Since 2013, Mo’Jam Mondays, organized by Morgan “Mo” Gilkeson and Davy Nefos, has been a place where 21+ musicians gather to Improv Jam weekly at Nectar Lounge in Fremont. It’s the biggest outdoor/indoor venue in King County!

Mo’Jam Mondays have also hosted all ages jams at Sea Monster Lounge, NW Folklife Music Day, and on Seattle’s Bands in Seattle. They’ve literally made an immense impact on the local music scene. Up until the COVID-19 Outbreak, Mo’Jam was on every Monday from 10-11pm.

COVID-19 Brings Mo'Jam Mondays To A Temporary Halt—Interview With Morgan "Mo" Gilkeson

Mo’s vision of an all-inclusive groove band has grown into a multi-genre, intergenerational community that has welcomed musicians of all kinds, visual artists, poets, dancers and more. This event provided an opportunity for fans and upcoming-and-coming artists to network and create music in a welcoming environment.

Nectar Lounge is just one of many Seattle venues that had no other options but to close down. This was because the quarantine left musicians without a place to express their talents in a communal jam setting. Being unable to gather in groups of more than 10 people, the practicing of social distancing of 6′ ft apart and self-isolation certainly does stifle any gathering of any kind.

Mo and her team are understanding of the sacrifices that are needed to be made in order to keep the community as safe as possible, they await the day Nectar Lounge reopens for events again.

Interview with Morgan “Mo” Gilkeson of Mo’Jam Mondays

What made want to start up Mo’Jam Mondays?

I was jamming in the basement of Davy Nefos with his friends back in 2010 and it felt so free just jamming with strangers and grooving together, I remember wanting to bring that feeling to a venue.

How have you been able to maintain Mo’Jam since 2013?

I have had a lot of help from friends and regular Mo’ Jammers, Karen “KZ” Zamm has been such a huge help, and wouldn’t be able to do it without the help of my beloved partner and artistic director, Davy Nefos.

Have you ever missed a Mo’Jam Mondays within these 7 years?

We have missed a total of like 10 Mondays and the 329 counted jams are combinations of all Mo’Jam sessions we have done at Nectar and at SeaMonster, Folklife and Brodie Nation Music Festival.

How do you feel about the uncertainty of when Quarantine will be over?

I am glad we will be able to return whenever we get the okay and that all featured artists will be rescheduled. But not knowing when that is going to be is weird. 

Has the COVID-19 outbreak affected you personally?

I am a preschool teacher. So, work has been shut down. I can’t wait to get back and I miss my kids!

How have you been coping with isolation and not being able to put on Mo’Jam Mondays?

I have had a lot of time to work on my own projects, singing jazz and getting back to my roots. I plan to read some children’s books to my kids on zoom this week.

What are some of the ways you’ve seen fellow artists in your community affected by not being able to attend Mo’Jam Mondays?

Not having gigs or schools being shut down has really been detrimental to this community. But, they’ve been so resourceful in continuing private lessons via zoom and live-streaming. It’s really inspirational. 

Do you and your team plan to do a virtual version of Mo’Jam Mondays?

I’d love to figure this out, we were thinking about it but I’m enjoying seeing everyone’s live-streams already jamming!

What do you need from the community to move forward from this point on?

Just know we will be back and bigger than ever and focused on having stations like we did with Blood Moon Orchestra’s feature, we will be having vendors every week! We want the community to trust this as an all-inclusive outlet as it always has been. And we can’t wait to be that again!

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