Holmes cafe mixes live music into coffee

James Green

The Holmes Student Center’s College Grind will host live music Monday nights for free.

For the first three Mondays of every month, the Leftridge Sextet, led by Kenneth Leftridge, senior jazz studies major, will play at 8 p.m. at the cafe.

A different band will perform in the Sextet’s place every fourth Monday; due to last week’s campus closure, the band this Monday was Soul Injection, which is made up of student musicians.

“Our initial focus is jazz music, but we really want to incorporate other genres like R&B or rap,” Leftridge said.

Other musicians can join in open jam sessions starting at 9:15 p.m. Mondays. Those interested can register via a sign-up sheet. At the start of the jam session, Leftridge and others will mix and match an improvised band from the list, giving players an opportunity to meet and perform with new people.

“We’re trying to build a community so everyone will get to experience the music,” Leftridge said. “The goal is to push the art.”

NIU is using the cafe to give musicians another stage. Jerry Williams, senior jazz studies major and Soul Infusion’s tenor sax player, is excited to be a part it.

“It’s creating new opportunities for musicians, especially now that the House is closed,” Williams said. “It opens up music to the center campus, and it’s really convenient.”

Students in Monday’s audience appreciated the venue, as well.

“I think its a good thing for students to get to come out,” said junior dietetics major Kaitlin Oberle.