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Coffeehouse brings entertainment to Jay

JAY The newest of Jays JEMS will get steady usage this winter. On Jan. 11 at 7 p.m., Drew Sprague and Larry Stone will play an evening of acoustic musicoriginal tunes and blues and folk coversat the new Jay Entertainment & Music Societys (JEMS) Amos & Julia Ward Theater, on the village green. The performance is the first in The Covered Bridge Coffee House Series, which will run through June. Coffee House Coordinator Janet Morton said the goal was to make it a fun and casual experience for attendees and the artists. She said the series would offer the public an entertainment opportunity during the winter months. The setting will recall the casual comfortable and intimate places of the 1960s when just about any space available was used for performing folk music, reading poetry, conversation, or just having a warm drink and dessert with friends or strangers. Adventurous choices of great coffee from Adirondack Coffee Roasters of Peru will be served. Herbal teas will also be available. There will be generous homemade pastry such as the tasty pumpkin donuts by JEMS friend Alice Forbes of Keene and the delicious biscotti and cakes by Jay's Mona Dubay. The refreshments will be included in the admission price of $5 per person. Morton hoped for a turn-out of at least 50 people, but added many more could be accommodated. Jay is a great place for this, in between Lake Placid and Plattsburgh. It's an easy place to get to from a lot of places, said Morton. Organizers intended for the Covered Bridge Coffee House to become a regular meeting place with all ages welcome. JEMS wants to continue in the wintertime the spirit of their summer concerts which they have been presenting for 20 years and will continue to present for free on the Jay Village Green. Drew Sprague of Jay and Larry Stone of Wilmington, known to many from the Stone Man Blues Band (now Stone Ground), will perform two sets of acoustic blues and folk music, including original songs, in real North Country style. Sprague was a member of the popular South Catherine Street Jug Band. Stone has travelled throughout the country for decades playing with many rock and blues bands. The Coffee House audience will hear them play unplugged for the first time. I want the performers to be comfortable to do new things, to not feel like they're on the spot, said Morton. The Covered Bridge Coffee House, thanks to a Developing Community Community Arts Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and from private underwriting, will be presented on one Friday night each month from January through June. Other performers coming up are: Eddy and Kim Lawrence, Crossing North, Karen Glass with Too Human, Peggy Lynn, and in June a Free Flow night for new musicians is planned. A calendar with more information is available from the jemsgroup.com web site, or by calling 946-7420.

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