Looking for a Place to Jam? Just Head Over to Jamnesty

Steaming cups of coffee and open laptops are the typical sight in Mountain View’s Red Rock Coffee Company, except for on a few nights when the room becomes a happening hangout for local high school students thirsting for entertainment.
Organized by the school’s Amnesty International club and the Mountain View Youth Advisory Committee, Jamnesty Open Mic nights provide an opportunity for local high school performers to sing, read poems or flaunt a talent in any way they wish.
This year, there has been a considerable increase in the number of Jamnesty nights.
“We decided that Jamnesty events were really successful and a lot of people came to them,” Amnesty International President senior Mandeep Chahal said. “It was a really good way to raise awareness and do fundraising at the same time.”
Although the club only intended to do three or four Jamnesty events this year, it has already held three and plans to host more open mic nights before the year ends.
Each Jamnesty night takes place in a room on the second floor of the building. With over 20 tables, the room can seat around 100 people and is usually packed before the start of a show.
Performers come from the school as well as other local schools, including Archbishop Mitty, Mountain View and Saint Francis High Schools. Despite their geographic differences, the students share a common goal in that they intend to put on a good show.
“We just hang out and listen to people singing and performing,” junior Sarah Loebner said. “It’s pretty laid-back and it’s a good time. It’s pretty cool when a good band shows up.”
Because the club does not charge at the door, it requests that everyone in the audience donate during the show.
Club members also sell two raffle tickets for a total of $1; the winner of the raffle receives a homemade cake.
According to history teacher Seth Donnelly, the club often makes over $100 through each Jamnesty night.
The most recent Jamnesty event was held on Saturday, February 14.
According to Mandeep, the proceeds went to support SOPUDEP School, Los Altos High School’s sister school in Haiti; Donnelly had initially introduced SOPUDEP School to the club.
Each Jamnesty event provides a unique venue for students to perform, watch their peers perform and all the while support a school club.
“I like how anyone can go out there and grab the mic and express themselves freely in their own particular way,” senior Elior Ilishah said.