There are numerous Open Mic or Open Jam Sessions in Shenzhen but out of all those, there are three venues that seem to be on top of the list as the place to go and jam. Luckily for jammers, these places are situated at different parts of Shenzhen with one in Shekou, one in Nanshan and the other in Futian. These venues have become essential in the existence of Shenzhe' live music community.
Mondays, jammers flock to Idle Club at Maple Leaf Hotel in Nanshan for their Open Mic Sessions. Hosted by Shekou's pioneering rock band Mind the Gap, jams at Idle Bar could at times turn out to be hard rocking Monday nights. Idle Club has got a big and nice stage set-up, with a big screen at the back and good sound system. Aside from a great band who can manage to provide accompaniment to different jammers playing Chinese songs to the heavy rock, Idle Bar's set-up is a tempting venue for jammers since it's got that "major concert" feel. Musicians from all obver come; from sax players, guitarists, vocalists, drummers and whatever, they all go to Idle Club Monday nights for a good jam.
On Tuesdays, we go to Futian over at Mc Cawley's where without doubt, Shenzhen's Best Acoustic Band could be found, Harmony. Tuesdays at Mc Cawley's are Open Mic Nights and even though Harmony is an acoustic act, it could get as fun and as wild as a jam party could ever be. Even musicians coming from further places go to Mc Cawley's on Tuesdays just to go up on stage, jam and have fun. The guests and jammers are a mixed race of Brazilian, Fillipinos, Europeans, Chinese and Americans. Once you're inside Mc Cawley's Futian on a Tuesday night, you might look at your calendar twice thinking if it was a weekend as the seats are all taken, people standing and roaming around, and there is a festive atmosphere knowing that everybody will have fun that night. Tuesday Open Mics at Mc Cawley's Futian is certainly a big factor that make Shenzhen's live music scene exciting.
In Shekou, The Bu Bamboo Bar at Sea World just before Mc Donald's is a famous jam venue during Wednesdays. It's called the "Blues and Jam Night" primarily because the jam sessions started out with most players playing the blues. The open jam session is hosted by kaktooz, Guangdong Province's Tiger Translate Grand Champion 2012. Kaktooz is not new to the concept since they have been doing open jam sessions in Bahrain way back in 2004. Drummer Dennis Briones was also part of a band named Rock Network in the late 90s which hosted open jams at Blues Land in the Philippines which was attended by the countries best players. Although it's labeled Blues and Jam Night, the open jam session is open to all genres of music. Most times, Kaktooz will just play a couple of songs and will just let whoever wants to play go up on stage, but there are times when the jammers actually start the set and Kaktooz would not be playing at all since there is a complete line-up of musicians; which just proves the Open Jam Night's success.
All band/musician hosts of Idle Club, Mc Cawley's Futian and Blu Bamboo are part of PAC's artist community.