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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

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Holiday Highlights: Warren Haynes and the 32nd annual Christmas jam

The 32nd annual Christmas Jam, presented by Allman Brothers Band member and Grammy award winning artist, Warren Haynes, rocked the Harrah’s Cherokee Center on December 9. The Christmas spectacular included performances by Slash, Clutch, American Babies, Karina Rykman, Allman Brothers Band and others.

The Christmas Jam originated in 1988 at an older club called 45 Cherry as an opportunity for local musicians to collaborate locally and give back to the community. It went from a transitional period in the first four or five years, to an epic music collaboration to give back to places like Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and BeLoved Asheville. The annual jam has contributed to over 50 houses being built and more than 2.8 million dollars raised. Past shows included musicians like Dave Grohl, Jackson Browne, Dinosaur Jr., The Doobie Brothers and others.

“Asheville is my home. I was born and raised there,” said Allman Brothers band member, Warren Haynes. “It will always be my home.”

The musician said that Asheville contains such a unique and cool underground music scene, but it was not as big a scene years ago. There weren’t as many places to play music or huge opportunities. The Grammy award winning musician is proud of what it has expanded to, alongside what he has given back to the community through the annual Christmas Jam. 

“I am continually amazed that it is still going, and bigger and better than ever.” Haynes said. “People come from all over the country.” 

The Asheville artist said that many musicians that play the Christmas jam are sharing the stage for the first time, which he loves to see and experience alongside the audience members. Some performances on stage are impromptu, making the show truly a one of a kind experience. One of these performances in past years included John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin joining Michael Franti on stage. 

“You see these conversations happening. They talk a little bit, and next thing you know they are performing together,” Haynes said. 

Many of the musical performances encompass a variety of genres. It attracts many individuals with completely different music tastes to come together, enjoy the show and give back to the community of Asheville during the holiday season. 

“I love the fact that the music is such a diverse array of genres. In a lot of ways it reflects my personal taste.”

The Benefit Concert Volume 20 is now available on both CD and vinyl. It is available in various colors, providing sounds from the 30th anniversary of the Christmas Jam, including Dave Grohl, Eric Church, Joe Bonamassa, Gov’t Mule and more. 

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