Open mic night at Incirlik brings out the stars

Fingers glide across the fret board of a guitar during open mic night Aug. 6, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Open mic occurs outside the Incirlik club complex and allows Team Incirlik members to showcase various talents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

Fingers glide across the fret board of a guitar during open mic night Aug. 6, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Open mic occurs outside the Incirlik club complex and allows Team Incirlik members to showcase various talents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Buchanan, 39th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, and his daughter duet during open mic night Aug. 13, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Open mic night provides Team Incirlik members to show case their various talents and happens every Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

Staff Sgt. Michael Buchanan, 39th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, and his daughter duet during open mic night Aug. 13, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Open mic night provides Team Incirlik members to show case their various talents and happens every Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

James Miller sings to an audience at open mic night Aug. 6, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Open mic night occurs Tuesday nights outside of the Incirlik club complex. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

James Miller sings to an audience at open mic night Aug. 6, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Open mic night occurs Tuesday nights outside of the Incirlik club complex. (U.S Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

Staff Sgt. Christian Maes, 39th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, finishes a song during open mic night Aug. 6, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Every Tuesday open mic night is held outside the Incirlik club complex and is open to all Team Incirlik members to showcase their talents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

Staff Sgt. Christian Maes, 39th Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, finishes a song during open mic night Aug. 6, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Every Tuesday open mic night is held outside the Incirlik club complex and is open to all Team Incirlik members to showcase their talents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Phelps/Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Melodies fill the air as fingers glide over the neck of the guitar. The audience sits back and enjoys the music as they sip their iced lattes and chat with their friends.

Senior Airman Jaqueline Bongard, 39th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist, cheered as the artist finished his song.

"My favorite part about open mic night is supporting the musicians," she said. "And on top of that, it's very relaxing."

The idea for open mic came up about a year to create for a place for people who enjoy playing or listening to live music, said Staff Sgt. Michael Buchanan, 39th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician.

"Some friends and I wanted to have a social place to relax and be yourself. It's hard to find places like that here since work and the military is kind of everywhere," he said. "This is a nice event for friends and family."

After some searching around, they found they could hold it right outside the Incirlik Consolidated Club in the patio area.

"It really makes for a very open, non-formal, family-friendly setting," Buchanan described.

Buchanan pointed out that although the club provides the space, it is not a 39th Force Support Squadron-run event.

"This is very organic. It's just a bunch of people getting together and having a good time," Buchanan said.

The atmosphere is very relaxed and is great for enjoying live music and meeting new people, Bongard added.

"The later it gets, the more mellow it gets," Bongard said.

Another fun aspect of the night is when the musicians sometimes will take requests and play songs for the whole crowd to sing along to, she mentioned.

They are always looking for new artists to perform, Buchanan said.

"If you're an artist with a talent or skill to share, come on out," he continued. "If you have it, give it back to the world. Our gifts are meant to be shared."

Open mic night is not just for music, Buchanan stressed. People can also come out and read poetry or anything else they might like to do.

"I started coming out because people found out I'm a musician," Bongard said. "I love it, but I'm not quite confident yet to go up there."

But, that shouldn't be a concern for budding artists, Buchanan pointed out.

"This is a great safe place to get started performing," he added. "I mess up all the time, and nobody minds. People are just here to enjoy the music."

Open mic night occurs every Tuesday evening outside of the coffee shop beginning at 7:30 p.m.