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Arts Featured Rancho Santa Fe

Encinitas open mic night lives on

E-Street’s Tuesday night tradition gets some new love

ENCINITAS — Long time hub for the Encinitas coffee-goer, E-Street Cafe continues to hold true to its Tuesday night open mic tradition.

Ever since its opening in 2004, E-Street has hosted the artistically minded, late night cafe crawler’s dream: a three hour open mic that hosts some of the community’s newest and most promising talent.

But it’s not all about the creative caliber. E-Street open mics are known for their inclusive spirit, buzzing audience support and charmingly quirky environment.

Musicians and poets flock there on Tuesday nights for this unique experience.

“I do it for the love of it. It’s an excellent crowd and a pleasant atmosphere,” said one of the performers who only referred to himself as Robin.  As a local musician, he’s played every Tuesday night since E-Street first opened. “It’s probably one of the best open mics in San Diego…Not necessarily because of the quality of the equipment or the stage but because of the difference in people here. I think it’s an excellent representation of the Encinitas community.”

Each Tuesday starting at 5:30 p.m. artists are welcomed to sign up for a 10-minute time slot in which they’re free to perform any creative piece they wish.

There’s only one rule: all work must be completely original. No covers are allowed.

Dominic Alcorn, E-Street’s owner, said, “The rule brings an original artistic aspect to the open mic, and it also offers a challenge to our artists.”

Yaël Gmach, a long-time E-street musician, emcees the events. She and her husband Vladimir Yarovinsky play together for the opening and closing of the show.

Gmach volunteered to run the open mic six months ago and has since, she said, “put some love” into the event, to help give this nearly 10-year-old affair a facelift.

“At first I felt like the cafe needed a bit of life. There just wouldn’t be that many people signing up. But now people are finally getting interested in the art each of us provides,” she said.

Gmach has helped develop the event into one that’s focused and intentional. “The goal is to provide a space for open-mikers to practice in front of their peers and in front of other artists,” she said. “And then maybe one day it will mimic as if you’re in your own family’s living room, because we all come every week.”

The E-Street open mics officially start at 6 p.m. every Tuesday night and end at 9 p.m.

So if you are a musician or poet looking for a supportive space to test out your newest piece or just find yourself free on a Tuesday night, Alcorn invites you to, “come on by for a latte or a cup of coffee and enjoy the music.”

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