Saturday, January 31, 2009

Isle Youth School Open Mic

January 31, 2009

Today my group was invited to downtown Trenton to do a show and teach (Isle Youth School), a safe haven for kids to not be out on the streets. We talked to them about Open Mic, stage presence, singing and writing. How it has (can) changed our lives...what it means to us, and many of my guys have come out today, and talked about their younger years of coming from the trenches themselves...alcohol, drugs, time in jail...they so opened up and related to these kids. We spent the afternoon with.

They ask me to come back and teach some cooking classes, and us to do a performance again. Two of these kids read some of their poetry and almost knock me off my feet...also one of my regulars was playing and it was a catchy beat, so I got up and danced around the room!

I love volunteering and seeing how kids like this do what they can to redirect their lives in a positive way...

I have made a great bunch of friends through my Cultural Art Expression Group, but why are they all men? Would Freud have something interesting to say about this...

We will have footage of 'E' sessions uploaded with in the next few days, and you can put a voice to the HERE

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I had the opportunity to travel down to South Jersey and visit another Open Mic that is held in a coffee shop called Expressit, in Hadden Township, NJ. It is hosted by a very talented guy named Tom (above), who sets up his own three speaker sound system (jealous already), and plays acoustic guitar, and sings mostly his own material, or a redone cover song.

Having the privilege of going second and being the only poet was...well felt the same as when I perform my Open Mic, but I survived. They get a crowd that is there to watch, and perform very similar to what Cultural Art Expression has been doing the past year.

I meet Vito Frattale (above) down there, he had attended our Classic Book Store event, and invited me down south. He was just as great as that day, and is a really nice all around guy. I am hoping he and I can do a duet, 'Jackson' by Johnny Cash, that I will be working on. Vito has also volunteered to transfer our Open Mic sessions to our site and I will let you know when that is up.

Vito also was really networking for us, and invited many of these people to come up North once in a while to join our group. He was very positive about how well we are doing, and I appreciate that! I do believe we should ban together and it seems Open Mic for poets, acoustic musicians, comedians, and such have many homes down in that area, so I am hopeful we can also expand in the Central parts of Jersey.

This young man was just walking by, he is only 17 years old and has been playing since he was ten. His father plays the drums, and with that influence he has written his own songs, and what a finger picker this kid was. I took a photo so that I could say "I knew him when"! This was his first time to perform in front of anyone...

Read, Write, Sing, Play, Perform, and Peace to All!

Chef E

Expressit! 18 Hadden Avenue, Hadden Township, NJ Phone: 1-856-854-1001

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Last Tuesday Each Month

Well this is the last Tuesday we perform at the coffee house in Plainsboro, with a week rest, and then we start all over next month. Tonight we had so many show up, and have started getting regulars who come because they just want to hang out with other artists and play to a small to medium crowd once in a while.

We actually had a full house of coffee patrons, who did not pack up and leave when we started, they pretty much sat there and listened, and plenty of applause all around. We had two new people show up, and I felt bad. They did not tell me they were there to perform, but we still squeezed Karin (pronounced Car-in)into the line-up for a reading of her poem she had been working on, and it was great!

Juanita would have sang for us, but she just wanted to check it out first... Many of us did Inaugural songs or poems tonight. They were all great and a few made us laugh.

Thanks guys for another great night!

Performers tonight... Chef E, Poet Karl Dentino, Acoustic Kevin Dail, Poet Howie, Acoustic Jim, Acoustic Tim Allen, Poet Karin Jervert, Poet Juanita we look forward to hearing you on January 31st...

We will be performing at the Isle School of Trenton, Saturday Jan 31st, 1-4 PM
Anyone interested, please contact me for more information, or visit our website...

~Cultural Art Expression of New Jersey~

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Classics Book Store in Trenton

We all would like to thank Eric Maywer for letting us use the book store for our Special Open Mic Events every other month! We love it!

Don’t be surprised if you find a poetry reading or discussion group happening when you show up. Feel free to pull up a chair and browse.

In performance art, usually one or more people perform in front of an audience. In contrast to the traditional performing arts, performance art is unconventional.

Performance artists often challenge the audience to think in new and unconventional ways about theater and performing, break conventions of traditional performing arts, and break down conventional ideas about "what art is," similar to the postmodern art movement.

Open Mic & Performance Art go hand in hand, and can generally be found relaxing and a great environment to rejuvenate ones on performance abilities that lay dormant...

Thank you Karl Dentino, Mark Shardine, Bill Korns, Vito Natale, and the Isle School and Staff for attending our event at Classics!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Open Mic- Robbinsville 1/13/09

These are most of the performers last night minus me and Karl Dentino...

Ian, Poet...and a 'chef' dreamer, and you better believe I said no, stick to writing, you are talented...and you do not want to work for minimum wage at this point in your life...just come and blog about that 'popcorn curry' you told me about tonight, and you will find a culinary place among us!

Jacob...the 'quiet man' and they tend to be the real charmers, with his subtle singing and raspy voice...

Eric, what a charmer ladies...he could have easily taken over my MC job, and I would have let him...he has definitely performed before, many times!

Very astute this man is, Bill, he is new to the poetry scene but a great writer...

A couple of girls, Bridget and Kailey, who sing with Robert, and sounded the best they have ever so far...they have been practicing! Good job youth of today...

Brian is also a newbie to the scene, and was his first time...he was quiet, but give him a few more times, and I will have to run him off stage!

This is part of the crowd...I take pictures and video tape it, we have a website, but I do not have the video up yet...still working on that part...

Howie...this was his first time to perform live in front of a microphone...he sounds and plays like Bruce Springsteen...or Dylan...Great!

Robert is 15 years old and sings Mayday Parade like he wrote it...fabulous player and singer!