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Caffe Lena

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47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
https://www.caffelena.org

Caffè Lena presents extraordinary music in an intimate setting steeped in history. It is widely recognized as the longest continuously operating folk music venue in the United States. The Library of Congress calls Caffè Lena “An American treasure,” and we have been recognized by The GRAMMY Foundation for our important contributions to the development of American music. Yet we are proud to stay true to Lena’s founding vision of simplicity, kindness to strangers, and art above profit.

The Caffè Lena you see today operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. In 2016 we began a $2 million renovation of our 19th century building in Saratoga’s historic downtown. The transformation, completed in 2017, guarantees a home for Lena’s celebrated programming for decades to come, creates 100% handicap-accessibility to our second floor performance space, and brings the listener and artist experience in line with the club’s international reputation.

Opened in a former woodworking shop in 1960, the café has helped to launch many of America’s best loved songwriters, ranging from Bob Dylan in 1961 to Sawyer Fredericks in 2014, with an amazing “who’s who” list in between.
Upon the passing of founder Lena Nargi Spencer in 1989, Caffè Lena was converted to a non-profit institution supported by concert revenue, private and corporate donors, grants and bequests, and an ever-evolving team of volunteers.

In keeping with Lena’s devotion to presenting deserving talent regardless of fame, our diverse programming sets the stage for musical discovery year ’round. We invite you to come up to a room where your faith in the power of music will be renewed. You’ll see a world-class performer only feet away; watch every movement of fingers on frets, and feel in your heart the foot tapping rhythm on the stage.

August 2020

John Craigie with special guest Honeysuckle

August 8 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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When Craigie plays, he takes you on a musical journey that can make you laugh and cry in the same song. Renowned for his eloquent Americana style, engaging live shows, and off-the-cuff clever observations, John Craigie carries on the legacy of classic singer-songwriters, while blazing a trail of his own. Recently, that trail twisted and turned into new territory for the Portland, OR performer who The Stranger appropriately dubbed, “the lovechild of John Prine and Mitch Hedberg.” His music speaks…

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Michael Doucet

August 10 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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The leading light of contemporary Cajun music. The famous Cajun maestro of BeauSoleil is on tour with a new solo album. Having won a Grammy for his last solo album, Doucet delves into the “French île zydeco" or a French island sound with Lâcher Prise on Compass Records. The Southern rhythms of blues and cajun are sung and played by Doucet on accordion and New Orleans sensation Sarah Quintana on guitar and harmony vocals.

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Peter Yarrow: Sunday Show

August 16 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Known for his songwriting, activism and commitment to excellence, Peter Yarrow is one of the most significant figures in folk music. Yarrow’s gift for songwriting produced some of Peter, Paul and Mary’s most moving songs, including “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” “Day is Done”, “Light One Candle” and “The Great Mandala.” As a member of the renowned musical trio, he has earned multiple gold and platinum albums, as well as numerous GRAMMYs. Taking the stage with a passionate belief that music,…

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Peter Yarrow: Monday Show

August 17 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Known for his songwriting, activism and commitment to excellence, Peter Yarrow is one of the most significant figures in folk music. Yarrow’s gift for songwriting produced some of Peter, Paul and Mary’s most moving songs, including “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” “Day is Done”, “Light One Candle” and “The Great Mandala.” As a member of the renowned musical trio, he has earned multiple gold and platinum albums, as well as numerous GRAMMYs. Taking the stage with a passionate belief that music,…

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Frank Vignola Hot Jazz Trio

August 21 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Frank Vignolas jaw-dropping technique explains why the New York Times deemed him one of the brightest stars of the guitar. An extremely versatile jazz guitarist of impeccable technique, Frank Vignola has demonstrated that he is capable of playing anything. His stunning virtuosity has made him the guitarist of choice for many of the worlds top musicians, including Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, Mark O Connor, the Boston Pops, the New York Pops, and guitar legend Les…

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Griffin House

August 25 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Beautiful songs and a wealth of soulfulness and sincerity well beyond his years. An amber smooth voice with subtle grit, driving guitar, and an unassuming stage presence create the backdrop for Griffin House's deliciously catchy and utterly personal original songs. A Nashville musician with a Midwestern upbringing, House launched into a music career as a college student after discovering Bruce Springsteen, Woody Guthrie, and the Mermaid Avenue albums by Wilco and Billy Bragg. In addition to several albums and 15…

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September 2020

Duke Robillard

September 5 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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"One of the great players" -BB King. "Robillard is a soloist of stunning force and originality." -The New York Times Since 1967 Duke Robillard has been at the forefront of Blues, Swing and classic R&B/Jump blues. In addition to touring with his own band for three decades he has served as guitarist for Tom Waits and recorded with Bob Dylan, Pinetop Perkins, Maria Muldaur and many more. Recent years have brought two Grammy nominations for Traditional Blues Album. He has…

