Local cafe celebrates voices at open mic night

By Ricardo Pimenta

Café and Crepes is a delectable little eatery tucked away on Caesar Chavez Avenue.

A beautifully vintage two-story Spanish bungalow with wooden floors and ceiling fans, it has a cozy feel is only enhanced by its many open windows that allow a cool breeze in.

Before even entering the bistro, the smell of their ham and cheese crepe will call to the senses.

Diners can enjoy sipping on a warm coffee served in what seems like a bowl for a cup while enjoying the sounds from the open mic night that is held every other Friday.

The sounds of applause can be heard from the second floor as artist David Jesus Ybarra strums his guitar holding the last note of his song “Black Roses.”

Artists of every spectrum can unleash their gift unto the world via this stage on the second floor of Café and Crepes. Armando Flores Jr, Beatriz Magaña and Ybarra are the driving force behind this artistic outlet of the masses.

Being ELAC students with experience in both music and the performing arts, all of whom have a respect for the art, are mirrored by their dedication to their cause.

Jose Vasquez first brought up the idea of this project. After Vasquez left, Ybarra and Magaña continued on with the open mic nights.

Sometime after Armando appeared, taking great caution and pride for his instruments he continued to offer his contribution and sets them up for each show. Their mission statement is “Providing a venue for anyone to show their art.”

The owner of the bistro is Victoria Chavez who often hosts art exhibits at her restaurant; she agreed to let them host the repetitive event whenever possible.

All three of the hosts have a piece of work to share. A gripping alternative rap piece called “Dear Hera” by Armando can keep an audience silent, hanging on what follows next.

Poets include Magaña, who remained calmed and took a few breaths before delving into her emotions and reading her poem before jumping into a cover by Nat King Cole.

Newcomers Josue Fraticelli and Dylinn Nelson had the room at a standstill with Fraticelli reciting a powerful poem and Nelson narrating a remarkable short story.

Though some acts were not as talented or touching as others, the power and support this open mic group has is unwavering. Every act is enjoyed and given support, practice makes perfect.

Among each other, there is an unspoken acceptance of all art over all levels.

Be it someone barely taking interest into spoken word in front of their first audience, or covering a song from their favorite artist until they got it down. There is no shortage of applause, and help all along the way.

The open mic night has a variety of acts like harmonica with blue/jazz feel, to short stories taking shape and form for the first time.

Café & Crepes located at 4545 E Cesar E Chavez Ave Los Angeles, CA 90022.

The next open mic night event will be held on October 18th.


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