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Village Trip Festival - music, culture, history - announced for mid-September

Earlier this summer, many local musicians and members of the press gathered at the iconic La Figaro Café location. Bleecker and McDougall has now reopened as Figaro Cafe (more on that below).

Inspired by mocktails they hadn’t yet obtained a liquor license, and inspired by three star musicians, the high-spirited gathering foretold what was to come in a month or so. rice field. travel festival. It’s never too early to announce this cultural festival, which runs from September 10th to September 24th.

Englishman Liz Thomson is obsessed with Greenwich Village and many years ago began wanting to pay tribute to the neighborhood’s musical heritage and creative roots. This is the beginning of Village Trip.

In 2018, a three-day festival honoring the village’s history of music, arts, culture and activism included walking tours, debates, poetry and music.

Suspended during the peak of COVID, Village Trip is back and now in its fourth year, expanding its reach from GV to West and East Villages in a 10-day festival. Thompson and Cliff Pearson are co-artistic directors.

Festival programming features jazz, rock and classical music performances, local neighborhood and history walks, topical talks and panel discussions, neighborhood artist exhibitions, and the return of David Amram as Village Trip Artist Emeritus .

Iconic Village music artist David Amram.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

The signing event on September 24th is a free concert at Washington Square Park featuring klezmatics and gospel singer Joshua Nelson with Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Church.

Lorin Sklamberg, founding member of The Klezamatics, performed at Sneak Peek and is thrilled that much of the East Village’s kinetic energy and origins with the band are now part of the Village Trip Festival.

A panel discussion honoring longtime Washington Square Park resident Eleanor Roosevelt, a field tour of the James Beard Townhouse on West 12th Street, and a panel discussion exploring free speech in a contested era are all varied programs is part of This historical/modern festival.

There’s also a unique celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s musicals wonderful town With Maestro’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, and Grammy Award-winning vocalist and Manhattan Transfer member Janis Siegel.

Other highlights are 100 year old Jack Kerouac (series of Village Trip events), Global Greenwich Village (first Village Trip Lecture), and I’ll take Manhattan, Celebrate NYC with the song of Janis Siegel.

A jazz salute to Jack Kerouac at Joe’s Pub on September 16th —Children of the American Bop Night Performed by David Amram and Latin jazz master Bobby Sanabria.

Bobby Sanabria on congas, John Di Martino on keyboards, and David Amram on djembe drums.(Photo by Tequila Minsky)

On Saturday, September 10th, a free outdoor concert will kick off the festival on W. Eight Street, McDougal with a line-up of musical hooligans led by David Amram and friends.

La Cafe Figaro is the third work. Opened in 1957, it has become a gathering place for pioneers of his generation: Jack Kerouac, Lenny Bruce, Dave Vanlock and Bob Dylan. Closed in 1969 as a victim of rising rents

In the summer of 1976, Figaro reopened with new owner Ben Fishbein having local men recreate the original décor. He hired actors, artists and musicians and gave them the freedom to manage themselves. The barrister was in session, he was the drummer, and the cook was singing the opera. The staff produced their own art show that hung on the walls. They gave poetry readings and concerts in their backyard room. Closed in 2008.

“I’m still close friends with many of the people I worked with, but we all went our separate ways and lived independent lives,” said a villager who worked there during that time (now Covid Immigration to LI) says Sarah Jones. “The bond that was born during a very dynamic time in NYC was akin to an art school education.” There’s also a FB page where she shares her memories.

Restaurateur Mario Skalik, Croatian and his wife Marta, and investors are giving Figaro a new twist. “It will never be the same,” says Marta, who read and loved Kerouac’s books. on the road. I want to bring back the vision of La Figaro,” she says.

It adds a touch of authenticity to a much more exclusive joint than its predecessor, with an original page from the French paper Le Figaro serving as wallpaper.

Between Covid and supply chain issues, it took until May of this year for the restaurant to open, a soft opening while waiting for its liquor license, which it obtained on August 1st..

Figaro Cafe is a partner of the 2022 Village Trip Festival. Other presentation venues and partners include East Village Community Coalition, Drom, HB Studio, Joe’s Pub, Pangea Restaurant and Cabaret, St. John’s in the Village, La Sala de Pepe & Foto Espacio Galería, NYPL at Jefferson Market and Tompkins Square Includes branches. park.

stay tuned. For more information: