Sideman Jamboree, Bowie, AZ

"We went looking for music in the desert, and we found it! Sideman Jamboree."


Alaskan RV Park, site #23, this site has full hookups, 48 total sites, 3723 ft elevation. Feb 10th - 13th. Overall Experience: smile

For the past 31 years, musicians who have played alongside western swing/country music greats have gathered during February at the Alaskan RV Park on Music Road in Bowie, Arizona. They jam together in the park's music hall during the day and evening, sharing their music, good conversations, and meals.

The musicians are now mostly in their eighties with a few younger guests. Judy Hall, the park's owner and the moving force behind the jamboree, is from Alaska and winters in Arizona. We have been told the jamboree is getting smaller in recent years as some the musicians are now finding the annual trip too difficult and others have passed away. Judy has announced that she is planning the 32nd next February 2016.

We feel honored that we were able to experience part of the 31st jamboree.

Trailer: Sideman Jamboree documentary. [filmed in 2014]

Article: Country Music At An Unexpected Desert Oasis

Tucked away in the remote desert town of Bowie, Arizona, just off Interstate 10, lies a hidden musical gem known as the Sideman Jamboree. This annual event, held at the unassuming Alaskan RV Park on Music Road, has been drawing in country music enthusiasts and seasoned musicians for over 30 years.

The Sideman Jamboree is a celebration of the unsung heroes of country music - the sidemen and session musicians who have played alongside the genre's biggest stars. These talented individuals, who often work behind the scenes, come together each spring to showcase their skills and share the stage with fellow musicians.

**A Unique Gathering of Musicians The festival takes place over the course of a weekend, with musicians of all ages and skill levels welcome to participate. Visitors to the Alaskan RV Park are treated to a constant stream of live music, as the campground's various spots become impromptu stages for jam sessions and performances.

An Intimate Atmosphere

What makes the Sideman Jamboree truly unique is its intimate, grassroots atmosphere. Unlike larger, more commercialized music festivals, this event maintains a sense of community and camaraderie among the performers and attendees. The RV park's rustic setting and lack of fancy features create an environment that encourages musicians to relax and simply enjoy the music.

"The Sideman Jamboree is like a big family reunion for us sidemen. We get to hang out with our friends, play some great music, and have a good time." - Jake Thompson, Guitarist

A Hidden Gem in the Desert

For those seeking an authentic, off-the-beaten-path musical experience, the Sideman Jamboree is a must-visit destination. Whether you're a dedicated country music fan or just want to discover new talent, this hidden oasis in the Arizona desert is sure to leave a lasting impression.

So, if you find yourself in the area around the first weekend of February, be sure to make the trip to the Alaskan RV Park on Music Road in Bowie. Who knows, you might just come across the next big thing in country music.

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

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