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Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night turns 10

Post Date:05/14/2019 5:00 PM

Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) celebrates its commitment to local music and helping musicians thrive next week as Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night turns 10 with an all-star evening of local music. 

During the last 10 years, hundreds of singer/songwriters have made Tempe Center for the Arts their Wednesday night gig, performing thousands of songs - even reciting a few poems. That's because at Walk-in Wednesday Open Mic Night people have a chance to play in front of one of the best audiences in Arizona. 

Each week, people come to Tempe Center for the Arts to play their songs and listen to work by others, to hone their performance skills and to get feedback from audiences, friends and other musicians. In the 352 Walk-in Wednesdays that have happened since 2009, more than 7,000 performances have been given. More than 20,000 people have attended an open mic night in the last five years. 

"This truly is what a local arts venue is about," Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. "TCA gives voice to Arizona's talented singers, songwriters, musicians, poets and artists of all kinds and inspires people to be creative and safely take a chance on performing in public."  

Mayor Mitchell will honor the event with a special proclamation. 

"I'm astounded by the amazing musicians who play here and really impressed at the way they grow their talent over time," host Walt Richardson said. "We've built a community of artists here who support each other as musicians and as friends."

Several musicians who have performed at the open mic have recorded albums. One started a music podcast. Musician Blaine Long went on to star on NBC's "The Voice." KJZZ jazz host and singer Blaise Lantana is a frequent guest at the open mic. 

Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic night started shortly after Tempe Center for the Arts opened, an idea by former TCA director Don Fassinger to activate the art center on a weekday and also help fulfill one of TCA's missions - to encourage and cultivate local artists. Tempe icon Walt Richardson got behind the concept immediately. Word got out and it wasn't long before a youth hour was added in advance of the adult night to make room for even more performances.

“Witnessing the growth and success of Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night over the years is one of the most satisfying memories of my career with the TCA," said Fassinger. "Of all the other open mic events in the area, I think the TCA’s clearly is the best!  Performers and audience members are treated to a spectacular venue, success-focused audio support and a community of performers and audience members dedicated to supporting each other and sharing an evening of music and poetry.”

People can come celebrate the 10th anniversary with cake, refreshments, commemorative T-shirts and great music. 

Walk-In Wednesdays Open Mic Night 
5-10 p.m.
Wednesday, May 22
Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe

5 p.m. 
Sammi Martinez
Scott Bomberg
AJ Odneal

6 p.m.
Michael Hummel
Gary Marsh
Brian & B Frank
Cowboy Wrecks
Jane Murdock

7 p.m.
Billy Cioffi
Cottonwood Stone
Jenny Jarnagin
Bob McCarroll
Walt Richardson

8 p.m.
Jason Messer
Blaise Lantana
Patrick Martin
Eric Ramsey
Robby Roberson

9 p.m.
and more ... 

keyboardist at Walk-in Wednesdays

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