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Queer Performers on Tap at Joe's Pub this Fall & Winter
Joe's Pub is a program of New York's Public Theater. Since it opened in 1998, Joe’s Pub has played a vital role in The Public's mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe's Pub presents the best in live music and performance nightly. Not exclusively LGBTQ+, it does have a commitment to diversity, community, and artistic freedom and many queer performers grace its stage.
Here are some of the best performers on tap this fall and winter:
Pictured: Nona Hendryx photo by Kevin Yatatola
- Friday Night Cabaret September 18
- Justin Vivian Bond & The Illustrious Blacks October 5-9
- Sondre Lerche October 10
- Martha Redbone October 11
- Queen Esther October 17
- Taylor Mac October 19-23
- Yacine Boulares & the Habibi Festival Band November 2-5
- Toshi Reagon November 9-13
- Nona Hendryx November 14
- Kate Rigg November 15
- Jazzmela Horn November 16-20
- Bridget Everett November 30-December 4
- Peppermint December 5-6
- Sandra Bernhard December 26-31
Friday Night Cabaret September 18
Friday Night Cabaret with Henry Koperski and Larry Owens
RAIN DELAY: MOVED TO Saturday, September 18 on Astor Place, 6pm-8pm
On a single Friday evening, every summer, Joe's Pub brings cabaret to Astor Place, providing New Yorkers with free music and magic. This year's Joe's Pub @ Astor series, presented in partnership with the Village Alliance, features pianist/composer Henry Koperski and singer/comedian Larry Owens hostubg a variety show outdoors.
Photo courtesy of Joe's Pub.
Justin Vivian Bond & The Illustrious Blacks October 5-9
Justin Vivian Bond: Storming the Glamparts with opener The Illustrious Blacks
Tuesday, October 5 – Saturday, October 9
With their new show, Storming the Glamparts, Justin Vivian Bond proudly reopens Joe’s Pub!
Along with their band: Matt Ray, Nath Ann Carerra, and Claudia Chopek, JVB crawls out of the gutter with joy and rage to take back the spotlight, and recharge the stage.
Afrofuturistic performance duo The Illustrious Blacks will take audiences to a Disco/Funk/Electro music utopia Beyond the Stardust! Fusing performance art, live music, fashion and nightlife culture, Monstah Black & Manchildblack are your pilots on the mission to inspire vibrational ascension.
Photo credit: Ruven Afanador
Sondre Lerche October 10
Sunday, October 10
Sondre is a Los Angeles-based Norwegian singer, songwriter, film score composer and artist. His eclectic and melodic debut, Faces Down, written and recorded at 16, was listed as one of the most remarkable debuts of 2002 by Rolling Stone, also winning a Norwegian Grammy for Best Newcomer.
Anticipated follow-up Two Way Monologue was a 2004 Album Of The Year in Uncut, and he toured extensively across the world both solo, with his band, and later with the likes of Air, Stereolab Elvis Costello and St Vincent. In 2006, alone, he scored a Billboard Top 5 Jazz album, Duper Sessions, recorded the rambunctious Phantom Punch, as well as composing the score and soundtrack for the Steve Carell/Juliette Binoche hit movie Dan In Real Life, which included a duet with Regina Spektor. Lerche has also collaborated on stage with Milton Nascimento and Philip Glass. Said the LA Times about 2009's lush Heartbeat Radio: "No matter what genre he's working in...his refrains always pay off". Lerche co-wrote the song "Dear Laughing Doubters" for the 2010 comedy Dinner For Schmucks.
In 2011 he made his second appearance on David Letterman's Late Show, performing from his spirited self-titled (and first self-released) album, while in 2012 he had the honor of appearing on an official postage stamp in Norway. The 2014 release of his score for Sundance indie-hit movie The Sleepwalker, was followed by Please, which Popmatters called "a pop masterpiece”, naming it one of the finest albums of the year. 2017’s groovy and flamboyant Pleasure was a "thrilling sonic reboot", according to Allmusic, followed by an extensive and intense 100-date world tour, and, in 2018, the stripped down come-down, Solo Pleasure + music for the Norwegian children's television icon Fantorangen. His most recent album Patience was released in 2020 to strong critical praise and earned Lerche 3 Norwegian Grammy nominations.
