Are Saturday night jams like at NTB Lounge tonight a ‘thing’ now?

Shawn Sage, Jon Long et al @ NTB 130420 -Jane Bezodis

Shawn Sage, Jon Long et al @ NTB 130420 -Jane Bezodis

Not so many years ago the idea of doing a jam on a Saturday night would have seemed ridiculous. But apparently no more.

At one time the fact that there used to be so many clubs that offered live music Saturday nights seemed to make the idea absurd because most talented musicians, who are the lifeblood of any open mic type situation, were thus being employed elsewhere and taking their fans along with them. Not so much these days maybe.

For over a year now the NTB Lounge at 2878 Lakeshore Blvd. W. in Etobicoke has been holding a last-Saturday monthly jam featuring songwriter Shawn Sage and friends and it has generally thrived in the large but cozy music-friendly room. (The latest edition goes tonight, Sat. September 28.)

A house band has even emerged from the event, calling itself Chameleon and featuring Sage and guitarist Kevin Treffinger.

With a full stage now set up there and a drum kit and full PA available, not only have solo artists and acoustic duos and trios come out to play, but so have full bands hoping maybe to catch the owner’s eye and score a gig on one of the other Fridays and Saturdays on which groups are usually offered.

And the NTB event isn’t the only jam scenario happening tonight, as it turns out. Following a showcase by the Chris Lord Ideal at El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave., Jon Long and the Danforth Jam crew will be starting up around midnight.

It’s not the first time Long has sponsored or participated in a Saturday night jam either. As the accompanying photo shows, he’s been a regular at the NTB event when not doing other shows and on August 24 he ran an all-day-and-night jam at The Duke Live in east Toronto that went pretty well according to those who attended.