each three songs," Bellamy says. "I leave song choices to the musicians' discretion, and they can choose who will sit in with them. It has an open-jam vibe, and it's a lot of fun for everyone."

Lovebite's R&B, funk and rock — with a splash of soul and sass — features vocalists Inger Jorgensen and Shannon Harris, guitarists Kevin Conness and Jeff Stanley, drummer Matthew Kriemelman, keyboard player Aaron Blenkush and Jeff Pevar on bass.

Pevar is sure to sit in with The Rogue Suspects, with guitarist Dirk Price, keyboard player Don Harriss, drummer David Bolen, bassist Greg Frederick and vocalist Shae Johnson.

Ashland rock band Lost Maven's sound could be likened to Heart, Bellamy says. The group features frontwomen Veronica Dewitt on bass and Greta Gardiner on rhythm guitar, along with lead guitarist Matt Grubb and drummer Scott Mangicaro.

The Herbal Crew plays a mix of reggae and hip-hop with John Dickerson on rhythm guitar. Dickerson and Bellamy are members of the Eugene reggae and dance band The T Club.

Bellamy, a folk and soul artist, began the "Fam Jams" with the help of Julie O'Dwyer, former owner of Tease Restaurant in Ashland.

O'Dwyer plays a hand in choosing the nonprofit organization that each "Fam Jam" will benefit.

"The main thing about 'Fam Jam' is to raise awareness about nonprofits, letting the community know what services are available to them," Bellamy says.

Proceeds from Friday's jam at Rosso's will benefit Good Grief America, an organization dedicated to stopping foreclosures and rebuilding communities. See www.goodgriefamerica.ning.com for information.

Cover for the jam is a suggested donation of $5 to $10. Rosso's is at 31 S. Grape St., Medford. Call 541-779-0460.

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