Photo: Justin Becker
Martha Redbone October 11
Martha Redbone: Indigenous Funk Party
Martha Redbone and her band of Funkateers honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day with traditional songs, rhythm and blues, and funk.
Photo: Aaron Whitby
Queen Esther October 17
Queen Esther: Gild the Black Lily
Sunday, October 17
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia and embedded in Charleston, South Carolina’s culturally rich and enigmatic Lowcountry – a region with African traditions and Black folkways that span centuries and continue to inform her work – Harlem-based vocalist, songwriter, musician and solo performer Queen Esther uses her Southern roots as a touchstone to sonically explore cultural mores in America, deconstructing well-worn historical narratives and creating a reclamation-driven soundscape. Although she is often described as “...a Black Lucinda Williams…” (Vanity Fair), vocal descriptives have included “...Aretha Franklinesque…” (Feedback) and have shifted easily from Billie Holiday and Sly Stone to Sarah Vaughn and Melissa Etheridge. Her self-released critically acclaimed Black Americana album Gild The Black Lily continues to make waves since its March 2021 release. Postponed repeatedly because of the pandemic, with this showcase her latest creative adventure will finally get the album release party it so thoroughly deserves. explore cultural mores in America.
Photo: Amy Arbus
Taylor Mac October 19-23
Taylor Mac’s Sugar in the Tank: New Songs About Queer People
Tuesday, October 19 – Saturday, October 23
Taylor Mac returns to Joe's Pub with Sugar In the Tank, an evening of original songs created in collaboration with Judy's longtime music director and arranger Matt Ray. Joined on stage by members of the band from Taylor's award-winning A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, some new friends, and costumes by Machine Dazzle, these concerts promise to be full of surprises and queer revelry.
Photo: Willa Folmar
Yacine Boulares & the Habibi Festival Band November 2-5
Yacine Boulares & the Habibi Festival Band featuring Kinan Azmeh, Alsarah & Esraa Warda with Opener Haig Papazian
Tuesday, November 2 – Friday, November 5
Explore the sounds of Tunisia, Algeria, Syria, and more in a special sneak peek series of Habibi Festival, a three-day festival immersing New Yorkers in the music of the living rooms, radios, and dance clubs of the Middle East. Get a taste of the fest with these special performances featuring award-winning French Tunisian saxophonist, composer, and festival co-founder Yacine Boulares & the Habibi Fest Band.
Begin the evening with a solo performance by Lebanese-Armenian violinist, founding member of the influential band Mashrou’ Leila, architect, and multi-disciplinary artist Haig Papazian followed by the Habibi Fest Band and special guests including contemporary Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh, Sudanese-American singer Alsarah, mesmerizing Moroccan group Innov Gnawa and Moroccan and Algerian traditional dancer Esraa Warda,
Photo: Cyrill Matter
Toshi Reagon November 9-13
With BIGLovely November 9-11
With Lizz Wright Friday, November 12 – Saturday, November 13
Toshi Reagon (Singer, Composer, Musician, Curator, Producer) is a multi-talented and versatile singer, composer, musician, with a profound ear for sonic Americana—from folk to funk, from blues to rock. While her expansive career has landed her at Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House and Madison Square Garden, you can just as easily find Toshi turning out at a music festival, intimate venue or local club.
Acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright is a steward of American music bringing brilliant color and vibrancy to singular original works and compositions by some of the greatest songwriters of our time. Wright has garnered widespread attention as one of the most venerable popular singers of her generation through the release of five critically acclaimed albums. From her breakout Verve debut album Salt to her forthcoming album Grace on Concord Records, Wright lives life filled with beautiful possibilities centered on the power of song.
