“There are so many people who are passionate about [music], and I think they just need the opportunity to practice, to perform, to get out of their comfort zone,” said Ann Hak, one of the organizers of the open mike night starting up in Houston.
The “Music and Mochas” open mike night was started by Liz Yeomans, Ann Hak and Dana Miller, and will be a monthly event at Brewstirs Cafe.
“It’s a space for people and musicians to come and perform whatever they put together, regardless of the style of music, and it’s for people in the audience to come out and appreciate it,” said Yeomans.
Asked what inspired the idea, Yeomans said it was the open mike nights she went to regularly when she lived in Beijing earlier in 2013.
“When I moved to Houston, the more people I talked to, the more people I realized played music, but you just didn’t know it. That’s where this came from,” she said, adding that she wanted to give a venue for people to play music together.
The event is open for all kinds of performances including sound poetry or comedy as well as music, she said.
“It doesn’t really matter how talented people are, it’s just about people getting out and playing, and people coming to watch who just love music.
“I really like that there is so much different skill, talent and style,” Yeomans said.
“You don’t have to be shy if you’re not the best player or if you’re just starting out.
“Everybody is welcome to play and most people respect that it’s pretty hard to get up and play in front of people,” she said.
Hak said that what she loves about open mike is the integrated and intimate atmosphere.
“You’re listening and feeling people play live music… [it has a] raw, authentic feeling,” she said.
“It’s a really great atmosphere,” Yeomans said.
The first Music & Mochas was held Jan. 3 and was quite a hit in Houston.
“We had 40 to 50 people, every chair was full, and we had six people perform, so it was really successful.
“Everyone was asking about it the day and the week after, asking when we were doing another one, so I was really happy about it,” Yeomans said.
Miller said she felt the same way.
“It went over really well. It was neat to see people get up and sing [and play]. It was a good turn out,” she said.
Steve Pitt played a few songs at the event and said he enjoyed the night as well.
“I thought it was a nice night. It’s good to get people in the community out and involved…you see little kids out there, and adults, and teenagers. It’s good,” he said.
“[It’s nice to] hear local talent and see what’s out there. As a musician, after playing all my life, I like to sit back and just listen and watch. You experience a lot of different personalities that come out through the music,” he said.
Organizers thank Pitt for supplying equipment and setting up a sound system for the event.
The next Music & Mochas event is at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 at Brewstirs Cafe. A guitar, keyboard and other instruments will be available for use. Anyone with questions can ask at Brewstirs Cafe, check out the Brewstirs Facebook page, or contact Liz at firstname.lastname@example.org.