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Ozarks Traditional Music: Discover Local Jam Sessions!

A guide to research materials and special collections (including the Max Hunter Collection and the Gordon McCann Collection) available at the Missouri State University library

Use the < > arrows to view some of the traditional live music options in the Ozarks

New Resource!

Kaitlyn McConnell, founder of the Ozarks Alive! preservation project, has created an interactive Google Maps collection of Missouri Ozarks music jam sessions, festivals, and special events around the SW Missouri region. To suggest an addition or update, please email her directly at

Monday nights - McClurg, MO

Old-time acoustic music jam in the former general store/post office of McClurg, Missouri. A potluck supper begins at 6:30, and the music (with occasional jigging by inspired listeners) fires up at 7:00 every Monday night.

Directions: 3899 State Hwy W

Newscaster Harry Smith visited McClurg in 1998 and then again in 2017. The 1998 broadcast features the fiddle playing of Bob Holt (1930-2004), seconded on guitar by folklorist Gordon McCann. The 2017 video features David Scrivner on fiddle and Alvie Dooms on guitar. McCann was also present at the 2017 session, and still is a regular participant in 2023!


musicians at the McClurg store

Tuesday nights - The Barn (Ava, MO)

The Barn (a bar and restaurant) is the place to be in Ava on Tuesday nights...all are welcome, but no electric instruments, please. The round-robin acoustic jam features old-time, bluegrass, and Irish music styles. Music starts at 7:00 pm, and the restaurant closes at 9:00 pm. 

Directions: Approximately one mile north of Ava on Old 5 Hwy / 11541 E County Rd  201

The Barn in Ava, MO

Thursday nights - Mountain Grove Schoolhouse (Branson, Missouri)

This is a historic 1-room schoolhouse built in 1928...outhouses included! No admission fee, but there is a donation jar to help cover electricity/heat costs.

Directions: Take Hwy 76 into Branson, MO to Hwy T. Drive north on Hwy T to Mountain Grove RD, and turn left. The school building is about a block on the left.

schoolhouse jam

Friday nights - Northview Jam

This weekly gathering was started in 2004 by the Brashears family, and has continued even after the 2010 death of the Brashears matriarch, Beulah, who was the lead organizer of the night's activities. The music (mostly country and gospel) takes place in a beautiful church building that was built in 1900.

Directions: Drive east from Springfield on I-44 for about 20 miles.

Saturday nights - The Oldfield Opry

Not really an open jam session, but features traditional music from the house band every Saturday from 7:00-9:30 pm, and an added 5:45 pre-show from other invited musicians on the second Saturday of the month. No admission charge, but donations are encouraged! 

Directions: Hwy 125, just north of Oldfield Rd (about 30 miles southeast of Springfield, MO).

Second Saturdays - Hallsville Jam and Dance

On the second Saturday of each month, the Hallsville Community Center comes alive with traditional music and dancing. 

Music Session: 4-6 pm

Potluck Dinner: 6-7 pm

Dancing: 7-9 pm

Directions: 324 E Hwy OO (approx. 3 blocks east of the Route B intersection)