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Friday, April 18, 2014

Coffee & Jazz welcomes local performers twice a week

Island Thyme Band’s Keoni Borja, left, and John Ulrich perform during Coffee & Jazz’s Open Mic Night Sundays last weekend. (Contributed Photo) A number of local musicians have found a new home at Coffee & Jazz, with the watering hole on the second floor of the ABC Building in Garapan featuring them twice a week.

Operations manager Kayoko “Kay” Irinaka said Coffee & Jazz now hosts homebred musical talents through their Thursday Island Jazz Night and Open Mic Night Sundays.

“We actually started doing this in November last year with the jazz band Project Blue. They performed here for about a month every Thursday and Sunday.”

After the band’s contract with the bar ended, one of Project Blue’s members, John Ulrich, decided to stay and eventually formed his own band, the Island Thyme Band.

“We actually never stopped Thursday and Sunday night local performances. Later on we started to be recognized by other musicians and they started to come in and joined our twice-weekly gigs. Sometimes whoever is available just stops by and performs. We have anywhere from five to seven musicians at times performing on stage and it sounds amazing.”

Irinaka said Coffee & Jazz’s regulars seem to enjoy Island Thyme Band’s relaxing and cozy island-style jazz music. Aside from doing several reggae covers, Ulrich and company also perform original songs.

The five-member Island Thyme Band has a saxophone player, a piano player, a ukulele player, and a guitar and bass player.

With the success of Thursday Island Jazz Night, Irinaka said the next challenge for Coffee & Jazz is the successful promotion of its Open Mic Night Sundays.

“Open Mic Night Sundays is another challenge for us, but so far we are the only venue doing this event for people who want to have an opportunity to show off their talent like singing, reading poetry, doing stand-up comedy, etc.”

Coffee & Jazz comfortably seats 40 people and is open from 11am to 11pm everyday of the week. It is also open for private party functions for a minimum reservation of $500 consumable food and drinks. The place boasts of high-tech sound systems and lighting.

Coffee & Jazz is planning more theme party events in the future.

For more information or for reservations, call Coffee & Jazz at 233-7722.

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