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Open mic night unites Fresno artists

On Monday Inside the small ballroom at the back of Mia Cuppa Caffe’ located in the Tower District, local talent enlisted in the Open Mic Nite for the opportunity to perform in a lineup with other artists.

Community members were welcomed by the coffee house to showcase their art on the main stage. Each act was allowed to perform two pieces.

All who weren’t participating were invited to grab a drink and gather around the stage to celebrate the diverse group of artists. The crowd was encouraging. Cheers echoed from the room for all who participated.

The artists were not limited to the use of the microphone. Dancers and contortionists sat alongside poets, singers and musicians waiting patiently with their guitars, notebooks and mixes for their names to be called.

Playing favorites from classic musicians such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley ignited participation from the crowd to sing along.

Performers even brought up fellow artists to jam along with them during their own segments. Dancer, regular and crowd favorite HD E. Simmons called on his brother and friends to join him onstage to highlight their contortion abilities.

Amongst the favorites, the night offered up new artists like Jimmy Plays Anything, who moved from Indiana five weeks ago. With a vocal style similar to that of James Bay, he was a natural performer and won the crowd over with two original songs.

For audience members like Fresno State student Hannah Riccardi, the scene was the perfect representation of the Fresno community as a whole.

“It was magical. So much talent, but when the talent comes together it makes such an impact. That was the illustration of revival and community and passion for the craft, and I loved it,” Riccardi said.