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Slambovian Circus of Dreams

September 19 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Psychedelic Americana from the misty hills of Sleepy Hollow. The Slambovian Circus of Dreams harnesses a stampede of classic rock, folk, and psychedelia. Their songs juxtapose philosophical, mystical lyrics with jangly acoustic guitar jam-outs and wild solos a la Crazy Horse and Led Zeppelin. Their frontman, singer-songwriter, guitarist, shaman Joziah Longo, has headlined CBGB, Carnegie Hall, and writes for Broadway shows. The band includes multi-instrumentalist Tink Lloyd on accordion, cello, flute and theremin; guitarist, mandolinist, and sound engineer Sharkey McEwen;…

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The Acoustic Living Room: Songs and stories with Kathy Mattea – Tuesday

September 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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One of the most respected female country stars of her era. Infusing country with a fresh, stripped-down style and a unique blend of traditional country roots, Kathy Mattea is a Grammy winning artist who has defined the role of country in modern music. Mattea offers the same commitment to country pop as she does to mining songs, honky tonk, and Celtic ballads. As her repertoire expanded in the '90s, so did her grasp on the country charts. Single after single…

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The Acoustic Living Room: Songs and stories with Kathy Mattea – Wednesday

September 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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One of the most respected female country stars of her era. Infusing country with a fresh, stripped-down style and a unique blend of traditional country roots, Kathy Mattea is a Grammy winning artist who has defined the role of country in modern music. Mattea offers the same commitment to country pop as she does to mining songs, honky tonk, and Celtic ballads. As her repertoire expanded in the '90s, so did her grasp on the country charts. Single after single…

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October 2020

The Suitcase Junket

October 1 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz's internationally touring, throat-singing, slide guitar playing one-man-band. Painting with a fantastic sonic palette that includes jangly folk, fuzzed out blues and oddly textured psych rock, The Suitcase Junket makes an undeniable case for infinite curiosity as a potent antidote to jadedness and despair. He sits atop of a one-of-a-kind handcrafted percussion kit compiled of found materials, tears into a metal body guitar retrieved from a dumpster, and sings about characters in various states of…

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Tinsley Ellis

October 6 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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A fiery guitarist and talented songwriter who plays a unique blend of Memphis R&B, southwest blues, and urban funk. Southern blues-rock guitar wizard, vocalist and songwriter Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. Armed with his signature molten licks, melodic riffs and rousing, intense solos, Ellis is among the blues worlds best-loved, hardest working and most well-travelled statesmen. Ellis is also revered as a guitarist's guitarist, with famous friends including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Jonny…

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Mark Erelli Band

October 22 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Mark Erelli has tackled everything from western swing and protest songs to lullabies and murder ballads, all in a richly expressive voice. Fresh off an Americana Music Award nomination for Song of the year, Mark Erelli comes to us with his 12th album, Blindsided, which is a gritty, soulful reckoning of the distance between innocence and experience. Erelli contemplates the delicate tension between love and commitment, faith and family, disillusionment and hope. But this isn’t a confession from the therapist’s…

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Johnny A

October 25 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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A brilliant guitarist who channels every aspect of the human experience, through his instrument. Gibson and Epiphone Guitars have released three signature Johnny A models, which is a testament to this artist’s stature as an international guitar virtuoso. He creates a rock, pop and jazz with a highway of imagination and emotion that encompasses Wichita Lineman, Walk Away Renee and a rich array of Beatles hits. After a brilliant career as a sideman to Bobby Whitlock, Mingo Lewis, J.Geils frontman…

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December 2020

Sawyer Fredericks: Saturday Evening

December 5 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Free Range Folk. Americana singer-songwriter, Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family farm in central New York State, cut his teeth at the age of 13, playing at Caffe Lena’s open mic. With his deep, beyond-his-years original lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but having been scouted by casting directors at 15, he quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going…

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Sawyer Fredericks: Sunday Matinee

December 6 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Free Range Folk. Americana singer-songwriter, Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family farm in central New York State, cut his teeth at the age of 13, playing at Caffe Lena’s open mic. With his deep, beyond-his-years original lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but having been scouted by casting directors at 15, he quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going…

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Sawyer Fredericks: Sunday Evening

December 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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Free Range Folk. Americana singer-songwriter, Sawyer Fredericks, hailing from his family farm in central New York State, cut his teeth at the age of 13, playing at Caffe Lena’s open mic. With his deep, beyond-his-years original lyrics and melodies, raw, soulful vocals, and powerful live performances, Sawyer seemed an unlikely match for reality tv, but having been scouted by casting directors at 15, he quickly won over broad audiences with his genuine delivery and unique arrangements of classic songs, going…

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May 2021

Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche

May 6, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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With voices & brilliant minds intertwinined, this mother & daughter put on a glittering gem of a show filled with smart, thoughtful songs. Suzzy is the founder of The Roches, a sister band last seen on the Caffe Lena stage in the late ‘70s. The ensuing decades have seen her release 15 albums, write songs for film and television, publish a novel and teach performance to under-grads and graduate students at NYU and Princeton. Noted for her bell-tone voice, unshakable…

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September 2021

Chris Smither

September 10, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Caffe Lena, 47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 United States
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A profound songwriter, who draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets, and philosophers. Chris Smither is a veteran of the music industry. Accompanying himself with masterful finger-picking and amplified foot-taps, his elegant lyrics are packed with little punches that land on your heart. A profound songwriter, Chris Smither draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets, and philosophers. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. "His finger-picked guitar lines are…

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