ACROSS THE AGES: Brackets and Jam has been bringing people of all ages together on Kincumba Mountain to enjoy music and friendship for 21 years.
ACROSS THE AGES: Brackets and Jam has been bringing people of all ages together on Kincumba Mountain to enjoy music and friendship for 21 years. COLIN TURNER BUTLER

Drums beat for 21 years of Brackets and Jam

BRACKETS and Jam at Kincumba Mountain has become a community, rather than just a monthly musical event over the past 21 years.

Probably no one knows that better than Nick Baron, who got involved as part of the drum circle, and met his wife Colette when she was dancing at Brackets and Jam.

The pair married on the mountain 10 years ago.

"It's a very community-minded group," Nick said.

"A lot of long-time volunteers have volunteered a lot of time and energy in making it what it is."

Essentially, Brackets and Jam comprises brackets of music, followed by an African drum "jam", and dancing, more brackets of music, including possible "walk-ons" with the urge to perform, and a final drumming circle.

Its home is a mud-brick and timber building with panoramic views of Brisbane Water, and it can attract up to 300 people, with more than 100 sitting out on the grass under the stars in the summer and also enjoying fire-twirling displays.

Treasurer Julie Smith said the group often showcased student performances at the beginning of the night, and a number of other performers who started out at Brackets and Jam have gone on to earn their living through their music.

"It's a very supportive crowd, and everyone performs for free - they come because they want to be there, so it's a very unique environment," Nick said.

Entertainment can include anything from soloists to bands, across all genres from blues to hip-hop, dance to circus acts and body percussionists, to poetry recitations, comedians and theatre sports.

"It's always been about celebrating the diversity of performing arts," Nick said.

His kids grew up around Brackets and Jam, and Nick said there's a large range of age-groups and people from all walks of life involved in what is a low-cost and spectacular event.

Julie agreed, saying the group comprised anything from young children to men and women in their 70s and 80s, with the sons and daughters of some of the original crowd, now bringing their own children.

"But it's much more than a monthly meeting; it's about giving people a chance to be creative, and we support a lot of community events and initiatives like the Whale Dreamer's Festival, Peats Ridge Festival and Kids' Day Out, because we have the lighting and sound equipment," Nick said.

Julie said the monthly events were timed to coincide with the full moon to provide outside light on the mountain, and entry is just $10 per head, with kids under 16 free and vegetarian meals available for $7.

If you want to join in the drumming circle, which can number up to 50, you can bring your own or borrow the house drums, of which there are about 15, or join in drumming lessons on a Thursday night to gain some confidence.

"It's an amazing atmosphere; there's just so much energy and vibration from the drums it just carries you away, and when you get into the circle to dance you can't stop," Julie enthused.

The next events are July 27 and August 24, starting at 7.30pm and continuing until late, with visitors advised to bring a blanket, and a torch to light the way.

For details go to www.bracketsandjam.com or call 0403 805 037.


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