Monday Mixer: ‘The Place You Need to Be for Upcoming Artists’


Photo by: Toni Woodruff

Performer Maximus Mendoza (left) and DJ Nate Ruiz (right) flow together at Strummers’ Monday Mixer on Oct. 14, 2019.

Story By: Toni Woodruff, Reporter

Strummers celebrated their 101 Monday Mixer on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. The weekly event is free for all ages event and its sole purpose is to unite and connect artists.

“Every Monday we’re always bringing new artists and bands that vary from hip-hop to pop to even hardcore bands and new wave bands,” said resident DJ Nate Ruiz.

To Ruiz, the diversity of music and people are what make mixers so special. The event allows creatives to network and it’s a great starting destination.

“I would say this is the place you need to be for upcoming artists because the whole purpose of this is to help artists become discovered,” said Ruiz.

Jada Sylvest is a frequent vendor at Strummers Monday Mixers, selling their hand-drawn art on everything to stickers, buttons, T-shirts and canvas paintings. They say that the experience has helped them expand their business while also opening up other opportunities for them

Sylvest said that Monday Mixers are a hidden gem in Fresno.

“I’ve made so many connections at Monday mixers,” Sylvest said. “I even got the chance to work with other organizations like the Fresno Black Girl Magic Project just from being here.”

For artist Isabella Zarate, it’s the chill and inviting vibe at Strummers that intrigued her to attend Monday Mixers and what got her comfortable enough to become a vendor. Selling pieces of her drawings and paintings, Zarate says Monday Mixers are the place to be for networking and meeting new people.

“There’s so many good connections through Monday mixers that it’s perfect for new artists because you never know who could walk through those doors,” she said.

Singer and songwriter Maximus Mendoza used the platform for his first live performance after being sought out by the event coordinator. He has attended before, and said he enjoys the authenticity of the event.

“The mixers are cool, it’s a good place for people wanting to showcase their artwork because there a lot of people who come in that are actually interested,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza’s work is socially conscious. He dedicated one of his songs to survivors of abusive relationships, like himself. Mendoza says that his music has become an outlet for him.

“My first three songs I’ll be performing came from me writing about going through something pretty rough and it touches on mental health,” he said.

The event wasn’t just a good time for those participating but first-timers Keondre Thomas and Mikalah Jones say they will definitely be back.

The duo complimented Strummers on its “edgy cool vibe” and enjoyed the variety of music.

“This is my first Monday mixer and I love the vibe of the venue,” Jones said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m totally surprised.”