Student hosts diverse acts at World Café Live

For many of us, live music at the club level can be downright frustrating. Sometimes you leave the club exhausted from straining your eyes to see around both the pillar and the tall guy in

For many of us, live music at the club level can be downright frustrating. Sometimes you leave the club exhausted from straining your eyes to see around both the pillar and the tall guy in front of you. Sometimes you leave smelling like you’ve just smoked eight packs of cigarettes in one hour. This is not an experience many music lovers would want to endure.

This scenario is exactly what Hal Real hated when he attended clubs to hear live music. Instead of complaining, Real teamed up with WXPN and created World Café Live, a unique live music experience on 3025 Walnut St.

A show featuring Eric Roberson and Jaguar Wright on Sunday, Feb. 27, was hosted by Jamie Strenchock, a sophomore broadcasting telecommunications and mass media major. Strenchock performed the song “Tell Me” by Groove Theory.

The show was a combination of R&B, funky jazz and soul. Steve Sparrow was the opening act. His music was experimental, featuring beat boxing, hand motions and a poetry style of rap.

The big and bold Safa, whose single “Waiting on You” can be heard on Power 99, performed next. The high and low notes Safa hit were similar to Aretha Franklin’s range and matched perfectly with the funky bass and fast-paced music.

The playful, high energy music of Eric Roberson was next. Roberson has written music for artists such as 112, Musiq and for the Wild, Wild West soundtrack. He combined freestyle, comedy and honesty to produce meaningful and fun music. The audience could tell he loves his music and was having fun on stage.

“He’s an incredibly talented singer and songwriter, and it definitely showed,” Strenchock said. She was impressed the most with Roberson’s “humble nature … and the quality of his performance.”

The main act of the show was Jaguar Wright, a native of Philadelphia. The energy she projected on stage was more laid back than Eric Roberson. All of her energy came from her amazing, soulful voice.

Jamie Strenchock introduced all of the acts on stage, as well as singing one song. Strenchock has been singing all of her life, but she has become more serious about her music since she came to Temple. “There’s a lot available in Philadelphia for artists,” she said.

Strenchock hopes to have a manager within the next month, and she will begin to put together a six to eight song demo, which will be sent to record labels by September. Currently, she is getting in shape, writing songs and concentrating solely on school and her music career.

Strenchock became involved with the World Café Live show on Sunday through a booking agent she met at a John Legend show last November. Strenchock sang backup vocals for one of the upcoming acts, the J Hill Experience.

The Jaguar Wright show was the first time Strenchock had been to World Café Live, and she loved it.

“The setup was great and the people were really nice,” she said.

When Hal Real began transforming a 1920’s factory into a modern paradise for music, he made sure the problems he encountered in other clubs were nonexistent at the World Café Live.

The entire building is smoke-free, and no seat in the auditorium, located downstairs, is more than 70 feet away. The World Café Live takes particular pride in having perfect sight lines everywhere. Its Web site reads, “In all honesty, there really is not a bad seat in the house … It all depends on personal preference … you can’t go wrong.”

The café, which is located upstairs, seats 100 people and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Live bands perform during dinner hours seven days a week. These bands are diverse mix of all genres of music, something World Café Live is known for. Everything from jazz and R&B to salsa and mamba to folk and soft rock can be heard here.

Though the menu is small, it includes a variety at inexpensive prices. Entrees include everything from burgers and cheesesteaks to chicken, pasta and seafood. These entrees are priced between $7 and $18. The menu also offers delicious desserts, such as cheesecakes, chocolate cake, and sundaes. These desserts are about $8.

World Café Live is not known by many students, but it is a perfect place to go for those who are interested in an eclectic music-loving atmosphere. Tickets for bands are priced between $15 and $40, so it is relatively cheap too.

For more information on World Café Live and upcoming events scheduled there, check out You can also sign up for a newsletter of upcoming events .

To listen to songs and for more information on any of the artists who performed Sunday night, check out,, and

Morgan Ashenfelter can be reached at

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