DENMARK —  Now in its fifth year, the DAM JAM has become a staple event for the Denmark Arts Center and its patrons from across the greater Maine Lakes Region and beyond.

Since the festival’s inception in 2012, the DAM JAM has presented top alternative rock bands, interactive community art projects, and delicious local food for all to enjoy at Denmark’s Bicentennial Park, which sits on the southernmost end of Moose Pond, right next to the Moose Pond Dam.

The festivities kick off on Saturday, Aug.6, at 2:30 p.m. and will keep rolling until 10:30. As always, bring  dancing shoes and swimming suits (the town beach is right around the corner).

The highlight of the DAM JAM is, of course, the music. This year, the Denmark Arts Center collaborated with co­producer of New York’s renowned Winter Jazzfest,  Adam Schatz, to present a killer line­up of bands offering a unique twist on contemporary rock, pop and jazz music.

Returning to the DAM JAM is Portland­-based post-­rock group Ada (formerly Butcher Boy) that promises to bring its colorful jazz chords, spacious textures, and warped and electric dynamics. Other bands include: The Westerlies, a NYC­based brass ensemble with a hybrid sound that is both, “folk­-like and composerly, lovely and intellectually rigorous,” (National Public Radio).  Also performing is the self-proclaimed “tropical apocalypse band,” Cantina, the brainchild of Renata Zeiguer and made possible by the accompaniment of a team of “musical wizards”; and Big Thief, an emotional roller coaster of lifting narratives, lyrical storytelling, and fuzzy guitars round out this portion of the jam.

Headliners TEEN and Landlady will turn the jam into a dance party, with upbeat and electric performances that solidify the groups as New York bands on­ the­ rise. Led by Shatz himself, Landlady boldly disrupts the notion of genre and reveals the soulful and resonating work of Schatz and its other core band members. Compared to rock-and-roll juggernauts like The Band and Talking Heads, Landlady merges skill, a bent for experimentation, and a proven belief that songs can be a true extension of the human experience.

TEEN’s music is reflective and embodies a melodic psych-pop feel with the sound of post­millennial R&B.  Consisting of sisters Teeny, Lizzie, and Katherine Lieberson and honorary sister Boshra AlSaadi, TEEN’s latest CD “Love Yes” explores, “the disharmony and empowerment that both sexuality and spirituality can create within the modern woman’s psyche.”

Beth’s Kitchen Cafe  and Standard Gastropub of Bridgton, and the Wicked Good Truck from Portland will be serving food.  Local organic farms Patch from Denmark and Black Mountain, of Sweden, will offer veggies and  flowers to bring home.

The beer garden by the Tap House, Bridgton, returns for the JAM. And on the non-alcoholic side of things, some of Denmark’s most entrepreneurial kids will be running a lemonade stand throughout the afternoon.

In celebration and support of all the art being made in Maine, the DAM JAM features artists of all kinds from across the state. 

Juggler and circus performer  Janoah Bailin of Portland, travels, perhaps by unicycle, back to Denmark to dazzle, amaze, and entertain festival-goers of all ages with his creative juggling, unicycling, and clowning.

The ArtVan from Bath, plans to make a stop in Denmark and facilitate a host of meaningful art experiences to help kids of all ages fully express their imaginations.

David Allen of Stone Point Studio will be spending the day building environmental sculptures using stone balancing and other techniques.

There will also be a craft fair featuring dozens of local potters, quilters, painters, and other crafters including Denmark Arts Center board members Suzi and Charles Linden showcasing their prints and innovative custom­made longboards.

Advance ticket, $12, are available at denmarkarts.org. Tickets­­ are $15 at the door. Kids under 12 are free.

The 2016 DAM JAM was largely organized by new Denmark Arts Center directors, Cookie Harrist and Delaney McDonough, and their growing volunteer team.

Anyone with questions  about the DAM JAM, or who would like to volunteer, call the Denmark Arts Center at 207­-452-­2412 or email [email protected]


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