BERGENFIELD, N.J. — A Bergenfield native has been holding open jam sessions at Teaneck’s Mexicali Live in an effort to not only showcase local artists but to unite them with listeners.
“We went though a phase where everyone recorded music at home,” said Robert Mohr, the venue's event coordinator. “That’s great, but who’s going to hear it? We want to get people out into the community."
Mohr, a deejay at Fairleigh Dickinson University's WFDU-FM, performs with the ChinStraps and fills in whenever needed on guitar and drums with the Tuesday Family Band.
He and Mike “The Hat” Garrett approached Mexicali about staging the sessions. They've attracted 60 to 100 people to the “Tuesdays Ain’t So Bad” open jams that have been running since February.
“We had a women’s group of 10 or 12 that stumbled upon us," Mohr said. "The next month, one of the mothers came back with her son. who played for us. We have had all age levels and styles.”
After doors open for a 6 p.m. Hippy Happy Hour, artists take turns for 20 minutes -- or three songs -- from 8 p.m. until no later than midnight.
Previous lineups have included Jam Straight, Doc Lane and the Loose Change, Bad Intent from Long Island, The Upstarts, and instrumentalists Panda Jam.
With the holidays approaching, Mexicali added extra performance dates in December.
Artists can now continue to fill up the registry and have a chance to play with similar performers, or in a style outside of their usual set lists.
“Some (musicians) enjoy the challenge of not knowing what’s coming next,” Mohr said. “Some people almost want to step outside of their comfort zones. I am really passionate about the event."
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