If you were at the Log by Ramuntos on Spring St. on Sunday, March 13, the first thing you might have noticed was the small stage equipped with a microphone and lit with soft colored lighting. Doors were adorned with fairy lights, and students sat at tables in clusters, eating and talking to each other. Everything changed, of course, when Olivia Gubel ’25 took the stage. What followed was muted, expectant energy from the audience as Gubel thanked Deputy Director of Student Centers and Events Sam Boyden, Associate Singing/Songwriting Artist Bernice Lewis and the performers about to follow her on stage.
So began the first installment of “You Are My Jam Sessions” at The Log, a monthly 7 p.m. event on Sunday nights featuring five student songwriters, each sharing two to three original songs. Last Sunday, the set included Gubel, Lizzie Ferguson ’22, Bellamy Richardson ’23, Avery Trinidad ’23 and Lea Elton ’24. (Richardson, editor at Diskdid not participate in the writing or editing of this article.) The songs ranged from the dramatic and impassioned narrative style of Gubel to the stripped-down sentimental nature of Ferguson’s songs. There was also a song about the ukulele written for an old crush by Trinidad and an abundance of songwriter anecdotes, laughter and grateful murmurs from the crowd.
This cozy and intimate atmosphere is exactly what Gubel had in mind since he started working on this event in the fall. As someone who has been writing and performing his own songs for four years, Gubel wanted to give other students the opportunity to share their own songwriting, especially if they had never done so before. “I want to make it a place where if you want to explore your artistic interests, even if you’re not the best, or you don’t know if you like it, you can do that,” she said. to Disk.
Gubel brought the band together for this first session from a mix of classmates from his winter study songwriting class, word of mouth and potential artists messaging the Instagram account. “You Are My Jam Sessions”. The decision to include students in the performance is a matter of balance, whether Gubel thinks their musical sound balances out with the other performers. The only restriction is that the performers must have written the songs themselves. “When I listen to people’s submissions, I don’t really think about whether that person is a strong songwriter. I think about what they’re writing about…just to strike a balance,” Gubel said. With this strategy, she hopes to actively encourage songwriting among students.
Gubel acknowledged that sharing his songs can be an intimate experience, which the Trinidad singer corroborated. In an interview with the Diskhe says, “there’s a very specific kind of vulnerability there because not only is it something I’ve done, it’s something I’m [choosing to] show and play. Given this, the community created by “You Are My Jam Sessions” is meant to be an entirely non-judgmental opportunity to explore one’s creativity. As Gubel said, the goals of these performances are to allow performers to share and improve their own work, an important experience for any artist.
The community created by these sessions does not only benefit the performer. “I love art because it’s meant to be shared and enjoyed,” said Elton, who performed on Sunday. “I think art really heals, and so it affirms itself…if someone ever listens to a song and thinks, yeah, that actively helped me.”
Already, the students seem to be receptive to this mission as the Journal was packed Sunday evening with all the seats taken and only standing room left. Gubel has booked performers through April and could expand from once a month to twice a month if demand exists. She hopes to be able to work with artists on campus and give them the opportunities they need. And if that philosophy isn’t enough to convince other students to join, Gubel wants to sweeten the deal: “If you play, I’ll make you homemade jam before the performance.”