SUNDAYS: Open Mic with Ron Grant
The longest running and most prestigious open mic night in the world. Chaka Kahn, Prince, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx and many other celebrities have been known to stop in and watch the stars of the future (and sit in themselves). $15.00 Cover Charge per person$15.00 Cover Charge
For reservations go to our reservation page, or call 212.777-7745
The Open Mic concept is not a new one, it has been tested and tried for many years in many venues all across the country. Aspiring artists take the spotlight on a small stage with local musicians and pour their hearts out in song – searching for stardom – reaching for their dreams.
The Ron Grant & Friends Open Mic Showcase at the Village Underground is no different. It imbues all of the same talent, passion, excitement and anticipation, but the similarities end there. The true magic however lies in the superior musicianship of the hosts and band. .
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening is Ron Grant, who shares his responsibilities with two first ladies Cheryl Pepsii Riley and Melonie Daniels, and a featured co-host Mike Davis.
Grant is no stranger to the Open Mic circuit having produced several successful showcases over the past ten years at top New York City nightspots such as: The Blue Angel, Chas & Wilson’s and Cheetah. An accomplished vocalist in his own right, Ron Grant has toured internationally, recorded jingles for major companies i.e. AT&T, M&M, Pizza Hut and Frito Lay, recorded background vocals for Mariah Carey, Chaka Kahn, Bryan McKnight, Teena Marie, The Temptations and TheNotorious B.I.G. among many others, and has appeared on The Today Show, The Phil Donahue Show, The Bobby Jones Gospel Hour and the Martin Luther King Jr. television special.
Ron’s passion for music is also exemplified in his work as the musical director and organist for the Church Of Christ Disciples and as a Senior Executive at Sony Music where he is charged with the task of finding, nurturing and promoting new talent. It is this passion that Ron brings to the Village Underground every Sunday night, and it is this passion that places the Ron Grant & Friends Open Mic Showcase in a class by itself.
Cheryl Pepsii Riley
In 1988 her hit song Thanks For My Child became the anthem for every single mother and etched her name in the consciousness of music lovers everywhere. Since then Ms. Riley has lent her talents to the mediums of stage, film and recording, and has distinguished herself as a true professional, whose dynamic stage persona and radiant smile is overshadowed only by the depth and range of her vocal prowess. Touring nationally with several stage productions i.e. He Say, She Say w/ Kirk Franklin, Mama Don’t w/ Clark Sisters, The Fool And His Money w/ Dave Hollister and Glenn Jones, Talk Show Live w/ Adele Givens and recently the Fabric Of A Man w/ Shemar Moore nominated for 14 NAACP Image Awards, Cheryl Pepsii Riley is a guaranteed showstopper.
Ms. Riley has also worked with a stellar list of recording artists – in the studio and on tour, including Missy Elliott, Jessica Simpson, Patti LaBelle, Full Force, Kenny Lattimore, Phillip Bailey, Glenn Jones and Celine Dion to name a few. Her renditions of What If God Was One Of Us, People Make The World Go Round and Been So Long leave audiences either breathless . . . or begging for more!
To hear her gospel enthused rendition of the theme song for the popular television sitcom The Brady Bunch, is to be transported into the realm of musical ecstasy. This comedic excursion however does not belie Melonies serious power and magnificence as a vocalist. Her range is incredible, her phrasing impeccable, and her musical sensitivity intriguing. A much sought after studio, session and tour background singer, Melonie has worked with Mariah Carey (10 years), Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, and Marc Anthony among many others.
A native New Yorker from Long Island, Melonie remains true to her first love Gospel Music. Her name is well respected in gospel circles and she has performed with a host of community church choirs, gospel ensembles, The Donnie McClurkin New York Restoration Choir and David Gates & The Love, Peace and Joy Singers. With her hectic schedule and numerous professional engagements, Daniels still manages to fulfil her commitment as her church choir director a position she has held for the past 10 years.
With over 15 years professional experience to his credit, Mike Davis has amassed a loyal New York fan base. As one of the featured vocalists at Funk Night at the Cafe Wha? on Tuesdays, Mike needs no introduction to the local music scene, having performed at all of the popular nightspots in the city i.e. The Blue Angel, Chas & Wilson’s, Nell’s, Groove, Smalls Paradise, Life, 101 etc. His natural musical ability is a rarity, and his aggressive yet sensitive vocals are stimulating, sensual and strong.
Over the years Mike Davis has shared the stage with the likes of Chaka Kahn, Glenn Jones, Freddie Jackson, Nona Hendryx and Luther Vandross and has collaborated with Joe, R. Kelly, Hi Five and various artists from the So So Def camp.
Comprised of an impressive list of accomplished musicians who have recorded, toured and collaborated with some of the industry’s most prolific entertainers, the versatility and musical dexterity of this ensemble is second to none. Be it funk, rock, reggae, r&b, pop, gospel or the blues, this band delivers.
Mike Campbell Chaka Kahn, Angie Stone, D’Angelo, Freddy Jackson Lead Guitar
Tony Stevenson Force MD’s, Patti Austin, Freddy Jackson, Najee Bass Guitar
Nathaniel Townsley Joe, Kelly Price, Faith Evans, Chico DeBarge, Jessica Simpson Drums
Stanley Brown Salt n Pepa, Dru Hill, Christopher Williams, Ron Isley, Karen Clark, Organ
Apart from the resident band members there are always professional studio, session and tour band members that drop by to jam with the band. This list includes the likes of Michael Phillips, Mary Beniyre, Bernard Bell, Benjamin Love, Carl Brown, Jay Sweeney, Ron Long among others.
The evening attracts a wide range of celebrities, from professional athletes to comedians, to actors/actresses to recording artists and industry executives;
Recording Artists Professional Athletes Comedians Mariah Carey John Starks Drew Frazier Carl Thomas Earl The Pearl Monroe Monteria Ivy Bryan McKnight Kurt Thomas Aaron Hall Herb Williams Bilal Rodney Hampton Industry Executives Alyson Williams Tommy Mattola Grand Puba Actors Cory Rooney D’Atra Hicks Danny Devito Demmette Guidry Darryl Coley Shemar Moore Dedra Tate Natalie Wilson Morris Chestnut Laverne Kennedy C. D. Hawkins Big Lez Jamie Hawkins Carl Anthony Payne
LIGHTS & SOUND
Jon Steiner is the resident Light & Sound engineer. With over 15 years experience, he has worked at several New York City hotspots. Affiliated with the Village Underground from its inception, Jon has played a critical role in the development and design of the sound and lighting system at the club. His creativity and technical knowledge are important catalysts to the success of the Ron Grant & Friends Open Mic Showcase.