Curated and presented by Grammy Award-winning vocalist-songwriter and revered guitarist Warren Haynes, the Christmas Jam is a one-of-a-kind music marathon. Since its inception in 1988, the concert has provided an opportunity for the performing artists, audience and the local community to give back during the holiday season. Over the past 18 years, Haynes - an Asheville native - has worked closely with the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity.
The first show was dubbed, "The Christmas Jam: Musician's X-Mas Reunion" and was held at 45 Cherry, a local club in Asheville, on December 22, 1988. This event has continued to grow every year and is now dubbed "Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam". The show sells out in a matter of hours every year. Because of the fantastic growth, it is currently held at the U.S. Cellular Center (formerly known as the Asheville Civic Center), and continues to feature artists and friends Haynes has played with over the years including The Allman Brothers Band, The Avett Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, John Paul Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Steve Miller Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and many more.
Initially, the charities benefiting from the Christmas Jam varied from the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, AIDS charities, and homeless relief groups among others. Haynes settled on Habitat for Humanity in 1988. For the past 18 years, proceeds from the Jam have gone toward constructing energy-efficient new houses (33 houses have been built to date with 25 more on the way) as well as purchasing and developing land for entire Habitat subdivisions. The Jam recently handed over a record-breaking half-million dollars, marking one of the largest-ever contributions to the organization.
Christmas Jam by Day
In addition to the main event, there will be numerous daytime activities for guests to take in. "Xmas Jam by Day" concerts will take over venues throughout Asheville and feature special collaborations alongside some of the best local musicians and the annual art show will feature some of the best photography and poster-art in music.
Before the Jam, Lend a Hand
"Before the Jam, Lend a Hand" is a signature volunteer event with Asheville Area Habitat that happens in the days leading up to the Christmas Jam. Since 2007, volunteers have been enjoying the camaraderie of working alongside other fans as they support the cause that the Jam supports - in a hands on way.
U.S. Cellular Center (Saturday, December 9, 2017)
U.S. Cellular Center (Saturday, December 10, 2016)
Featuring: Gov't Mule, Jason Isbell, Billy & the Kids, Hard Working Americans, The Revivalists, and more. Vince Gill was on the original line-up, but could not make it due to the passing of his long-time backup singer.
For the 25th Anniversary, The Xmas Jam format expanded to two nights.
Night 1: Friday, December 13, 2013
Night 2: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Special Guests: Craig Sorrells, Bill Evans, Roosevelt Collier, Casey Driessen, Mike Seal, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Billy Thornton, Ron Holloway, Mike Barnes, Ron Johnson, Jeff Sipe, Audley Freed, Count M'butu, John Scofield
Special Guests: Nigel Hall, Karl Denson, Ron Holloway, Terrence Higgins, Anders Osborne, Count M’Butu, Rob Ingraham, David Shaw, Ed Williams, Zack Feinberg, Dr. Dan Matrazzo, Mike Barnes, Artimus Pyle
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 10, 2011)
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 11, 2010)
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Cody Dickinson, Fred Eltringham, Sherman Ewing, Ruthie Foster, Audley Freed, John "JoJo" Hermann, Terence Higgins, Ron Holloway, Ron Johnson, Robert Kearns, Kevn Kinney, Ivan Neville
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 12, 2009)
Special Guests: Aerosmith's Brad Whitford, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Jeff Austin, Mike Barnes, DJ Logic, Jackie Greene, Col. Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic, Kevn Kinney & Collective Soul's Ed Roland.
Asheville Civic Center (Friday, December 12, 2008 & Saturday, December 13, 2008)
For the 20th Anniversary, The Xmas Jam was changed to a two-night event.
