Lining Our Downtown Square
The Java Jam Band was formed in 2010, hastily conceived, born of necessity, adopted by a gracious public and nurtured by a fan base that thrives on the unpredictable skills of street musicians
called to play indoors. During the annual first ever Wine Festival in downtown Wharton, Texas, a call went out for volunteer musicians to play a few sets on the streets, in booths, and inside downtown merchant shop to attract visitors to the festival to try the various wine samples. Visitors were expected to sip, shop and buy product and goods at bargain prices. Milam Street Coffee
Shop, owned and operated by Linda and Carl King, invited Doc Blakely, Bill Havins and Ron Sanders to play inside the coffee shop, expecting the crowd to turn over every 15 minutes or so then shuffle on to the next stop when they tired of the experience. A strange thing happened. The crowd came, they sang, they bought, they sipped, they cheered and they seemingly just never left.
After six hours of playing, the evening ended at the advertised festival time. Milam Street Coffee Shop had become a gathering place for lovers of coffee, ice cream, snacks, fun, music, books
and camaraderie at a Wine Festival, and they don’t even sell wine. Carl King called Doc to one side and whispered, “We’ve got to talk.” A proposal was made to play once a month, run the flag up the poll and see who salutes. Doc told Carl they weren’t playing, they were just jamming on whatever came to mind. Linda suggested the name Java Jam Band and handed him a cappuccino with two shots of vanilla. And so the beat goes on, every fourth Friday of the month, from 6 to 9 p.m.
More details on www.milamstcoffee.com
Members of the band change from time to time but usually consist of the staff band of fiddler Doc Blakely, guitarist John Pursel, Rick Quijas on bass, pianist Jeanie Gunter, and drummer Ron Sanders.