Last Tuesday, April 4th marked the start of Tuesday Night Cafe’s (TNC) 19th season. TNC is an Asian-American open mic space presented by Tuesday Night Project (TNP), an Asian-American volunteer-based organization whose goal is to bring communities together by providing programs and opportunities that allow people to express themselves artistically.
TNC takes place in Downtown Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo every first and third Tuesday of the month, from spring to fall and features a program of various visual and performing art forms.
For its 19th season, Johneric Concordia emceed the event and DJ Waxstyles returned as the resident DJ.
Steady, a spoken word duo composed of Stephanie Sajor and Eddy M. Gana Jr., kicked off the event with a spoken word duet. Sajor and Gana, who are married, also recited a vulnerable poem about marriage.
The next performer was musician Rey Fukuda, who performed some original songs that highlighted the singer’s raw talent with just vocals and an acoustic guitar.
Next up were the open mic performers. TNC gives opportunities for people to sign up to perform during the event and performers are chosen at random through a lottery process. For the season opener, three individuals were selected. Their performances included a Tori Kelly cover, an original poem, and an original song.
Following the open mic performances, Tani Ikeda, in partnership with the Vigilant Love Coalition, premiered her documentary about the recent protests at LAX after the news of President Trump’s executive order that banned people who come from Musilm-majority countries from entering the United States. The film focused on Traci Ishigo, a fourth generation Japanese-American, and Sahar Pirzada, a Muslim organizer, both of whom encouraged protestors to sit-in at the airport’s Customs and Border Protection. Ikeda and Ishigo drew connections of the ban to the Johnson-Reed Act that banned Japanese immigrants from entering the country.
Tony Award-winning poet Beau Sia was the next performer and recited powerful, spit-fire pieces about identity. In his closing piece “Do It”, he urges audience members to avoid complacency and take action for what they believe in.
The last performers were musicians Priska and Kat McDowell. Both artists have performed at past TNCs, but this was their first time collaborating at the open mic. They performed original songs as well as a cover of Alessia Cara’s “Beautiful”, encouraging the crowd to sing along.
FilAm ARTS had a great time at TNC and will definitely be back to support our fellow Asian-Americans in the community!
Interested in attending TNC yourself? Click here for more information.