Eugene Cho

seattle, music, and qcafe

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its really true.  everyone in seattle is a musician. everyone’s in a band.  everyone’s in with eddie vedder.  everyone’s in with dave matthews.  and if you’re not in a band, you just lie and say you’re still in a band.  and if you want to skirt around the idea, you just say, ‘i’m an artist.‘  but let me just say, i love seattle because it has so many musicians, artists, and creative folks. this is one of the highlights we have had in planting quest church five years ago: we have met such a diverse community of people – especially entrepreneurs, social workers, globally minded folks, artists, and musicians.

while qcafe has had its ups and downs, it’s live music venue has been a wonderful blessing. it has hosted open mic’ers, gospel, alternative, hip hop, local dreamers and stars, national christian artists, one grammy winner, and of course, many questers. because minhee and i are fairly limited in our capacity for free time with three kids, crashing the live music shows on fridays nights on occassion has been one of our delights. so, here are some of the musical highlights for our venue/church:

some favorite questers: mercir (fronted by zadok wartes who leads worship at the 5pm) who i believe can win a grammy someday and zadok has promised to squeeze my name in after he thanks jesus and his mama; dandelion method (joel & sarah heng-hartse)before they became a vh1 ‘behind the scenes’ story), and i admit, late tuesday (tara ward).  i’m a closet late tuesday fan but i’m finally coming out!  and lots of soloists from open mic, benefit shows, and gigs.  please don’t be upset if i’ve played favorites here…

other highlights: tyrone wells (check out this short video of his recent gig at qcafe); royal priesthood choir, nickelcreek (grammy winner and sick with the mandolin), ginny owens (blind but such piercing clarity in her songwriting) and couple local artists who have since gone BIG – shawn macdonald and smoosh (who just showed up in a review in the recent time magazine edition).

i’m thankful to the countless volunteers, and the live music coordinators of past and present for their incredible work, sacrifice and ‘love of music’ (leah, jennifer, and now, rachel). if you’re in seattle and you want to volunteer at shows (free admission & coffee!), email rachel@qcafe.org.  open mic re:boots next week on tuesday nights at 7pm and live music is on most friday nights at 8pm. we’ve got some fun shows (check out qcafe on myspace) lined up in the coming months and yes, the rumor is true: chris tomlin is playing the cafe in november but unfortunately, it’s pretty much sold out already.  and one of these days, dave matthews will pop in during open mic…

newer folks at quest as well as outsiders often question if it’s proper for quest to sponsor a non-religious cafe and thus, a non-religious music venue. the music we host is all over the board (the majority of the bands/music are not ‘christian’) as long as they sign our policy for no cussing, no hate lyrics, and so forth.  for us, this is a tangible way to serve the local community, to add and hopefully beautify the local arts and culture, to build relationships with folks, and a direct output of our philosophy to be missional. no preaching, no proselytizing, no passing out tracts – the live music coordinator gets up during intermission, welcomes folks, shares the vision of the cafe, and shares how a church called quest church who meets in the same space on sundays raised funds to start the cafe/venue. all in hopes that our actions speak louder than our words.

and one of these days, my band – CHOMAMA AND THE OVERCOMPLEXIFIEDS will play the venue.  stay tuned…

Filed under: culture, emerging church, Q Cafe, seattle

2 Responses

  1. eugenecho says:

    for those that have already emailed me, the comment about dave matthews was a joke. sorry to get your hopes up high.

  2. […] Q Cafe; Named one of Top Independent Cafes by Worthwhile Magazine; Seattle Times article on Q; Q Cafe Music Venue; on MySpace; on […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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