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Under the glow of red neon light, Valley musicians gathered for open mic night at Twede's Cafe rocked out inside the downtown North Bend landmark while rain poured outside. Unlike jam sessions held at bars in the Valley, this weekly event is open to the whole family, and children have a blast participating.
"It's totally about exposing kids to music," said Dan Clapp, who has been jamming on his guitar at Twede's since owner Kyle Twede started hosting the open mic night about a month ago. He said that when he sees young restaurant patrons enjoying the tunes, he offers them a tambourine and a chance to join in because "you never know who you're going to turn on to music."
Singer and guitarist Alan Roberts, who was joined by his wife and two daughters, said the event is great for youngsters who are honing their musical skills.
"It gives them an opportunity to play in front of people and get some experience," he said.
Patron Peter Teekamp, a North Bend artist whose work lines the walls at Twede's, said this type of gathering helps "create a soul for the city."
"It's brilliant; it's the oldest thing to gather and socialize. I'd like to see this place packed with artists," he said.
"Kids can be inspired to make music. That gives them something to do, and brings crime down," Teekamp said. "If kids play at home, maybe their parents don't want to hear it.