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Live music returns to downtown Tuscola with “Acoustic Jam at the Vault”

Submitted Photo Red Proffitt, left, on the mandolin, and Marty Gibson, right, participate in a recent jam session at the Vault Art Gallery in downtown Tuscola.

Live music, but with a new name, resumes at the Vault Art Gallery in downtown Tuscola after a long COVID-19 layoff.

The “Acoustic Jam at the Vault” kicks off from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, with acoustic musicians from throughout Central Illinois expected to attend. The event takes place in the spacious upstairs performance area at the Vault. The jam session was previously known as “Bluegrass Jam at the Vault” and the slight change in the name reflects the wide variety of music that has always been played.

“The name change more accurately reflects the music we play,” said Marty Gibson of Rock University, who puts together the event. “The other musicians and I perform a wide variety of genres, including, but not limited to bluegrass.”

Musicians play everything from country to bluegrass to gospel to pop and rock. The get-togethers are always informal and all acoustic musicians are invited to attend.

“We always hope to attract more people, both on stage and in the audience,” Gibson added. The acoustic jam is free and open to the public.

The jam session has been staged at various areas throughout the Vault Art Gallery since its inception three years ago. Gibson, who runs Rock University from the second floor at the Vault, is in the midst of remodeling the area. Padded church pews were recently added to expand the seating area for the audience.

“I anticipate keeping the jam permanently upstairs because it offers a lot more room than any other area of the Vault,” Gibson said. “We even hope to add an electric blues jam the coming weeks.”

The acoustic jams always take place on the third Saturday of the month.

In keeping with Vault policy, all customers, including those coming just for the music, are required to wear a mask at all times and maintain social distancing.

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