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!
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. Covid-19 shut down our jams for more than a year, but hooray, they are starting up again…
We often 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.
Check out the dazzling Breakin’ Up Winter promo video created by producer Jon Grimson…