Caffe Lena’s Update for the Week of November 16th


Click that photo up there of the Swingin’ Palms and enjoy a taste of the Hawaiian tiki music they’ll bring to our stage on Friday night. Whether you hang out in the chatroom with a frosty cocktail in hand, or simply play the music in the background, you’ll find yourself smiling and cheered by this reminder of better days.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, and wonderful in a whole different way, is the kick-off of “America Sings” with Opera Saratoga. Though both of our organizations are 60 years old and part of the fabric of our hometown, understandably we cross paths rarely. Under the leadership of Larry Edelman, Opera Saratoga has become an innovative, fresh, thoroughly contemporary presenter. I’ll let his words speak for this exciting new series, which will feature BIPOC (Black-Indigenous-People of Color) artists: “The onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the racial awakening that has been taking place across the country, and the polarizing political climate leading up to the election has energized artists. I have not programmed this series, other than to invite an incredible group of artists to join us in Saratoga Springs. Rather, I have asked each artist to curate their own concert – to share music with us that speaks to how they are feeling about America today.”

As we face a resurgence of Covid-19 here and across the country, I know we’re all feeling the stress. I hope the music and companionship we’re offering can help alleviate worry and give you a good reason to stay safe at home while we weather this together. 

-Sarah Craig, Executive Director of Caffe Lena

All Of These Events Are Streamed Live
We use three high-def cameras and premium audio.
(We are still not permitted to have an in-person audience.)

1. Click a photo below to go directly to that broadcast, OR
2. Go to and click the red box for “Watch Live on YouTube”


Monday, Nov 16 / 7 PM
Rick’s Picks Local Showcase: Jim McArdle & Rob Fleming

While we wait for Open Mic to resume, we continue to showcase fine local players each Monday evening. The focus is on original songs and acoustic guitars as we relax with Rick Bolton, a stalwart participant and supporter of Saratoga’s thriving downtown music scene, and his hand-picked pros and newcomers.

Tuesday, Nov 17 / 7 PM
Rochmon Record Club
The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds”

The reaction when we got when we let “Rochmaniacs” know their favorite monthly music event was back (via Zoom): What took you so long?!? Chuck Vosganian will bring us his vast musical knowledge, humor and heart via Zoom this month. Register ahead!

Tuesdays, 8 PM
WEXT 97.7 / 106.1 FM Radio Show
Grayson Hugh & Polly Messer

No need to train your eyes on the screen for this one! Just turn on your radio at 8 PM on Tuesday as we rebroadcast the good vibes and sweet sounds of Grayson and Polly, who debuted on our stage on November 1. Singer-pianist Grayson is a gifted pop songwriter with top 40 hits and major label records.

Wednesday, Nov 18 / 7 PM
Bluegrass Jam with Red Spruce

Members of our monthly Bluegrass Jam Circle play folk classics bluegrass-style and they encourage you to pick along from home. Dust off that guitar, banjo, fiddle or mandolin and get your chops back with this friendly slow jam. Or add some fiery flourishes that your cat and dog will certainly applaud!

Thursday, Nov 19 / 7 PM
Opera Saratoga presents AMERICA SINGS
Amplifying BIPOC Artists On the Concert Stage

This new series is one of those pandemic silver linings–a world-class opera series curated by Opera Saratoga and produced live on our stage for an online audience. Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Nansteel, who was featured in Opera Saratoga’s 2018 production of The Consul, will open the series this Thursday with pianist Giovanni Reggioli. They will perform music by George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Rogers, Erroll Garner, Richard Wagner, and William Bolcom, along with a selection of traditional spirituals.

Friday, Nov 20 / 8 PM
The Swingin’ Palms

Anyone want to hang out on a sunny, carefree beach in Hawaii? This ultra-talented band of regional stars will take you there with their irresistible tiki music. Don Young plays ukulele, guitar, percussion and vocal, Graham Tichy is on steel guitar and vocal, Ian “Ritz” Carlton plays standup & electric bass, and Chris Sprague (Los Straitjackets, Nick Lowe) on drums and percussion.

Saturday Nov 21 / 8 PM
Let’s Be Leonard

The whole Leonard band will be with us tonight! This trippy, funky, happy jam band features sophisticated arrangements and first-class playing by a gang of laid back guys who have studied at top music schools and made Leonard their lives! Last year they traveled across the country in their pink school bus to play High Sierra Festival in California, one of the country’s top Americana music festivals.

Sunday, Nov 22 / 7 PM
Sara Milonovich & Greg Anderson
25th Anniversary Concert!

Sara was only eleven years old the first time she sold out Caffe Lena 25 years ago. She’d just released her first album, Mrs. Ippy Fiddle. The most recent chapter in her phenomenal music career landed her in a Broadway pit orchestra. The shutdown ended the show, so we get to have her with us tonight. Read this article to learn more about the impact on her career.

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