Popular music festival SamJam will feature an array of genres

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CARLINVILLE — One of the biggest music festivals in Illinois’ small town music festival returns this year with an array of musical genres.

The 2022 SamJam Music and Brewfest will take place from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 at the Macoupin County Fairgrounds, just north of Carlinville. The event will feature everything from R&B to country, rock and roll, jazz and American folk.

“We have become known for our top quality music,” said festival founder and organizer Peter Oswald, father of festival namesake Sam Oswald, 37, who suffers from neurofibromatosis (NF).

“Every year our fans tell us how good our music is and how much they enjoy listening to it,” said Peter Oswald.

“Creating this type of fan experience is really important to us, and every year new people come to join us. Even the sales people tell us they want to come back. SamJam experience.

SamJam was created in 2014 to honor Oswald’s son, who endured years of battling NF, which affects one in 2,500 people worldwide. NF is most often noticed in childhood or early adulthood, and appears similarly across genders, races, and ethnic groups.

Since being diagnosed with NF at age 4, Sam has battled spinal fusion, two brain tumors, shunt revisions, bone grafting on both legs, knee surgery, removal skin tumor and eye surgery.

In July 2020, he underwent major surgery to remove a tumor in his chest, near his esophagus. This was followed by another operation in March 2021 to remove a tumor from his thigh, which was a recurrence from a bout of cancer eight years ago.

Among the many far-reaching effects of NF are scoliosis, which was an early problem in Sam’s case, as well as seizures, motor delays, loss of vision or hearing, disfigurement, bone deformities, speech disorders, loss of balance and permanent physical pain. .

Although less known to the general public, more patients suffer from NF than from muscular dystrophy, Tay-Sachs disease and Huntington’s disease combined.

“NF is never easy,” said Sam Oswald.

“It’s something I have to deal with almost every day, and it can be very difficult. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of support from my family and friends, which has really helped me” , did he declare.

Thanks to his determination and the support of those close to him, he lives alone in Carlinville, and can get around using a special three-wheeled bicycle.

“It can be a struggle, and it often is,” he said. “But I’m really grateful for what I’m able to do.”

In its first seven editions, SamJam has raised $71,000, with funds going to NF Midwest Inc., an organization that provides research grants and support services in Illinois and five surrounding states.

This year’s version of SamJam features five distinct musical talent groups, including the closing act, Al Holliday and The East Side Rhythm Band. Based in Metro East, the band blend elements of rhythm and blues with old-school blues, soul, funk and jazz.

The group will release their fourth album later this year and have toured across the country, as well as in Europe.

“We’re a big group, with a lot of members,” said Collinsville native Holliday. “We all grew up with soul music, which is one of the reasons we have a horn section. We have a good selection of singers and an energetic brand of music that people know and love.

“We’re so excited to come to SamJam,” he said. “We are really happy to be involved in this event for a very good cause, with an evening of music and support in the community.”

Other artists include Positively 4th Street of Springfield, who play everything from 30s blues to rock, country, originals, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Isaiah Christian and the Rebel Saints will also perform with an up-and-coming country singer from Winchester.

There’s also Pete Jive, a performer from Naperville who features a mix of American folk, rock and roots reggae, and One Way Traffic, a St. Louis-based progressive bluegrass band.

Peter Oswald noted that progress has been made in the fight against NF, but said that “there is still a lot to do and there is still a lot of research to be done.

“Greater public awareness and more funding for research will help find a cure,” he said. “We also need to help patients and their families live with this devastating disease.”

SamJam has enjoyed many loyal sponsors since its inception, and he expressed his gratitude.

“We’ve had a lot of loyal sponsors and donors every year,” he said. “This event would not be possible without them. The Macoupin County Fair Board also worked with us to use the fairgrounds. »

Her son is certainly looking forward to her.

“I just love that people always want to come to SamJam and help a good cause,” he said. “That’s the best part of all.”

SamJam will take place outdoors on the carnival halfway to the fairgrounds, with two pole tents and a professional stage. Food trucks, a raffle and a wide choice of beers will also be offered. Camping is also available at the fairgrounds.

Tickets for SamJam are $20 and only available at the door. Student tickets are $10 and admission is free for ages 16 and under. Spectators are asked to bring lawn chairs, blankets and umbrellas.

For more information or to donate, visit www.SamJam4NF.com or call 217-556-4917.

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