OMJJ Provides MHS Students an Environment to Learn and Showcase Talents


Aaron Boorstein

OMJJ Performing at Common Ground

Aaron Boorstein

Ya like jazz? Well, if you do, then you will undoubtedly enjoy the noteworthy Our Middleton Jazz Jam (OMJJ.)

OMJJ occurs on Wednesdays with the house band beginning at 6:30 pm. The house band opens the jam with 30 minutes of professional level performances and consists of a saxophonist, bassist, pianist, and drummer. Dan Wallach, a jazz professor at Edgewood College and private instructor to many MHS students, is on saxophone; and Laurie Lang, an incredibly active member of the Madison jazz community, masterfully showcases her bass talents. Countless drummers and pianists are featured at the jam as well. Beginning at 7:00 pm, students perform charts with the accompaniment of the house band until 9:00 pm.

When asked about OMJJ, Ben Foster, a sophomore saxophonist and regular participant in the jazz jam, explains, “It’s a great place to play jazz with friends and learn from others.” It is clear that students enjoy participating in the opportunity to showcase their talents and advance their musicianship all while developing a community with other musicians.

The jam features countless charts, including Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train,” Sonny Rollins’ “St. Thomas,” and Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time.” OMJJ was previously hosted by 1847 at the Stamm House during the fall and winter seasons, however, for the spring season, the jam is hosted by Common Ground.

Dan Wallach, an organizer of OMJJ, hopes that the jam will “bring out a community of young jazz musicians that feel they have a safe and nourishing environment to work on improvisatory skills.” The jam has provided musicians in the Middleton community a locale to showcase their talents and improve upon their jazz artistry.

OMJJ hopes to be more than a jazz jam; it aspires to be a community. Join the community by attending the next Jazz Jam, which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25th at 6:30 pm at Common Ground. All members of the Middleton community are welcome to attend as musicians or audience members. If you are interested in participating in the Jazz Jam, please contact the organizers, Dan Wallach at [email protected] or Laurie Lang at [email protected]