Esk jam sessions offer musical talent time in the spotlight
SOMETIMES all it takes on the journey towards something special is that first step into the unknown.
That's what Jammin' In Esk, a monthly live music session, is hoping to foster by encouraging aspiring musicians to take the plunge and perform in front of a crowd.
Now in its third year, the event is held at the Somerset Civic Centre, with a core five-piece band supporting any walk-up acts.
Organiser Pete Edwards said the shows have an average attendance of 80 people but that has topped off at close to 150.
"There's no good sitting and playing the guitar in your bedroom... this is something that's fun that can develop into so much more,” Mr Edwards said.
"Once you break that shackle, for some people that's just the first step on the way to the top.
"We all get to play and sing, it's live and unrehearsed, there's often mistakes but there's always some really good stuff.
"There's a lot of good singers hanging around at home, and singing karaoke in bars and everything like that and all of a sudden they get to stand up in front of a band and the light comes on in their head and they think 'I can do this.'”
Mr Edwards, who has lived in the region for around two decades, modelled the jam session off of a similar event in Woodford.
Musicians travel from around the region and afar to attend and proceeds gathered at the end of each year are donated to local charity groups.
"Esk has always been a typical boring little country town that's had nothing much... besides pub bands on a Friday night,” he said.
"I just thought I'd give them a taste of what they could have and what everyone else has already got.”
One such talent who has been unearthed is young local guitarist Andrew Coleman, who has now formed his own band and has regular bookings to perform in the Fortitude Valley in Brisbane.
He plays each month in the core band, supporting other musicians to find their rhythm.
"He's a local kid... he's a real prodigy who has developed from jamming,” Mr Edwards said.