Open Mic at Cafe Du Nord TUESDAY!


All Details at


Tuesday August 27 at Cafe Du Nord


Open Mic at Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco
Tuesday August 27th – One Night Only hosted by KC Turner

Sponsored by MONO!
We will be doing a raffle drawing for a MONO M80 Guitar Case! Everyone that performs will be entered into the raffle!

MONO is excited to partner with KC Turner Presents in supporting live local music in San Francisco. The MONO Creators Network™ is a newly launched organization focused on supporting musicians and the live music industry. Learn more about MONO and the Creators Network™ at

Cafe Du Nord is located at 2170 Market St. San Francisco, CA. The club is strictly 21+

-Sign ups are first come first serve at 7pm which is when doors open. Performers must be present to sign up.

-Each performer is allowed 1 song (not to exceed 6min).

-Music starts at 7:30pm and last performer is on at 12:45am

-We will record everyone’s set for free.

-We welcome all genres of music (Original or Cover)

HOUSE KEYBOARD: We will provide a house keyboard (Yamaha P-105 88 weighted keys).

-We don’t allow drum kits but light percussion is OK. We have a full sound system, a professional sound engineer, plus mics and cables. We’ve seen just about every set up possible from mic’ing acoustic guitars, effect/loop pedals, drum machines, etc. We will make your performance work beautifully.

-The famous and well respected Dan Foldes will be our sound engineer!

-There will be a $5 cover at the door to help us cover production costs for this special night.


Open Mic Documentary

Slim Critchlow’s latest open mic documentary episode is on the last open mic I (KC Turner) hosted at Cafe Du Nord! This really makes me miss hosting a weekly open mic in San Francisco.  Thank you all for being so amazing.  Please know that I am currently working on another pop up open mic.  Hopefully we can announce the date soon!

Recordings and Videos from April 23rd

WOW!  Open Mic at Cafe Du Nord on April 23rd was amazing!  Thank you all so much for packing the room and making it a very special night.  The talent was off the hook!


VIDEO of the night was captured by Slim Critchlow and can be viewed HERE.


Open Mic @ Cafe Du Nord Tuesday 7pm



Open Mic at Cafe Du Nord 1 Week Away! Tuesday April 23rd

That electricity you have been feeling, the spark in the air, has its epicenter at
Market and Sanchez Streets in San Francisco, where on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, KC
Turner Presents will again host the celebration that is the Open Mic at Cafe Du
Nord! On the top-shelf stage at this historic venue where so many premier performers
have played over the years, we are proud to present: You!


Our fondest greetings again, all of us who have made this event the warm, welcoming
community and crowd that it is, and greetings to people who have not yet taken the
opportunity to show your stuff to the most appreciative of hosts, staff and fellow
performers! And greetings to anyone who wants to hear some of the best music being
made in the Bay Area, up-and-coming talent after up-and-coming talent!


And we so appreciate that the almost-mystically-superb drummer Trent Boeschen will
again be with us to kick your performance up as many notches as you care to take
yours! As always, the impeccable sound crew headed by wizard Dan Foldes will be
recording your performance for the ages!


In short, it will be the hugest of parties, the biggest of show and a monumental event that you’ll want to be at, and it all begins on the cavalcade of stars that is the line outside the Cafe Du Nord!  Info for performers HERE.



Open Mic @ Cafe Du Nord – Tuesday April 23rd

One Night Only. For performer details CLICK HERE.


The Red Devil’s Last Song

The Red Devil’s Last Song
By: Eleisha Caripis


I hesitate underneath a neon sign where a fluorescent red arrow beckons me inside. For a split second I wonder if I am in the right place. A man checks my I.D and asks for a $5 cover charge. I am surprised but not annoyed. These kinds of things usually don’t require an entry cost but tonight is a special night. Musicians are jamming on the corner, practicing harmonies and working out extra guitar parts. A stamp to the wrist and I am ready to go inside.


