Dax’s Bar and Grill In Richland (on Lee Blvd.) does a Jam Night that starts Tri-Cities’ night life a day early. Every Thursday for a decade now (summer, fall, winter & spring) from 7 to 11 p.m. it’s open mic. Organized by West Richland resident Duncan Pryce, the weekly event is in its 10th year and is credited with matching up some of the area’s finest performers.

Jam Night is sort of a pick-up basketball game for musicians. Pryce has a house blues and Classic Rock band that will play if no one comes up. The idea, though, is for people to jam. If someone wants the stage to themselves they can sign up for 15 minute shifts – whole bands get 30 to play their set.

Pryce requests people email him a week in advance so he can make sure everyone has what they need to sound their best. If a group needs a drummer, he’ll find one. If a group needs a singer, he can match them up. “Sometimes I’ve even put together a band of four people who don’t know each other… and do a song everyone knows,” he said. “There’s a couple of bands that have been around for several years that were formed during Jam Night.” The evening is also a great way to get shy performers in front of a crowd, or an ensemble to try out new music it’s been working on.

“One thing for sure is every single jam night is different. It’s never the same,” Pryce said. “There are times when it totally clicks together… that’s my favorite part. It can sound magical.” It’s difficult to find a local musician who doesn’t frequent Jam Night, or at least know Pryce. A few years ago On Tap presented him with the Eric Nyberg Award for his service to live music and Blues in the Tri-Cities. Yet with all the veterans, Pryce said the music scene is always changing. With visiting professionals at Hanford or PNNL, and young people growing up, joining bands and then often moving away, new musicians are always arriving and looking for an audience or a group to play with.

Don’t miss the fun each Thursday from 7 – 11 p.m. Email duncanpryce@charter.net to guarantee a slot. If you forget, bring your instrument anyway (drummers need thier own sticks) he’ll see what can be worked out.