Night 1: Friday, December 12, 2008
Night 2: Saturday, December 13, 2008
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Buddy Cage, Karl Denson, Fiddle Dave, Robben Ford, Ruthie Foster, Audley Freed, Jen Gunderman, Ron Holloway, Patterson Hood, Derrick Johnson, Robert Kearns, Kevn Kinney, Eric Krasno, Edwin McCain, Joan Osborne, Mickey Raphael, Craig Sorrells, Travis Tritt
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 15, 2007)
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 16, 2006)
Featuring: Dave Matthews, Gov't Mule, The John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, New Orleans Social Club Feat. Henry Butler, Leo Nocentelli, Ivan Neville, George Porter & Raymond Weber, Taj Mahal Trio
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Brendan Bayliss, Randall Bramblett, Audley Freed, Col. Bruce Hampton, Taylor Hicks, Kevn Kinney, Branford Marsalis, Mickey Raphael, Dave Schools
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Audley Freed, Ron Holloway, Paterson Hood, Jason Isbell, Kevn Kinney, Edwin McCain, John Medeski, Stanton Moore, Brad Morgan Ivan Neville, Dave Schools, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, Trey Anastasio, Bill Kreutzmann, Mike Gordon, John Schofield
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 18, 2004)
Featuring: Gov't Mule, Neville Brothers, Little Feat, Living Colour, Galactic
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Audley Freed, Col. Bruce Hampton, Alvin Youngblood Heart, Ron Holloway, Kevn Kinney, Edwin McCain, Charlie Musselwhite, John Popper, Dave Schools
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 20, 2003)
Featuring: Warren Haynes, Gregg Allman, North Mississippi Allstars, Keller Williams, Sonny Landreth
Special Guests: John Bell, Jeff Austin, Mike Barnes, Doug Belote, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Tinsley Ellis, Col. Bruce Hampton, Andy Hess, Dave Johnston, Michael Kang, Kevn Kinney, Danny Louis, Edwin McCain, Todd Nance, Artimus Pyle, Paul Riddle, Dave Schools
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 21, 2002)
Featuring: Gov't Mule, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Moe., Bob Weir, John Hiatt and The Goners
Special Guests: Rob Barraco, DJ Logic, Audley Freed, Jerry Joseph, Col. Bruce Hampton, Kevn Kinney, Sonny Landreth, John Molo, Edwin McCain, Dave Schools
Asheville Civic Center (Saturday, December 21, 2001)
Featuring: Gov't Mule, Phil Lesh & Friends, Blues Traveler, Drivin' n' Cryin'
Special Guests: Danny Barns, Otiel Burbridge, Audley Freed. Mike Gordon, Col. Bruce Hampton, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimmy Herring, Edwin McCain, Robert Randolph, Dave Schools
Thomas Wolf Auditorium (Saturday, December 21, 2000)
Featuring: Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Herring, John Popper, Warren Haynes, Matt Abts, Edwin McCain, Aquarium Rescue Unit
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Dr. Dan, Audley Freed, Robert Kearns, Kevn Kinney Dan Matrazzo, Edwin McCain, Floyd Miles, John Popper, Paul Riddle, Dave Schools
This show was released on CD as Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Vol. 2
Thomas Wolf Auditorium (Saturday, December 22, 1999)
Featuring: Gov't Mule, Cry Of Love, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Edwin McCain, Warren Haynes
Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Audley Freed, Col. Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring, Larry McCray, Little Milton, Johnny Neel, Paul Riddle
This show was released on CD as Wintertime Blues: The Benefit Concert
Be Here Now (Saturday, December 19, 1998)
Featuring: Warren Haynes & Friends, Derek Trucks Band, Edwin McCain
- Kiss, Tony (December 11, 2010). "Christmas Jam Time Line: It All Started at 45 Cherry in Asheville", Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Morris, Jason (December 23, 2008). "Music Star Warren Haynes Gives Back to Community", CNN. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "It's time again for "Before the Jam, Lend a Hand"!". Asheville Habitat for Humanity. December 10, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
- "Warren Haynes Releases Exceptional Lineup For 27th Annual Christmas Jam", Live For Live Music, October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "Warren Haynes Christmas Jam Initial Lineup Revealed", JamBase, October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- Reed, Ryan (October 7, 2013). "Warren Haynes Announces 25th Annual Christmas Jam", Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- "Warren Haynes Presents the Christmas Jam 2012: Setlist and Gallery", Relix, December 17, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2015.