uilleann bagpipes

Irish Traditional Jam Sessions in Southern Michigan


These are intermediate level "open" sessions.
Any and all local or traveling musicians are invited to join in.
The sessions, unless noted otherwise, are run in a round-robin fashion so everyone gets a turn to start their favorite tunes at their own tempo.

- Last Update 3/15/2022 -

Session in Ypsilanti, MI

1st & 3rd Sundays
of every month

Ypsi Alehouse, 124 Pearl St #100, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
(734) 487-1555   YpsiAlehouse.com
Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, from 2:00-4:00.
Sessions have been suspended as of 11/21/21 due to the spike in Michigan Covid cases.

Sessions in Ann Arbor, MI

Every Thursday from
Sept through end of May

Detroit Irish Music Assoc. (DIMA)
First United Methodist Church, 1001 Green Rd. Ann Arbor, MI.   
Every Thursday from Sept through end of May from 7:00-10:00. Jam sessions, set dancing, workshops, private & group lessons.
Follow DIMA Facebook page for announcements!
Live sessions are back in session!
NOTE: Church regulations mandate masks, vax, and sign-in at door for traceability. Masks available at the door.
Visit DIMA Facebook page for important notices and schedule changes due to holidays, etc. Click "follow" to receive automatic notices to your email.

Every Sunday evening

Conor O'Neill's Irish Pub, 318 South Main St, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
(734) 665-2968   ConorOneills.com
Weekly Sunday night session from roughly 7:00-10:00pm, hosted alternately by Marty Somberg and Mick Gavin.
This is a more advanced session. Tune sets are called or directed by the session host.
Regular sessions have resumed inside Conor's!
Contact Conor O'Neill's at (734) 665-2968 to check on schedule changes due to holidays, etc.

DIMA Session in Detroit, MI

1st Tuesday of ea. month

The Gaelic League, 2068 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI
(313) 964-8700   GaelicLeagueOfDetroit.org
First Tuesday of ea. month 6:30-9:00 p.m.
* 6:30-7:00 new tune being taught each week (sugg. donation $5 for non-members);
* 7:00-7:30 slow session for those learning new tunes or new instruments;
* 7:30-9:00 faster paced open session.
Live sessions are back in session!
NOTE: Gaelic League regulations mandate masks, vax, and sign-in at door for traceability.
Contact The Gaelic League at (313) 964-8700 to check on schedule changes due to holidays, etc.
Visit DIMA Facebook page for important notices and schedule changes due to holidays, etc. Click "follow" to receive automatic notices to your email.

Session in Charlotte, MI

Third Saturday of ea. month

Evelyn Bay Coffee Shop, 134 Cochrane Ave., Charlotte, MI 48813
Third Saturday of the month, from 2-4 p.m.
This session was discontinued in 2019.

What is a "Session"?

An Irish session is a gathering of musicians for the express purpose of playing traditional Irish music on acoustic instruments. Unlike a performance for an audience of passive listeners, the session is primarily for the musicians themselves, although many non-playing patrons often come just to enjoy the music. The type of sessions listed here are intermediate level and are known as an "open session" in which all able musicians are invited to participate.

The tunes played at sessions are typically grouped into "sets" (several tunes of the same type strung together) and are usually played in unison and in a straightforward manner, which means that there are no special arrangements which deviate from the traditional tune. They tend to be mostly reels and jigs and, to a lesser extent, hornpipes, waltzes, polkas, and marches.

Session Etiquette

Session etiquette is nothing more than exhibiting common courtesy and sensitivity to others.
A few key points are:

  • If you are new to a session it is advised that you introduce yourself and ask the session leader for permission to sit in.
  • Depending on the specific session, starting of tunes and sets may either be "round-robin" or called or directed by the session master. Know which method is being used before you start to play.
  • If you're not familiar with a tune being played or are trying to learn it, either sit that one out or try to play very quietly so as not to be disruptive.
  • The use of recording devices is encouraged as a method for learning new tunes at home.
  • Use of sheet music during the session is discouraged.
  • Playing in an incorrect key or improvisation (noodling) is highly frowned upon.
  • Only one bodhran and/or guitar/bouzouki playing at a time, switching off if there is more than one. More than one will often clash with each other, disrupting the melody.
  • At times a song may be sung or a slow air played by a single musician between sets. Unless invited, these are generally unaccompanied by the other instruments.

The Music

Below is a small portion of some of the more common tunes that are played.
For new musicians wishing to join in the sessions, this list can serve as a guide for the tunes you may wish to work on first. Those marked with an asterisk (*) are played somewhat more often.
Check out www.thesession.org for more of your favorite tunes, including sheet music, ABC files, sound files, discography, locations of sessions around the world, forum, and more.

