Arts and Entertainment

Step up to an open mic

Performers of all stripes will have a chance to strut their stuff and participate in an Island institution at Café Luna’s next monthly open mic, scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 1.

The event is hosted by the event’s regular emcee and performer, Islander David Ray.

Ray said he hopes Islanders of all ages will come out to contribute music, poetry, stories, monologues and whatever else they would like to share.

“One of my most entertaining players ever did a book report,” said Ray. “It was fabulous.”

For Ray, a musician, songwriter and carpenter on Vashon, hosting the open mic has been a labor of love since the late 1990s.

Over the years, he’s seen the event move from venue to venue.

“It has this long Island tradition, and it’s nice it has found a home at Café Luna,” Ray said.

After Ray reeled off a long list of previous sites of the open mic — the now defunct Groove Garden, Bishops (now Red Bicycle Bistro), The Rock and The Hardware Store Restaurant have all played host in the past — he explained why he’s so fond of the format.

“I’m willing to endure the years of doing it because it’s a cool thing to offer a place for young people to play,” Ray said.

He added that he always enjoys seeing “the old hands come out to support the young hands.”

Ray, a youthful-looking man of 57 who has seen five of his own six children participate at open mics, said the get-togethers also fuel his own creative juices.

“I still love doing it,” he said, adding that “even when only one or two people show up, I’m always surprised that something magical or cool happens.”

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