Celebrating String Band Music in Middle Tennessee

Music is a great gift, one of the greatest anybody can have,
because it’s something nobody can take away from you.
Money can’t buy it. It’s a precious thing, I think, very precious.

Ernie Carpenter, 1909-1997 | Appalachian fiddler, “Elk River Blues”

Welcome to NOTSBA.org!

We are happy to report that Breakin’ Up Winter XXVI is scheduled for March 2023! More info…
The members and Board of Directors of NOTSBA – the Nashville Old-Time String Band Association – are dedicated to sharing and promoting Old-Time music. Membership in NOTSBA is open to anyone who has a love for string-band-style tunes. Musicians of all ages and abilities are invited to join in.

We normally meet to play music at least five times a month – every Thursday night for old-time jams plus our Fourth Sunday Jams featuring an afternoon pot-luck and pickin’ session in the homes of kind-hearted NOTSBA members and friends. Currently, we are holding two recurring jams – on the first and second Thursday of the month to be held at the Buchanan Log House from 7:00-9:00 pm.

In order to ensure a safe environment in which to jam, we are asking everyone to follow the following CDC guidelines during the jams:

  • Face masks suggested indoors but not required
  • Social distancing as much as possible
  • If you have a fever, feel sick, etc… please do not attend the jam
  • Jam at your own risk

We will hold jams outside, if at all practical, depending upon the weather.

NOTSBA hopes to revive third and fourth Thursday jams soon. When arrangements are finalized, the announcement will be posted on our website and by e-mail to members and friends.

Hope to see you soon  — Keep Pickin’!

We periodically hold “teaching jams” where volunteer members teach fiddle and banjo tunes in a slower format, but we practically guarantee that no matter what jam you go to, there will be new tunes to savor. Bring a recording device with you… you’ll want to capture all the unfamiliar melodies. If you don’t know a lot about old-time music, please come and listen and see if you think you’d enjoy it as much as we do.

NOTSBA has a performance group that plays for special events, festivals and dances in the Middle Tennessee area throughout the year. Not a jam opportunity, this dedicated ensemble is the result of rehearsals and special arrangements, some that accommodate singing. It’s a joy to attend and perform at these events, many at historical venues.

In addition, NOTSBA hosts an annual Breakin’ Up Winter old-time music retreat each year at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. This 25+ year old conference brings together young and old for a weekend of fun and education. There’s usually a dance and plenty of fiddle tunes. It’s always well attended. We encourage everyone to sign up early – registration opens December 1, 2022 for our March 2023 weekend!

Check out the dazzling Breakin’ Up Winter promo video created by producer Jon Grimson

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