TYPE LINK to Sheet Music,
ABC's, Sound Files
Air  TheSession.org/tunes/9596 Dmaj Down by the Sally Gardens  
Air  TheSession.org/tunes/601 Gmaj South Wind  
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/666 Dmaj Alexander's  
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/651 Dmaj Boys of Bluehill  
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/478 Gmaj Cronin's *
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/49 Dmaj Harvest Home/Cork  
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/980 Ador Humours of Tullycrine *
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/30 Gmaj Off to California *
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/652 Dmaj Plains of Boyle *
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/83 Emin Rights of Man  
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/785 Gmaj Little Stack of Wheat *
Hornpipe  TheSession.org/tunes/891 Dmaj Trip to Durrow  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/9 Dmix Banish Misfortune *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/358 Dmaj Behind the Haystack *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/702 Gmaj Blackthorn Stick  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/5 Dmix Blarney Pilgrim *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/17 Amin Coleraine  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/19 Dmaj Connaughtman's Rambles  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/26 Dmaj Donnybrook Fair  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/29 Ador Dusty Windowsills  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/160 Edor Gallagher's Frolics *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/401 Dmaj Gander in the Pratie Hole  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/544 Gmaj Garrett Barry's  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/43 Amin Geese in the Bog *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/582 Dmaj Haste to the Wedding *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/210 Dmix Humours of Ballyloughlin *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/228 Gmaj Humours of Ennistymon/Coppers and Brass  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/383 Dmaj I Buried My Wife and Danced on Her Grave *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/793 Gmaj Jim Ward's/Clare *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/667 Gmaj Killavil  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/948 Dmaj Kitty Lie Over *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/1578 Dmaj Lark in the Morning *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/467 Dmaj Leitrim Fancy  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/60 Ador Lilting Banshee/Wailing Banshee  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/71 Edor Morrison's *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/358 Dmaj Munster Buttermilk/Behind the Haystack *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/76 Dmaj My Darling Asleep *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/1133 Dmaj Off She Goes  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/56 Gmaj Old Favorite  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/108 Gmaj Out On the Ocean *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/790 Gmaj Planxty Irwin *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/307 Gmaj Saddle the Pony *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/235 Dmaj Sean Bui  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/335 Ador Slieve Russell *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/106 Ador Swallowtail  
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/109 Ador Tenpenny Bit *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/55 Gmaj The Kesh *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/308 Dmaj Tobin's Favourite *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/111 Dmaj Tripping up the Stairs *
Jig  TheSession.org/tunes/2483 Gmaj When the Cock Crows It Is Day  
Jig, Slip  TheSession.org/tunes/10 Emin Butterfly *
Jig, Slip  TheSession.org/tunes/482 Dmaj Foxhunter's Jig  
Jig, Slip  TheSession.org/tunes/52 Emin Kid on the Mountain *
Jig, Slip  TheSession.org/tunes/879 Gmaj O'Farrell's Welcome to Limerick/An Phis Fliuch *
March  TheSession.org/tunes/835 Dmix March of the Kings of Laois  
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/786 Dmaj 42 Pound Check *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/298 Ador Ballydesmond #1 *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/238 Ador Ballydesmond #2/#1/Maurice Manley's *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/357 Dmaj Dennis Murphy's *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/39 Dmaj Egan's/Kerry *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/5418 Gmaj Girl I Left Behind Me  
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/441 Dmaj John Ryan's/Sean Ryan's *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/291 Gmaj Maggie in the Woods *
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/85 Gmaj Rakes of Mallow  
Polka  TheSession.org/tunes/1640 Gmaj Siege of Ennis *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/1 Emin Cooley's *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/20 Edor Cup of Tea *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/27 Edor Drowsy Maggie *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/384 Dmaj Dublin reel  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/791 Dmaj Father Kelly's *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/219 Emin Fermoy Lasses  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/2549 Gmaj Flowers of Edinburgh *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/511 Gmaj Foxhunter's Reel  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/64 Dmaj Maid Behind the Bar *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/222 Emin Man of the House *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/72 Dmaj Merry Blacksmith *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/75 Gmaj Miss McLeod's *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/68 Dmaj Mountain Road *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/115 Gmaj Over the Moor to Maggie *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/566 Amix Red Haired Boy/Jolly Beggarman  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/87 Dmaj Rolling in the Rye Grass  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/98 Gmaj Sally Gardens *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/182 Dmaj Silver Spear *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/103 Dmaj St. Ann's  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/560 Edor Tarbolton  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/116 Dmaj Wind that shakes the Barley  
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/118 Dmaj Wise Maid *
Reel  TheSession.org/tunes/321 Gmaj Woman of the House *
Set Dance  TheSession.org/tunes/475 Edor King of the Fairies *
Slide  TheSession.org/tunes/159 Dmaj Denis Murphy's *
Slide  TheSession.org/tunes/23 Dmaj Dingle Regatta  
Slide  TheSession.org/tunes/70 Gmaj Merrily Kissed the Quaker's Wife *
Waltz  TheSession.org/tunes/957 Gmaj Fanny Powerr  
Waltz  TheSession.org/tunes/449 Dmaj Si Beag Si Mohr  

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© Bagpiper Tom, Chelsea, MI 48118