Trend Coffee and Tea House is all about music.
Although not a new event, open mic nights hosted by Greg Spinelli are held each Wednesday night at the Trend Coffee and Tea House in Montclair from seven to 11 p.m. If there is a time and place to get any budding musician, poet or performance artist heard and possibly discovered, the time is now and the place is Trend.
For those who are unfamiliar with Trend, the place was built in 1860, which shows through its beautiful rustic charm of mirrors and other assorted furniture, golden walls, architecture (especially the bay windows) and decor. Other features include a separate back room complete with coffee tables, chairs and couches that make it literally feel like home.
Adding to the homey atmosphere is a warm and friendly staff, led by equally warm and friendly owner Dmitri. Best of all, there is a vast variety of food, from Greek/Mediterranean to French and salads to assortments of sandwiches and quiches. There is something for everyone, including vegan and gluten-free options. Visitors can also choose from a wide array of flavored and non-flavored coffees and teas, and even ice-cream floats with coffee as a drink.
The event itself is very unpredictable in regards to the kinds of acts that perform each week. Unpredictability is really the best part, which helps visitors and performers alike open their minds to music as diverse as the Montclair area itself.
Last night’s event was no exception. Husband-and-wife duo Jason and Casey of Jungle Gym Jam started off the night. As Jason puts it, they are a ‘kindie’ rock band, which means that their music is of indie-style, but geared predominantly towards young children.
They performed “Jungle Gym Jammin’,” “Bowling Party” and “Don’t Put the Pick in Your Mouth.” All three songs were inspired by their toddler daughter Holly, who was also in attendance last night. The last song will be on iTunes very soon. For those with young children, this duo is highly recommended. For more information, visit their website.
Another talented musician is Zach Halpert, who performed jazzy keyboard renditions of Kermit the Frog’s “Songs about Rainbows” and Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young.”
Other acts that followed were David Gorski and newcomer Randi O’Neal, both of whom performed their original songs using acoustic guitar and voice.
As was mentioned earlier, open-mic nights are not exclusive to musical acts. Following Randi O’Neal, a young woman known only as Transparent Concrete presented everyone with three of her original poems: ‘Wall Clock Frisbee,’ ‘Clouds are Clarity’ and ‘Treehouse of Mid-Cards.’
Following the spoken word was a young man known as Rostafa, who performed “Honky Cat” and “Candle in the Wind,” both originally by Elton John. He has a Facebook page called “Rostafa 101” for those interested in hearing what he is all about.
Trend Coffee and Tea House is located on 411 Bloomfield Avenue, and feel free to check out their Facebook page and their website. Hope to see everyone there to experience all the warmth and goodness it entails!