I clamber through the dimly lit corridor amongst a sea of people all chattering excitedly amongst themselves. I feel as if I have just entered an old speakeasy, encased in rich, red walls and to my right stands a forty-foot hand carved mahogany bar. I make a beeline for the bathroom. I had gotten a little lost on my way to the Cafe Du Nord and am relieved to have finally made it, and to finally relieve myself. As I walk to the bar I look around for a familiar face. That is usually how it goes at the Red Devil open mic night. You don’t need to arrive with friends because you will run into someone you know already there, and be greeted with a friendly hug. It is packed tight as a drum and there is a general buzz amongst the crowd around the bar area, but as I walk closer to the stage I notice that most people’s attention are drawn to the musicians atop the small wooden platform, jamming away together soulfully. A guy with incredibly long locks swoons everyone with his exquisite saxophone solo as the crowd watches, gaze locked and completely immersed. It is a difficult thing to get people to notice anything when there’s alcohol around. I am amazed at the attentiveness and level of respect that is shown toward these musicians.


Usually held at the Red Devil Lounge, tonight’s open mic is at the Cafe Du Nord to celebrate its final showcase since the owners of the venue had to shut down the open mic. I had heard a lot about the Red Devil open mic from my musician friends and now I was experiencing it for the first and last time. KC Turner, one of the Bay area’s most well-known music promoters is hosting tonight, as he has done since its inception in September 2010. He talks to the crowd who consist mainly of loyal regulars as if he has grown up with them, which, in a way he has, “I’ve literally seen people grow up in front of me,” he tells me fondly. During its initial stages, the Red Devil open mic drew in about 15 or so and now it is one of the most popular open mics in the Bay area, drawing a crowd of 80-100 people every week.  I ask KC what kinds of people turn up to the Red Devil open mic and he replies, “TONS of regulars and always a handful of new faces. 9 out of 10 times the new faces became regulars. It was always nice to see someone find their way into our community. Everyone fits in somehow or another.”


Though the concept of an open mic has been around for years, the Red Devil open mic offers more than just your run of the mill sign-up-and-play event. It’s not just a chance to showcase your songs, it’s a chance to forge relationships, to become part of a community that supports and encourages your musical journey. KC describes it as, “the perfect place to grow.” And he’s not just talking about the musicians. “I grew as a host, promoter and community organizer. I really feel part of something with these people and it’s special.”
Being a musician myself, I know the importance of feeling supported and encouraged to pursue your music. When you make yourself vulnerable in front of a room full of people you become incredibly impressionable by their reactions. It can mean the difference between someone eventually becoming a signed artist, and another giving up on their dreams entirely. KC Tuner genuinely believes in supporting local music which is why he puts his heart and soul into creating events like the Red Devil open mic as a way for musicians to get the support they need to believe in themselves. I talk to newcomer Justine who has only recently started playing music and has been coming to the Red Devil for a few months. I ask her how it felt to play for the first time at the Red Devil and she replies, “It felt like you were on stage for real. You took yourself seriously.”

On stage, Mario Di Sandro plays a soulful, blues tune, backed up by saxophone, piano, drums and guitar. The musicians make improvising look easy, wielding each instrument together as though they have practiced this song many times before.


I manage to catch Mario after his performance and ask him about his experience with the other performers at the Red Devil open mic. “They are very welcoming. Very warm. Like a family. Everybody’s there. It’s like thanksgiving with grandma.” I ask him how often he goes to open mic nights and he tells me that in he has gone to twenty one in the last twenty four days. I ask Mario if he is sad that the Red Devil has to end and he tells me he is a little sad but he knows it will come back better and stronger. “The community will sustain itself.”

I observe the people around me, most seem to know each other and there is nobody left by themselves. It feels some kind of tight-knit club, minus the exclusivity. “The Red Devil Open Mic is very open, it lets newcomers in easily. People are willing to help others improve. I’ve met a lot of my closest friends here. Anyone in the community will become your friend if you just have a conversation with them,” singer-songwriter Tommy P tells me candidly. Tommy is right. Throughout the night I exchange numbers with a handful of people with talks of jamming, helping out with harmonies and even the possibility of recording. I am amazed at how easy it is to fit right into this kind of community, how welcoming they are.


I ask Tommy what it is about open mics that make them so special and he replies “It’s only within this kind of intimate space that you can experience something so real. You can’t rehearse that. When someone gives their heart and soul to a room of three it’s beautiful. It’s more human, more real than a well-rehearsed stadium show.” With open mics, you never know how many people you are going to play to, but regardless there is a certain level of respect for every performer. Tonight, the crowd is one hundred and fifty, though it never gets too rowdy and there is still a good quarter left by the end of the night.


My previous experience performing at an open mic was in Sydney and had been in a dingy, little, Irish pub, playing to a very small and mostly drunk crowd. It felt like talking to somebody who is watching tv, only half listening and barely responding. Musicians showed up to play and generally left straight afterwards, not bothering to interact with the other musicians or sticking around to hear their set. The attitude toward open mics in Australia are that they are a stepping stone for beginners and once musicians start getting booked for shows, they generally disregard the open mics entirely. This attitude creates an air of pretentiousness within the music industry which is something that I often struggled to come to terms with. It made it difficult to meet other musicians and to break into the industry for newcomers. There were small pockets of community but it seemed as if you had to know someone in order to figure out the inner workings of this veiled industry. KC believes that the success of the Red Devil open mic is due largely to the fact that it is “not a competition”, but rather a place which is “welcoming and full of love.” People try to include rather than exclude, inviting other musicians to sit in on their set, giving them a pat on the back after their performance and giving feedback.


The great thing about the Red Devil open mic is that each performance is recorded and made available for download online. KC keeps all of the recordings on his website and even keeps a diary that lists all of the performers of every single Red Devil open mic night, which he treasures with his life. He describes a moment of utter despair when he thought he had lost it and thought about all the memories it contains. It is clear that the Red Devil open mic is very close to his heart, particularly the people are the heart and soul of red devil, “I have made friends for life. People that have made me a better person and who make me smile every time I see them.”


Out of everyone, KC Turner deserves to feel angry about the demolition of the musical home which he built from the ground up, but he chooses, in true KC style, to be optimistic about the change, “It’s hard to see it now, but I am excited for what is to come.” The extra time will give KC time to focus on his other projects such as his renowned house concerts, where a person can offer their house as a venue for a performance from up and coming local musicians. Though I’m sure another event will eventually take its place, it is important to reflect on how the Red Devil affected so many of the musicians who found solace in its open arms. KC muses, “you couldn’t ask for a better local hub in your club. It was spectacular.”


The night ends in a merry throng with all the musicians huddled together for a sing-along of Bob Dylan’s, ‘I Shall Be Released’, complete with harmonies, extra guitar parts and a saxophone solo. What a fitting way to say goodbye to the beloved Red Devil open mic, who rears his luminescent, red horns for the last time.


Jasmine Pritchard on RDL Open Mic and Tonight’s Celebration


I’m going to come out and say it: I would not be nearly as happy a person as I am had it not been for the Red Devil Open Mic. KC Turner, in the year and a half that I have known him, has been a friend, boss, inspiration and mostly, a catalyst for me, and, from the stories I’ve seen and heard since the announcement of the end of RDL open mic, for other people as well. He has fostered a community so loyal, loving and talented that it is impossible for me to go to any music endeavor in San Francisco, on any given night, without seeing the smiling face of someone I have met through KC Turner and the open mic.


As I gear up for the blow-out party tonight at Café du Nord, I’m trying to let go of my heavy heart and focus more on the truth of it all – this community will persist. Our music and love of it was maybe garnered and realized through our affiliation with this open mic, but we cannot let it be extinguished by this set back. Instead of being sad/angry that it is coming to an end, I hope to see you all there tonight so we can reminisce about our shared experiences with the music, and the people of the open mic. Let’s talk about the first time we heard Addison sing “Colonized” and was blown away by that voice, or how we all sang along with Skeeze Nuts’ hit “first we get high, then we get lit, then we get drunk, then we talk $*!+, and do it all again, and do it all again..”. Then we can talk about how awesome it was to feature, and who we first collaborated with (for me, it was with Ben Brown on May 31st, 2011). We can talk about Mario’s blue guitar and how he’s covered both KC and Alan’s songs, how David Colon can breathe new life into any R&B song, how awesome it was to see Josh perform with SAGE for the first anniversary show. We can talk about the first time we tasted the Banh-Mi sandwiches, or the gumbo. And even the late night donuts that Julie brought, cupcakes that Anya baked, and the free La Boulange pastries that Trisha Hall used to bring. We can talk about how we used to check in on Facebook/Foursquare/Twitter to get a $2 beer, or how maybe we had a shot too many while singing along with Brentando’s crowd pleasing song, Bonafide (hey – yeah…. Hey yeah eh eh eh eh eh, hey- yeah). We can talk about how people like Rory Cloud and Maria Quiles and Ryan Clark and Melissa Lyn have found both musical and romantic bliss through the open mic. See, many happy things to talk about. If there is one thing to be sad about, it will be that we never got to see a classical guitar showdown between Ray Zhou and David Trevors.


