Joe’s Pub at Astor Place July 2023 – Credit: David Andrako

Live performance venue Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater turns 25 this fall, and will celebrate through its epic programming with an emphasis on “Presenting New York.” Artists from across genres, across the five boroughs, and the world will take the stage throughout the 2023-2024 season.

The Joe’s Pub birthday festivities will begin with a free, open-to-the-public event on Astor Plaza on September 23, in collaboration with Village Alliance and featuring live performances from three New York City-based percussion- and brass-led bands, with distinctly different influences. Join us! 

The dynamic fall line-up includes musical performances from Obie-Award-winning singer-songwriter, Shaina Traub, Haiti’s musical ambassador BélO, San Francisco’s legendary, genderbending theatrical troupe The Cockettes, trumpet virtuoso Shunzo OhnoArabic music traditions with The Brooklyn Nomads, and much more from artists making their Joe’s Pub debuts and those who have built an audience at Joe’s Pub over the past 25 years.

Alex Knowlton, Director of Joe’s Pub said: “Since 1998, Joe’s Pub has been a home for expansive and intersecting artistry. The vision for this venue – simultaneously simple and impossible – is to represent, reflect, connect, amplify, uplift, and honor all New Yorkers. Every one of the beautiful, complicated, messy, confused, confident, and steadfast 8.5 million of us. I love this vision because it never ends, our work is never done, and there’s always someone new to meet. In this, our 25th year, we will present, and represent, as much of New York City as we can possibly fit into 365 days – with inspiration from the past, while grounded in the present and looking toward the future. I hope all New Yorkers can see at least part of themselves reflected on the Joe’s Pub stage.”

Returning to Joe’s Pub This Fall: Angelique Kidjo’s Vanguard Residency begins with a curated show by Michael Olatuja on September 27. As part of The Village Trip Festival, Gail Meriwether Papp will be in conversation with George C. Wolfe, who was the Public Theater’s artistic director when Joe’s Pub opened its doors, in October 1998.  German singer, Ute Lemper, who has performed at Joe’s Pub since the late-90s, will return with a new show in October. Contemporary cabaret icon Justin Vivian Bond premieres a new show, and HBO’s breakout star, Bridget Everett brings back her Tender Moments. Plus, the Dance Now Joe’s Pub Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary and returns to Joe’s Pub for the first time since 2019.

Joe’s Pub Autumn Debuts: As The Second City LIVE prepares to open its first New York City venue, they will “warm up” with a residency at Joe’s Pub throughout September.  Bassist, singer, and composer from Odanak First Nation, Mali Obomsawin, and her XTET share their narrative, free jazz. Bia Ferreira brings an intersectional exploration of queer art to Joe’s Pub for her debut (with support from the Artistic Freedom Initiative).

Separately, Habibi Festival is back for five nights in October with a lineup of international and locally-based artists presenting performances rooted in the traditions of the South West Asia North Africa (SWANA) region, past and present. The full lineup will be announced in mid-August.

JOE’S PUB, a program of the Public Theater, was named for Public Theater founder Joseph Papp. Since it opened in 1998, Joe’s Pub has played a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting artists at all stages of their careers with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub presents the best in live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community, and artistic freedom. In addition to one-night-only concerts and multi-night engagements, Joe’s Pub is home to the annual Habibi Festival, which hosts artists representing contemporary and traditional music of the SWANA (Southwest Asia/North Africa) region, and The Vanguard Award & Residency, a yearlong curation series that celebrates the career, and community, of a prolific and influential artist—including Nona Hendryx, Judy Collins, Laurie Anderson, and Barbara Maier Gustern. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents over 700 shows featuring artists from all over the world and hosts over 100,000 audience members annually. Beyond public performances, Joe’s Pub also leads artist development programs like New York Voices, a commissioning program that helps musicians develop new performance projects, and Joe’s Pub Working Group, an artist-led development and collaboration cohort. Current commissioned artists include Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire, Liza Paul & Bahia Watson, Sunny Jain, Vuyo Sotashe & Chris Pattishall, and treya lam. Joe’s Pub is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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