Jammin'4Water 2016

Jammin’4Water to Kick Off WEFTEC with All-Night Jam Session

If you plan on being in Chicago early for this year’s WEFTEC show (Sept. 30 – Oct. 4), make your way over to Park West on Saturday, Sept. 30, for the fifth annual Jammin’4Water benefit concert where water professionals will kick off the week in rock star style.

Organized by Water Charities Fundraising and volunteers, this open mic event first launched in 2013 and draws hundreds of musicians, friends, families, sponsors and WEFTEC attendees to literally jam for water each year on the Saturday before WEFTEC.

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Musicians donate to water charities to secure a stage spot and perform in front of an enthusiastic audience. The event features two stages – one devoted to solo and acoustic performances and another featuring full band performances complete with a horn section.

Andrew Farr Trenchless Tech Guitarist

Andrew Farr, associate editor for Trenchless Technology, will be one of the Jammin’4Water performers.

To date, Jammin’4Water has raised more than $205,000 for charities that support initiatives like safe drinking water and global water sustainability. The 2017 event is expected to draw more than 800 people to Park West (the 2015 event – the last one in Chicago – drew about 750). About 100 musicians will take part in this year’s show that will feature an 84-song set list consisting of music ranging from Stevie Wonder, The Commodores and The Black Eyed Peas to The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Clash.

Jammin’4Water founder and organizer Dave Kinnear, process engineer with Kinnear Process Solutions, said he’s been surprised by the success of the event over the past four years, but says it continues to be a night focused simply on great live music performed by water professionals all for a good cause.

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“The plan isn’t to grow this into a big production,” said Kinnear. “It’s really still focused on the music. This all started [in 2013] with a small group of 120 people and it was just about the music. There were maybe 20 musicians who wanted to play and then there were 100 of their friends who came. It was really like a garage band party. Now since it’s grown, more musicians want to do the music, their friends want to come and see them and it’s a great night to kick off WEFTEC.”

Jammin’4Water 2017 will be held at Park West (322 W. Armitage Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60614) on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 6 p.m. to around 1 a.m. For more info on Jammin’4Water, sponsorship opportunities and other ways to get involved, visit jammin4water.org.