The Heart of the Gold Country

Musical Organ Rally & Concert

Musical Organ Rally & Concert

Antique Musical Organ Rally -- Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 24 – 25 2016. Experience the music of yesteryear! Unusual musical organs from all over the country and their colorful owners, performing on Main Street, Saturday and Sunday. Free indoor concert at Jackson United Methodist Church on Sunday. A one-of-a-kind opportunity for the whole family! Free, on Main Street, Jackson.

Sat: 10 am – 4 pm, throughout Main Street, Jackson

Sun: 10 am – noon, Main Street.

1 pm, Concert at the former Jackson Methodist Church, 120 Church St, Jackson

Contact: or Amador Council of Tourism, 209-267-9249


Strolling Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday, this free musical treat features beautiful vintage organs ranging from “monkey grinder” size to majestic. The mechanical  instruments play a variety of melodies, from dance tunes and marches to carousel and classical pieces.
Known as nickelodeons, music boxes, pianos, and dance hall organs, musical organs play perforated punch cards, “books,” or player piano rolls, and were featured attractions at fairgrounds and dance halls until the mid-1900s.
See these wonderful machines work and learn a little about America’s past. A free one-of-a-kind opportunity for the whole family!
On Sunday at 1 pm, the musical organs will assemble for a free indoor concert at:
Former Jackson United Methodist Church
(two blocks from Main Street)
120 Church Street
Jackson. CA  95642
Thanks to Jackson antiques dealer and organizer John MottoRos, and the Automatic Musical Collectors’ Association, music lovers of all ages and fans of all things antique have a chance to see, hear, and learn about these mechanical instruments that have entertained people for centuries. Their colorful musician-operators are always happy to answer questions about the music and the instruments.
The organs heard today are based on instruments produced in France, but more popularly thought to have originated in Holland or Germany. In the eighteenth century, the first mechanical organs, turned by a crank, were invented to teach canaries to sing. Soon owners realized they could earn money playing outside. That was the beginning of organ grinders. In the U.S., Wurlitzer Co. manufactured player organs for merry-go-rounds that are still a favorite in parks and at county fairs.