Bluegrass Jazzes Up the J-DHS Clubs
By Josh Gutmaker and Erin Noble
photo by Christian Charles
According to senior Julen Bascaran, co-president of the Bluegrass Club at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, bluegrass is described as, “If Jesus and Godzilla got together and had beautiful, holy, Smurf-Godzilla children who played musical instruments, it’d be bluegrass.”
Ben Carbone and Julen Bascaran started Bluegrass Club this year with help from John Chamberlain and Brandan McNamara. For those of you who don’t know, bluegrass is a type of music that features characteristics of jazz, folk, country, and blues.
Bluegrass Club meets every other Wednesday in the band room. Carbone and Bascaran are co-presidents, Chamberlain is a “Co-Co-President,” said Bascaran. Also Mcnamara is a “Co-Co-Co-President,” Bascaran said. All of the officers of the club are seniors. The adviser for the club is Daniel Blumenthal. In the meetings Bascaran mostly plays banjo, Carbone plays “everything with strings” and piano, Chamberlain plays guitar, and Mcnamara plays the mandolin (a small guitar with eight strings that plays higher notes than a banjo). One of the members, senior Lucas Muller, plays the bass and senior Ioan Gistov is main singer for the club. Most of the guys sing along, but Gistov leads the group with vocals.
In the meetings they “get together, play music, and write history.” In their meets they play primarily bluegrass, but occasionally they play some folk. Some of Bascaran’s favorite songs are “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and “Flint Hill Special.” He likes those because “Kermit the frog plays [“Flint Hill Special”] and the songs have good banjo,” which is Bascaran’s main instrument. Gistov likes “Wagon Wheel” because he “gets to sing the chorus with Julen!” “We play bar mitzvahs,” said Bascaran jokingly. Besides “bar mitzvahs” Bluegrass Club doesn’t have any performances or shows planned.
“It’s very selective and there is an intense audition process,” said Iosu Bascaran (Julen’s brother) jokingly. Actually, anyone is welcome to join the club, but make sure you know how to play.