Going off to Band Kamp -- Gazette.Net







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During most of the week, the eclectic warehouse known as Band Kamp is rented to groups for rehearsals or concerts.

But Thursday nights are for anyone who wants to drop by.

Owned by Tony Kurtz, the studio has evolved into an informal jam session and hangout for a group of mostly middle-aged guys.

Its just an evening away, Kurtz says, And the demographic is a handful of guys under 30 and most are over 40, and its just a night for us to get out and have some fun.

Located on Nebel Street in Rockville, next to the framing store Arts Warehouse that Kurtz also owns, Band Kamp began more than three years ago with a three friends jamming in a small room next to the framing store.

As interest grew and they acquired the warehouse, they began advertising on sites like Craigslist to find more musicians, Kurtz says. He and his closer friends decorated Band Kamp themselves and built the stage.

Long-time participant Patrick Donnelly of Rockville says he has made 20 or 30 friends though attending Band Kamp.

I know this place had brought people out that have never played with anyone before other than their videos on YouTube, Donnelly says.

Kurtz rents the rehearsal space out to other bands Sunday through Wednesday for about $50 a session, and leaves Friday and Saturday nights open for concerts. Musicians at his Thursday jam session pay $15 to jam to classic rock tunes or guests pay $5 to watch, which is enough to keep the lights on, but not enough to afford air-conditioning, Kurtz says.