Haynes Christmas Jam Raises More Than $665,000

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Twenty years ago, Warren Haynes began a holiday tradition of bringing together all his fellow North Carolina musicians to jam while everybody was home from touring. Now the annual tradition has come together to provide for those suffering under the present housing crisis.

Twenty years ago, Warren Haynes began a holiday tradition of bringing together all his fellow North Carolina musicians to jam while everybody was home from touring. Now the annual tradition has come together to provide for those suffering under the present housing crisis. Going into this years jam fest, which was held on December 12 and 13, the Haynes Christmas Jam raised more than $665,000 for Asheville’s Habitat For Humanity. The money has gone into building 12 houses in Enka Hills, a wooded community surrounded by mountains on a street the organization appropriately named Warren Haynes Drive. (In 2005 Habitat also built a house in the New Orleans Musicians Village.)

“We need Habitat For Humanity more now than ever, with the whole mortgage crisis that put us where we are now, and the fact that Habitat is about building homes for people that can’t afford homes as opposed to lending money to people who can’t afford homes,” Haynes told CNN. The jam brought together a respective gathering of deft musicians as well, including a mandolin shredding John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin. The first night ran a nine-hour jam, ending with the Allman Brothers ushering in the dawn at 4 o’clock in the morning. The following nights presented appearances by Ben Harper and Relentless 7, Travis Tritt, Michael Franti, Joan Osborne, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Steve Earle and Haynes’ band Gov’t Mule. Haynes reflected on the 20-year evolution in an interview with CNN said, “We’ve grown up together. It’s a parallel of the progress that I have achieved, and the event reflects not only the philosophy I share with these people but the mission.”


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