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In Sea Cliff, a monthly jam session for all

Jillian Santella of Glen Cove performs an original

Jillian Santella of Glen Cove performs an original song at The Creative Arts Studio in Sea Cliff during Seaside Songwriters Night. (Sept. 30, 2011) Photo Credit: Ann Luk

On a drizzly Friday night, 32 people packed The Creative Arts Studio in Sea Cliff for the fourth installment of a monthly community jam session.

The event, called Seaside Songwriters Night, was started in June by Glen Cove musician Jillian Santella, a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where she became wrapped up in the community music scene.

After returning to Long Island earlier this year, she soon wanted a place where musicians -- and sometimes even poets -- could share their talent in an intimate setting.

On Friday, the night began with the four featured musicians sharing one spotlight and each taking turns to perform their songs, sometimes with an improvisational accompaniment by the other three.

The performers included Santella, Cathy Rose of Sea Cliff, Spiff Wiegand of Brooklyn and Mathew Stegner of Merrick. The audience laughed as the musicians shared their stories and bobbed their heads in approval of the music.

The open mic segment was a highlight of the event. The first performer was 8-year-old Megan Trageser of Merrick who sang “Castle on a Cloud” from “Les Miserables,” drawing a large applause from the audience.

The session also included Mark Bogdanich of Glen Cove, who performed acoustic covers of “California Dreamin’ ” by The Mamas and The Papas and “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.

“I’ll come every month,” said Bogdanich, who has attended the event three times. “I wouldn’t miss it.”

Bogdanich’s brother, John, tagged along as a spectator -- his second time at the events.

“It’s an awesome night out,” said John Bogdanich. “It’s an incredible venue for people to get their best stuff out in a live audience.”

“We don’t have anything like this in Huntington,” said Karen D’Alimonte, 55, who has attended the event since it started in June.

Revenue from the $10 admission fee was split among the featured musicians.

For more information, visit Santalla's Facebook page.

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