The first person who’s music I downloaded onto my iPod from KC’s website was Greg Lamboy. My “feel good” playlist on my iPod has names like Bobby Jo Valentine, Gentry Bronson, Alan Monasch, Donovan Plant, Brent Shinn, Ben Brown, Mick Shafer, Aaron Ford, Levi Levitt, Endoxi, The Coffis Brothers, Alex Jimenez, Bobby Dunne, Robbie Welch, Thunderegg, Bekah Barnett, Roem Baur, Welcome Matt, and many many more. All names that I probably would not have heard of if it weren’t for this open mic. I have a 32 minute track of my featured performance that I listen to more often than I’m willing to admit, and that I know my mom listens to daily, all because of this open mic.


To anyone who’ll listen I’ll tell you about how I was celebrating/commiserating an end of a job on September 5th, 2011 and how KC hired me by September 9th. How having this job led me to the musicians I currently work with and how those same musicians have provided me with an avenue to actually perform myself. How without this open mic, I would probably still be in my boring job in foreign government instead of teaching voice lessons, managing musician’s business endeavors, working with KC Turner Presents, and co-founding a video production company with Dan Dan the Sound Man and Sean Dibs Burke. Which will bring me to tell you about how much I’ll miss the staff at the Red Devil open mic too. I met some of my closest friends because of being at the open mic. I spend much of my free time with Josh, Anna, Zimmie, Dan and Sean. All who were an integral part of building this community. I saw many of the open micers at Red Devil shows, and it was because of the level of comfort we had with seeing the staff every week that we felt the Red Devil was a go-to place even on non-open mic nights. For that, I am grateful.





I seriously hope to see as many of you as I can tonight – and not to say goodbye. But rather to celebrate all that we have gained by allowing ourselves to be affected by each other’s words and rhythms, and encouraging each other to thrive in our passion for music. I for one, have had no “bad” open mic nights, and I look forward to what KC will have in store for us next. I also look forward to my role in making it happen. KC, and my dear community, you have my respect, my gratitude and my friendship. Party tiiiiiiiiime!



Alan Monasch on tomorrow’s farewell to Red Devil Open Mic at Cafe Du Nord

My precious, irreplaceable (Red Devil) open mic community,

Our last (Red Devil) open mic is taking place tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb 26, at Cafe Du
Nord. I want you to come, I want you to be there.

In the last two and a half years KC Turner has gathered the most extraordinary
musicians and music lovers around him and his huge heart with this open mic as its
weekly meeting place, its weekly celebration. Since last Thursday I have heard in
detail about all the people who met each other on the line, all the people who
formed musical and human bonds, and it is difficult to contemplate what our musical
life would be like now had KC not birthed and nurtured the open mic and this
community. To say that I am sad about the loss is a gross understatement, and to say
that I value this community with which I have been so privileged to connect does not
even hint at how deep it goes for me, how deep I know it goes for so many of us.


Our community persists. Our connection to each other, our love, persists. Our love
for KC Turner (who is as good-looking as his audiences, by the way 🙂 ) persists and
is now even stronger. We will continue to support each other, to collaborate and to
play our music for and with each other, and I am looking forward eagerly to our


I want you to be at the Du Nord to share this particular precious connection one
more precious time. Even past all the seriousness, We. Had. Fun! Let us do it one
last time, before we do whatever wonderful thing is next, and let’s have it be the
blowout to end all blowouts! That, I think, is the best way to honor what KC has
accomplished and what we have all been and done together. And I think it’s the best
way to start the next phase of our journey together!

I love each and every one of us!


With all my heart,

Details on how to perform on Tuesday HERE.