Photo: Flora Hanitijo
Nona Hendryx November 14
Nona Hendryx: Thanks But No Thanksgiving
Sunday, November 14
Join Nona Hendryx (recipient of Joe's Cafe's 2018 Vanguard Award & Residency) for a celebration of Indigenous and Afro culture: music, dance, stories of love, trust, deception, reclamation, and survival during the month of Americas’ Day of Thanks.
We will focus on thanking the indigenous people of North America, who welcomed the first ‘immigrants’ and faced Genocide in return, they are the original inhabitants of this land. No turkey, no maize, no cowboys, no pilgrims. Just vocals and songs, prayers and chants powerful, passionate and beautiful, poignant politically-charged lyrics, layered with soulful R&B rhythms.
Photo: Alaric Campbell
Kate Rigg November 15
disOrientalism Part 1: The NuyorAsian Arts Scene Curated by Kate Rigg
Monday, November 15
Top notch talent from the worlds of concert dance, spoken word, rock, electronica and stand-up comedy, all in one electrifying show.
The first installment in a new multi-disciplinary series featuring killer New York based Asian American artists. Hosted/Curated by notorious NuyorAsian comedienne/rapper Kate Siahaan-Rigg and featuring the electric violin fueled music of Slanty Eyed Mama. Top notch talent from the worlds of concert dance, spoken word, rock, electronica and stand-up comedy, all in one electrifying show.
Adrianna Mateo (@adriannamateo): Badass Disney Princess and radical performance art violinist and singer songwriter, Mateo opened for Alicia Keys and has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Late Night with Colbert and the Met Museum.
Jakub (@jacobthoman): Rising modern dance star Jakub is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School and dances with the New York based Gibney Dance Co.
Sarah Shin (@shinnysarah): Multi-talented theatrical chanteuse and arts activist Sarah Shin deconstructs the "standards" of the American musical theater canon through a new lens.
Slanty Eyed Mama (@slantyeyedmama): Powerful electric violin and rock comedy spoken word icons Slanty Eyed Mama combine searing politi-commentary with killer violin licks.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Jazzmela Horn November 16-20
Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force presented in partnership with YoungArts
Tuesday, November 16 – Saturday, November 20
Award-winning vocalist Jazzmeia Horn has announced the September 10 release of her first big-band effort, Dear Love, a recording that brims with the combination of her assured delivery and spoken word segments, deft arrangements and fiery musical ideas. The first single from the album “Lover Come Back to Me” is out now.
Dear Love is a groundbreaking — it is one of very few instances in which a black female vocalist has written and fronted a big band album in its entirety. And you have the chance to experience it live, at Joe's Pub!
Photo: Liz Bench
Bridget Everett November 30-December 4
Bridget Everett and The Tender Moments with opener Celisse
Tuesday, November 30 – Saturday, December 4
Bridget’s legendary and take-no-prisoners live act is a perennial sold-out hit and has garnered a faithful cult following. She has been seen in a string of recent television shows and movies, but to experience Bridget is to experience her live.
Her in-your-face comedy is mixed with one outrageous rocking and original song after another. Dripping with hard-earned sweat in her sparkling and revealing House of Larréon dresses, she swigs from a bottle in a paper bag while telling stories about her dysfunctional family and her struggles with incontinence.
Photo: Kevin Yatarola
Peppermint December 5-6
Sunday, December 5 – Monday, December 6
In this intimate concert, Ru Paul’s Drag Race alum, Peppermint, shares original songs and stories of her fight to navigate the paths of queerness and Blackness, in her search for love.
Photo: Ricardo Diaz, Bob of Scotland
Sandra Bernhard December 26-31
Sandra Bernhard: Bern it Down with Opener Unitard
Sunday, December 26 – Friday, December 31
Break in your social skills at Joe’s Pub with Lady Bernhard’s annual holiday show. A little bit of glamour, a touch of indulgence, a breezy melody, and a couple of strong drinks. Tickets are on sale in September
Photo: James Sliman