Acoustic Open Mic Nights at Natura Coffee and Tea give artists opportunity.
On Sunday, they gave artist Al David Pickett a chance to perform without his metal band and sing alone on stage for the first time. They gave Michael Bowers and Aloewish Cheeseborough the opportunity to perform songs from their new album onstage. And they gave the duo Thrakish an opportunity to experiment for the first time with acoustic instruments.
Though everyone was working on something different, one word remained popular among all the artists.
If Sunday nights at Natura are a flowing stream of spoken word and guitar melodies, then Thursday nights are rushing rapids of power chords and drum kicks. Thursday is when Natura opens its doors to artists of all kinds, and the day where Thrakish guitarist Valentin Tomas played his first gig.
“We’re here tonight mostly for experimentation and promotion,” Tomas said after his performance. “We usually perform these songs electric, but we switched it up tonight. I’d say it was a success.”
The jazz, funk and electric rock duo had heads all over the coffee shop nodding to the beat.
Royale Entertainment’s rapper and CEO Aloewish Cheeseborough said that his band has only played Sundays at Natura, and Thursday will be the perfect opportunity to “unleash the beast”.
“This is about our fifth Sunday night at Natura, and we’ve always made it a point to be as smooth as we can be,” Cheeseborough said. “But Thursday gives us the chance to bring something completely different to a place we know pretty well. I’m ready.”
One artist faithful to the theme of the night was Winter Park’s own Kevin Felker.
Felker, a guitarist of 15 years, plays Natura every Sunday at 10 p.m.
“I love that it’s open to everybody, and you never know who you’re going to meet,” Felker said. “Most of my work on my website was done through engineers and recording people that have seen me play here.”
While on stage, Felker played one melody after another. His five-song set left the audience both captivated and soothed.
“The key to being successful in music is to always be practicing and performing,” Felker said. “The more you do that, the better it’s going to be.”
Natura's Open Mic nights are very popular for UCF students. The shop charges no cover and offers a variety of coffees, teas, beers, hookah and assorted snacks.
For more information about Natura's shows and Open Mic nights, call them at (407) 482-5000 or visit their Facebook page.