Tahoe Onstage: Everyone’s welcome at Base Camp Pizza Co.’s open mic night Thursdays in Heavenly Village

Ted Kennedy brings live music to Base Camp Pizza and encourages the next generation of players, too.
Ted Kennedy brings live music to Base Camp Pizza and encourages the next generation of players, too.

It’s a weekday powder morning, which means enthusiastic locals and lucky out-of-towners are positioned for an unforgettable experience of thick snow, fresh lines and high altitude fun. After the lifts close, what better way to cap off such a day than an evening of upbeat live music? Maybe get up and play a song yourself?

You can do just that tonight at Base Camp Pizza Co.’s open mic night, now sponsored by Tahoe Onstage. While the restaurant features two sets of live music every day, Thursday nights are open to anyone to jump onstage and croon a few tunes, starting around 5 p.m.

Founded in 2012, Base Camp Pizza Co. has made a point of featuring live music from a wide variety of acoustic and electric acts in a festive resort setting. Combined with sister restaurants California Burger Co. and Azul Latin Kitchen, Base Camp now provides more than 1,400 live shows each year, covering pop, blues, classic rock, folk, bluegrass and more.

Tahoe-Onstage2Setting out with a firm commitment to showcasing live music, owners Ted Kennedy and Ray Villaman had to scout and recruit local musicians, a process helped by the open-stage night.

“You just have to develop that scene, you have to tell that story,” Kennedy said. “Open mic was a great way to do it.”

Hosted by Roger Collins and Kennedy, the Thursday night events helped attract and develop a widening pool of players, many of whom have gone on to play larger venues in the area.

“So all of a sudden, here’s a guy that’s grown up with us having great success in the music scene. Hopefully, we fostered and were a part of,” Kennedy said.

The musicians also give back to the community with their tunes, donating the proceeds of the night’s tip jar to Bread and Broth, a local nonprofit group that provides free meals to needy residents, raising $800 or more monthly.

Related story: Restaurateurs cook up culture of music in Heavenly Village LINK

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Tahoe Onstage
Tahoe Onstage is an online entertainment and sports magazine covering Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Reno, the Carson Valley and June Lake.

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