Singer - Piano Player - Songwriter

Open Mic

Liza Marie Sparks sings
Liza Marie Sparks

Since 2008, First Street Cafe in Benicia has offered its wonderful Upstairs venue (great restaurant and wine bar with plenty of atmosphere) to a monthly Open Mic Night. On a Saturday from 7-11pm, Open Mic has attracted a wide array of local area talent, from performers of all styles of music and levels of experience.  Open Mic is 'variety night' where you'll hear an eclectic mix of styles, including original music, fresh interpretations of covers, jazz, bluegrass, blues, easy rock, even classical guitar and piano. In addition to Open Mic, a monthly Americana night, with three featured acts, is also scheduled on a Saturday.  Check First Street Cafe's event calendar at  Read on below to find out how it works and check out the photos at the bottom of this page or Ian Thurston's photo album.

 After fours years of helping build this wonderful supportive community, I have decided to take a break and leave the M.C. / organizer role to Kevin Radley who has been my collaborator for over a year. 

All credit goes to Kevin for organizing the Americana nights at First Street Cafe!
 I will still attend Open Mic as a performer from time to time, but I have other projects, both musical and personal, that require my time right now,
Musically yours,  Deborah




First Street Cafe
440 First



How it works 

Generally, each act is assigned a 15 minute/3 song time slot in advance so they can tell their friends and family to come out and support them! 

Send an E-mail to  or and if you are a FaceBook user, join the group "First Street Cafe Open Mic."  Kevin will you to the mailing list and send you a reminder about when the next open mics are and offer you the opportunity to reserve a slot, generally within about 10 days of the date.

Most of the available time fills up in advance but sometimes there are last minute cancellations and walk -ins can sometimes be accomodated.


Enjoy great food,

non-stop music and
meet some really cool musicians. 

Join the party!