Jared’s Jam at RiversEdge expands bill with 5 bands, headliner is Red Clay Strays

Annual event at RiversEdge in Hamilton in memory of local chef who was avid music fan.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

HAMILTON — A concert in honor of the late Jared Whalen this weekend will feature five bands, and the popular Red Clay Strays will headline the event.

“One of Jared’s big interests was music. He was a very creative individual, but he loved music. He made a list one time of 12 or 13 things he liked to do, and the first thing on the list was music. So, basically, what we wanted to do, since that was one of his loves, is to do something for the community that involved music. He loved going to concerts, too,” said Jack Whalen, Jared’s father.

Historically, the Jared’s Jam event has had two bands on the line-up, but the concert event has been expanded this year to include five acts. It is free to attend and open to the public.

“Jared had very eclectic tastes, so we’ve tried to do different things with the line-up,” said Adam Helms, director of resident services, City of Hamilton. “This year’s event lined-up great with Hamilton Flea. So, Hamilton Flea will be going on in Marcum Park on the same day. It will go down as one of the better days Hamilton has seen in a good while. You can go to Marcum Park at 10 a.m., and you can stay at RiversEdge until 11 p.m. And the line-up itself, it really runs the gamut.”

The evening event opens at 4 p.m. with Bedford, followed by Bee Taylor at 5:15 p.m.

J & The Causeways will perform at 6:30 p.m., and Cole Chaney will go on stage at 8 p.m.

Red Clay Strays will headline the concert at 9:30 p.m.

“This week, Red Clay Strays are opening for Dierks Bentley at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and then they are coming to Hamilton a couple of days later to headline at Jared’s Jam. We are very grateful that they are coming back for a third time. This will be their first time headlining a show at RiversEdge,” Helms said.

Previous performers at Jared’s Jam have included Chris Robinson Brotherhood, North Mississippi Allstars and Spafford.

More on Jared Whalen

Whalen was an avid music fan. He enjoyed all kinds of music. If there was live music in Hamilton, Jared always tried to support it.

“When Jared was in the kitchen cooking, he was playing all different types of music, from opera to The Grateful Dead. It was all over the board. We wanted to partner with RiversEdge to give something back to the community that Jared would really appreciate. That’s the bottom line, and they are good partners,” said Whalen.

Jared, 44, passed away from heart failure in August of 2018. At the time of his passing, he was an executive chef at Coach House Tavern & Grille. Whalen was a 1993 graduate of Hamilton High School.

Whalen described his son Jared as “one-of-a kind. He was humble, kind and fun to be with.”

He said Chef Jean Robert De-Cavel, who Jared had previously worked with at the Maisonette, called him “an original.”

“People said that he was a very great, talented chef, but he was an ever-better person. He was always good to his staff in the kitchen. He made it fun. People loved to be around him. He had a sense of humor and he was mischievous. Apparently, he was a prankster, and he used to do some things (pranks) in the kitchen. We’ve heard stories about that,” Whalen said.

Jared also liked painting and restoring old Volkswagens. He had a couple of old Volkswagen bugs. He liked hiking, biking and architecture, and he had even hiked on the Appalachian Trail. He enjoyed exploring different things, and he loved the outdoors.

“He was a unique individual. That’s what Jean Robert said, and I’d have to put it in that category. He was a talented chef, but the thing that I would like to leave with people is that he was a really good person, and he was a great teacher and mentor to other people,” said Whalen. “He was a happy person with a sparkling personality. He made people happy, and he enjoyed making people happy.”

Whalen’s family is actively involved in the concert planning. Jared’s brothers John and James work with Adam Helms at RiversEdge on selecting the band’s that play on the annual concert line-up. Jared and his brother’s shared the love of music.

“My family comes down from Western New York, and we’ve had some family come in from Phoenix, and it gets the family together. What it means to us, that’s one thing, but the other thing is looking around and seeing people are enjoying it and happy, and enjoying the music, which would have made Jared very happy,” Whalen said.

How to go

What: Jared’s Jam

When: 4-11 p.m. Saturday

Where: RiversEdge Amphitheater at Marcum Park, 116 Dayton St., downtown Hamilton

Admission: Free

More info: riversedgelive.com

About the Author