Super Jam has returned.
The all day free concert featuring six bands will play at Old City Park from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday.
The semi-regular concert fluctuates over the years. Sometimes there is one. Some years there are three in one year.
“It’s a little grass roots concert. We’re trying to perpetuate the local music scene,” said Jon Olschewski of Moab’s jam band Stonefed. “We threw the first one in 1999. We haven’t had one in two years.”
Two Moab bands will join Stonefed. Gigi Love and Jeff Guttierez of Love and Sax will perform. Sand and Sunnie Sheff of Desertmongers will play country music.
Tim Daniels from Ogden and Luke Benson and Marinade from Salt Lake City round out the set.
Olschewski said he grew up going to the reggae concerts in Old City Park in the ’80s and early ’90s.
“It’s the best stage in the valley. It’s better than Star Hall because it doesn’t have the sound problems,” Olschewski said. “It has the best shade of the parks. It’s designed to be its own little amphitheater.”
Olschewski said he loves to perform at the park.
“I love the outdoor show. And you can see one person and make a connection,” he said. “You can see little kids dancing.”
Even thoughSuper Jam begins Saturday morning, the music starts the night before at 9 p.m., Friday at Woody’s Tavern on Main St.
“It will be Marinade’s regular show at the bar,” Olschewski said. “But others from the concert will show up. All the musicians that are town will be there.”
Both Marinade and Stonefed play regularly at Woody’s.
“They’ve been really good friends with us since their inception,” he said. “We have the same audience.”
The outdoor venue originally arose from a lack of options.
“The first year we did it because we had no place to play,” Olschewski said.
The story of Stonefed began in the winter of 1998. Ed Stone, the youngest member of the band, was finishing his senior year at Grand County High School. He and bass player David Mealey played metal rock and wanted to expand their musical tastes.
“We were playing a lot of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden,” Stone said. “We wanted to do funky dance tunes.”
The two got together with Jon Olschewski and started playing some acoustic bluegrass.
“We said, ‘Let’s get it amplified and see what we come up with,’” Stone said.
The three developed a funky feel that attracted brothers Joe and Robbie Lasater, who played trumpet and keyboard. Olschewski’s father, Steve, played harmonica. These six were the first to play under the name Stonefed with concerts at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center in March and Old City Park in May 1999.
Over the years the band has expanded and contracted, adding and subtracting musicians and instruments.
Today, four Moabites are Stonefed: Ed Stone, percussion; David Mealey, bass and vocals; Jon Olschewski, guitar and vocals; and Jaspar Groff, guitar and vocals.
The band has traveled cross-country on tour and have performed on live television broadcasts. They’ve shared show bills with grassroots bands at national and international festivals.
“I look at the music as a living breathing entity. People draw from it to escape or express themselves with it. It’s one of those things that if you’re putting into it and enjoying it and keep an open mind and take care in that, it comes back and rewards you and paves way to new networks and new friendships,” Olschewski said.
Stonefed brings that magic back to their hometown through the Super Jam. All the artists from each of the bands are volunteering their time to provide a full-day of music.
“When you have everyone there on a no money exchange, people can choose to come to the park if they want to,” Olschewski said. “People meet who they want. It’s a nice way for the regular Moabites to meet the transients.”