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Long IslandTowns

Patchogue open mic offers locals their 15 minutes

Brian White, of Medford, performs every Tuesday at

Brian White, of Medford, performs every Tuesday at Open Mic Night at Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company in Patchogue. (Feb. 22, 2010) Credit: Erin Geismar

Jordan Laurenti, who works at Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Co., showed up after work about five months ago with his guitar and started to play.

He called it an Open Mic Night and from that a weekly event was born.

Now each Tuesday, Laurenti said Open Mic Night usually draws between 15 and 20 performers and anyone is welcome.

Laurenti, of Medford, said since he broke the ice, performers have included classical guitarists, cover bands, original musicians, African drummers, spoken word poets and even a few comedians.

“Everyone gets 15 minutes,” he said. “And it could be anyone.”

Roast regular Hank Stone, who has become a co-host each week with Laurenti, said his favorite part of being involved at Roast is the mixed crowd.

“We get all kinds,” he said. “It’s a cross-section of the community.”

Perfect examples of that cross-section are the hosts: Laurenti, 22, who sang original songs on Tuesday night, and Stone, a 10-year veteran to the open mic scene and member of a three-person band.

But as if to prove their point, other acts that night included Edwina Lee Tyler, on the African drums, and Brian White, who played guitar and sang a few modern rock covers.

Then, about halfway through the night, Stone, who had been calling performers to stage in the order they had signed in, broke his own rule.

“We have to cut the line because otherwise it’s going to be past our next performer’s bedtime,” he said, bringing to the microphone 10-year-old Christian Guardino of Patchogue.

Guardino, short and stout with half-rim glasses, took to the stage without hesitation and belted out the classic “I’ll Be There” and the song “Listen” from the movie "Dreamgirls" – both a cappella.

Guardino said it was his first time performing at Roast, but he’s somewhat of a regular in the Patchogue music scene, having sung at the “Live at 5” summer concerts and in impromptu performances at Public House 49 and Perabell Food Bar, where his uncle works.

“I think it’s awesome,” Guardino said, after a packed house applauded him. “People just come up on stage and let their talent out.”

Roast, at 41 E. Main St., in Patchogue, holds Open Mic Night at 7 :30 p.m. every Tuesday. For more video from the artists who perform at Roast, check the coffee house's YouTube channel.

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