Amateur artists showcase at local restaurant


Jordan Olesen took stage about halfway through the performances, blowing away the crowd and earning him a place in the finals. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

Local music artists and songwriters performed in a competition at Madison Bear Garden Thursday night.

Chico Unplugged, hosted by student-run School of the Arts (SOTA) productions, kicked off on the upstairs dance floor of the restaurant. This room was transformed into a musical stage and filled up with crowds shoulder-to-shoulder in the front rows competing for the best view.

Feji Etibo captivates crowds with her original performance and songwriting. Etibo took stage again later on in the night to accompany another performer with her guitar. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

“It’s a fun and interactive way to introduce new artists to the community,” said Carly Neville, event coordinator for SOTA.

“It’s the most packed I’ve ever seen it,” she said about the Thursday night event.

One of three winning groups Thursday night, Olesen impressed audiences enough that he will be returning Feb. 23 for the winners showcase. Photo credit: Josh Cozine

Three winners were chosen of the eleven artists and groups that performed. Jordan Olesen, Anthony Amanoni, and AXON will be invited back in two weeks for the winner’s showcase.

Chico Unplugged will return Thursday, where another group of winners will be chosen.

Josh Cozine can be reached at [email protected] or @joshcozine on Twitter.