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BAAMS Grand Opening to Feature Allman Brothers Band Drummer
04:00PM / Tuesday, July 05, 2022
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Photo credit: Jonathan Bayer
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Berkshires' Academy for Advanced Musical Studies Inc. will celebrate its grand opening with a live concert at Heritage State Park on Sunday, July 17, from 1 to 5 p.m.
 
The event will feature performances from BAAMS faculty, students and friends including John Lee Johnson, also known as Jaimoe. Jaimoe is a drummer and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.
 
"I believe this will be my first time ever playing in North Adams, and I'm looking forward to playing for BAAMS grand opening with Richard [Boulger] and the BAAMS Faculty, students and friends," Jaimoe said in a statement. "And asking Berkshire County folks to please come out and join us to celebrate and support BAAMS Fundraiser and music education."
 
BAAMS, a music academy for students ages 12 to 18,  announced in June that it would be moving into Building 6 in Heritage State Park after primarily only existing virtually through the pandemic.
 
"What makes BAAMS so special and important is BAAMS students learn from faculty who can share what they learned and experienced playing with Miles Davis or Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney or Duke Ellington, Prince, and many others We are building a community of generations of musicians and friends," said Richard Boulger, BAAMS founder, professional trumpet player, and North Adams native.
 
Proceeds from the July 17 fundraiser concert will go to support BAAMS' 4th Berkshires' Summer Jazz Band Day Camp as well as new instruments, and necessary start-up costs for the music academy's new facility at Building 6.
 
In addition to Jaimoe on drums and Boulger on trumpet, the concert will feature BAAMS faculty: drummer Victor Jones, guitarist  David Gilmore, bassist Alex Blake, and keyboardist Dario Boente. 
 
Other special guests include saxophonist Kris Jensen, Jim Taft, member of Danny Klein's Full House and North Adams native, and Gina Coleman of the Misty Blues.
 
Student performers will include drummer Braden Collins, saxophonist Luke Seto, and bassist Errol Bates.
 
"In all my years of drumming, I never could have imagined playing with a drummer like Jaimoe or any of the other incredible musicians in the BAAMS faculty," Collins said.
 
"We will also be featuring some of our outstanding students. We believe it is paramount for young musicians and older generations to play together and share ideas. We work hard to impart knowledge and glean important memories from iconic musicians we have worked with," Boulger added.
 
The stage will be set up in front of Building 4, and attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair. Free parking is available in downtown North Adams, with handicapped parking on site. The event is rain or shine.
 
Food and drink will be available for sale by the Freight Yard Pub.
 
Tickets can be purchased here or from BAAMS staff and volunteers. For more information, email info@berkshiresacademyams.org, or call 413-663-4424.
 
The Western Gateway Urban Heritage State Park is located at 115 State St.
 
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