Two Students Revive Dunster Cafe

Harvard students looking for good conversation, good food and good coffee may now be able to find all three at Dunster House.

Residents Jeremy A. Greene '96 and Adam A. Haile '96 have breathed new life into the Dunster Cafe, a free semi-monthly coffeehouse featuring live musical and dramatic performances by students.

Dunster coffeehouses have been held only once or twice a year for the past two years, Greene said.

"We decided to make it something more than it had been in the past," Haile said. "So far, it's been very successful."

The Cafe held its third coffeehouse Thursday evening. Between 60 and 80 people dropped by, Greene said.

Dunster residents find the atmosphere at the Dunster Cafe pleasant and enjoyable.

"It's a nice change of pace from the typical Harvard stress," said Dan Arbelaez '97. "It's a great place to mellow out on Thursday."

"It really beats sitting around in a dorm," said Olgun Guvench '97.

Those present at Thursday's coffeehouse said the student performances provide worthwhile entertainment and add to the loose environment.

"[The music] is awesome," Arbelaez said. "The whole improv aspect is very relaxing."

"The environment's real casual. It feels okay to talk while [the musicians] are playing," Guvench said.

Dunsterites are not the only students enjoying the new Cafe.

"It's good that we get to appreciate talents of other students," said R. Swati Prakash '97, who resides off-campus. "This is definitely some of the best free entertainment I've seen in a long time."

Haile and Greene put up posters in river houses to advertise Thursday's coffeehouse.

"We're trying to open it up to a lot of people from other houses," Haile said.

Students who have performed at the coffeehouses said they enjoy the chance to interact with other performers.

"More than anything, it gives you an opportunity to meet other musicians," said Dunster resident Alexander R. Stone '97, who played the bongo drum and a chess timing clock with roommate Justin Konrad '97 at the first coffeehouse.

Providing students with an opportunity to showcase their talents was one of the reasons for reviving the coffeehouse, Greene said.

"There's not really a consistent stage for students to hear other students," he said. "This creates a forum for improvisation and creation of new music."

Performers Thursday were the Jazz Prophets: Jared L. Tardy '96, Justin B. Wood '98, John A. Capello '96 and Chris D. Dubois '96.

The next Dunster coffeehouse is scheduled for Dec. 1. Haile's longterm plans for the Cafe include hopes for even better food and coffee as well as an espresso machine.