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Get to know the musicians from our first Tokyo Unplugged open mic night

Tokyo Unplugged: Time Out Acoustic Open Mic Night
Photo: Kisa Toyoshima

Gathering music talents from Tokyo and abroad, we at Time Out hosted our first ever Tokyo Unplugged open mic night on November 14 at Time Out Tokyo Café & Diner. It was a fun and enjoyable evening, featuring music spanning all genres. In fact, we had such a great turnout that we've set up another open mic night for Thursday December 19 – just in time for the year-end holidays. So pencil that in on your calendar – and in the meantime, here's a rundown of the amazing artists who performed at our November event.

(Note: if you'd like to perform on December 19, we are taking applications leading up to the event. Click here to apply as a performer, or here to buy tickets to the event.)

The evening kicked off with Ciara Shaughnessy. Ciara is the lead singer of the band Jambambloo, who are working towards their first album release in early 2020. Hailing from Canada, Ciara has brought her unique style of blues, rock and country to Tokyo. Don't miss her upcoming gigs at What the Dickens on December 8 and 9.

Hailing from Moscow, Russia, Ilya Osver leans towards rock and he covers everything from Iron Maiden to Chic. You'll find him performing at various open mic events around Tokyo, so follow him on Instagram for news and updates. 

Chris Baylut comes to Tokyo from New York City and you can often find him singing at various events around the capital, including More Than Music. His style centres around alternative rock and post-punk, with an acoustic guitar as his trusty instrument. These days, Chris is also leaning towards a blend of ambient folk and folk-rock styles while utilising a variety of guitar harmonic methods and vocal harmoniser effects. 

Mecca also performed for us that evening, serenading the crowd with her R&B and pop covers, including a hit from Destiny's Child. Get updates through her Instagram and listen to her latest music on Spotify

London native Robert Taira Wilson shared some of his original songs at our open mic session. It's hard to label his music under a specific genre but he takes cues from folk, jazz, classical, rock, pop and alternative styles. He's on iTunes and Spotify – go have a listen. 

Meet Elliot and Milia of El Luna. Both accomplished singers, the duo came together to give us a soulful performance. Elliot is also part of another Tokyo-based band called Kurodeko, which you can check out here

The soulful Grace Li from Los Angeles took to the stage with her original R&B and pop songs, including her latest single 'War' which you can listen and download here

Kwan also played a set with his trusty guitar, treating the crowd to his gentle voice and acoustic tunes. 

Our Open Mic Night also welcomed Samm Bennett from Alabama and Daisuke Kuroda from Tokyo, both of whom formed the Bennett-Kuroda duo. The two musicians focus on a mix of blues, country, folk and ballads, and they perform regular monthly sets at Fuglen in Asakusa. 

Josiah Hawley from Arkansas also dropped in for a few songs, where he dazzled the audience with his edgy R&B-laced vocals. See what's new with Josiah on his official Instagram.

Kevin Gray from the UK also played a few hits from his repertoire of slow Cuban funk and uber-rockabilly. Want more? Follow Kev Gray & The Gravy Train on Facebook

A national-anthem juke boxer? Yes, really. Meet Kentaro, the man who can sing the national anthems of more than 20 countries. 

Rapping since the age of five, Hawaiian native Anthony Henderson wow-ed the crowd with his alternative hip hop hits. 

Our next Tokyo Unplugged: Time Out Acoustic Open Mic Night is happening on Thursday December 19. Get the deets here.

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