Mo Java Cafe creates space for local musicians to jam

  • Wayne and Judy Rezac sing along with live music at Mo Java cafe on Feb. 13, 2016 in Lincoln, Neb.

Four acoustic guitars, one bass, one mandolin, one banjo and a couple of microphones.

When putting together a live jam session at the last minute, these are the things Mike Mattison had in mind. The local musician had to scramble when he was called to fill in for another band at Mo Java Cafe in University Place. But he called up a few musical friends and soon had a show ready.

The cozy café was wall to wall with a crowd of mostly Baby Boomers. Three musicians took the stage and kicked off the show with a Neil Young hit, “Heart of Gold.”

An older couple sat near the window with drinks in hand. This was not their first show at Mo Java. In fact, they frequent the shop a few times a week despite living in another part of town.

“Coffee and friends keep us coming back,” Judy Rezac said. “We try to come for the music often. There’s been times where the crowd doesn’t come, and it makes me kind of sad because the musicians are really good.”

This time, Mo Java delivered a large crowd. Eventually, the musicians started calling upon friends from the audience to join them on stage. A woman joined in on the banjo while another came up to sing.

The music slowed by nine o’clock. The crowd dwindled. But the band played on.

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