Club Corner: SAIS Jams Brings Music to SAIS DC

By Editorial Staff

October 30, 2019

Following their inaugural performance at a SAIS Alumni Happy Hour, student-led music organization SAIS Jams seeks to bring local musicians together to share their craft.

Inspired by the success of SAIS DC’s annual “SAIS Got Talent” in March of 2019, DC students put their heads together to create a creative and physical space to house a new drum set, coordinate set lists and expand outreach to engage musicians at all levels of musicality. With members that include classically trained pianists and former musical-theatre vocalists, SAIS Jams is eager to tap into the passion and potential of all closet musicians at SAIS.

SAIS Jams Rehearsal in Kenney Auditorium

President of SAIS Jams and second-year HNC Certificate-SAIS MA student Kevin Acker was struck by the lack of musical engagement on the DC campus. “DC is the only SAIS campus without a formal music room or practice space…I want to provide a platform for SAIS students to stay involved in music. There are plenty of academic and career focused extra curriculars, but very few are designed for people to enjoy their hobby.”

The club hosted an open call for participants early in the semester and continues to invite all students to performances, gigs and “jam sessions.”

Professor Canetti, the organization’s faculty advisor, regularly practices with students and graces every jam session with his nearly 40 years of musical experience on the keyboard.

Other members of the organization, including experienced musicians like bass player Simon Hudes, enjoy the reprieve from the stresses of academics that this outlet for musical expression has given them. As Hudes described his experience playing and jamming with his fellow students, “It loosens people up… and smoothes out the edges,” of students in an otherwise high-stress, high-pressure environment.

For students like Acker, music runs in the family. “My mother’s a singer, my father plays drums, and my grandfather was really into Dixieland jazz,” he explained. For Acker, “Music is cathartic and meditative.”

The club will be teaming up with the Latin American studies club (LASP club) on November 8, 2019 for their next performance in Kenney auditorium.

For more information on how to get involved with the SAIS Jams, contact Kevin Acker (kacker2@jhu.edu) or Chris Merriman (cmerrim5@jhu.edu).