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An Invitation to Sing: Ebenezers Plans Open Mic Nights

Calling the musical types of Capitol Hill: Ebenezers Coffeehouse wants you to showcase your talents.

The 201 F St. NE coffeehouse, which regularly hosts performances by local artists, will expand its musical repertoire when it begins hosting open mic nights Thursday.

The open mics will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Thursdays of every month. Those who show up by 6:45 p.m. are guaranteed slots.

Gideon Grove, a native Washingtonian and former intern for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), came up with the idea to host an open mic on the Hill. He wanted to do it at Ebenezers because of its convenient location a block away from Union Station and its two floors of open space for performances.

He began working with the National Community Church, the owner of Ebenezers, to get the night started.

“I just want to get a good thing going,” said Grove, a musician who is working on his solo extended play. “Anyone who works on the Hill can stop by after work, grab a beer and watch what others perform,” he said.

While Grove wants people to write and perform original music for the showcases, the performances will also be open to people performing covers.

Grove’s inspiration is the Blue Bird Cafe, a coffee shop in Nashville, Tenn., that is renowned for its own open mic night and has seen the likes of Kathy Mattea, Garth Brooks and LeAnn Rimes perform.

He doesn’t expect the open mic nights to get as big as the Nashville scene, but he still wants Ebenezers to become a place that people want to gather.

“Whether they’re in D.C., new to D.C. or just trying to visit, I want Ebenezers to become known as a place that has a good flavor of what D.C. music is all about,” Grove said.

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