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‘BLAM JAM’ provides new live venue for musicians

Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Jacob Michalik ’19 performs at Blam Jam Tuesday Nov. 2 at lunch in the Fr. Renna reading room.

By Collin McShane ’19

This year The Brophy Literary Arts Magazine (BLAM) has partnered with the Musicians Exchange club to produce a bi-weekly concert in the Fr. Renna Reading Room.

With four concerts under their belt already, “BLAM JAM” looks to create an evolving musical experience.

“BLAM JAM was not my brain child,” said Mr. John Damaso ’97. “I was approached by Max Fees 17 and Anthony Cardellini ’17 who had the idea of music for the magazine.”

The original plan for BLAM JAM was for it to take place in the Fr. Renna Reading Room so that the room could get some foot traffic, but the unexpected popularity might change that.

For the second concert of BLAM JAM, the crew streamed Michael Grindey ’18 playing in the Fr. Renna Reading Room, to the Great Hall.

“Streaming will only make it grow,” said Grindey. “In such a small room like the Fr. Renna Reading Room you’re very vulnerable and you’re just saying here’s what I got, and I think that streaming is just the added bonus of everyone seeing that moment.”

Grindey said that the event would only continue to grow on path that is is on.

“I had low expectations initially but I was surprised by the turnout,” Mr. Damaso said. “You might not realize that a concert for maybe 20 people takes around seven people to make.”

Fees is the frontman of BLAM JAM, so when he leaves next year, BLAM JAM will need a new organizer.

“BLAM JAM lives and dies by student interest,” Mr. Damaso said. “Someone with Max’s popularity only serves to inspire underclassmen to do more.”

Mr. Damaso seemed confident that someone would replace Fees as frontman of BLAM JAM.

Grindey said that the Fr. Renna Reading Room was the perfect place for BLAM JAM and hopes the event stays there.

“I think it makes you play more emotional and intimate songs,” Grindey said. “I love the Fr. Renna Reading Room and I hope we stay, the whole vibe and atmosphere there is amazing.”

BLAM JAM is a bi-weekly series that tries to play every other Thursday in the Fr. Renna Reading Room next to Mr. Damaso’s classroom, on the second floor of Brophy hall.