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In-person shows in Lena’s historic listening room in Saratoga Springs
& streamed live to living rooms around the world!
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Happy New Year!
Greetings – Our Annual Fund Drive goal was very ambitious for 2021, but we had no choice: we needed $65,000 to balance the budget in a year when earned revenue took a massive hit. You came through for Caffe Lena! The drive started in mid-November and ended on the last day of the year at midnight. Donations ranged from $5 to $5,000 and a total of 331 people pitched in. That’s more than ever before!

We’re thrilled that new friends have discovered the amazing things happening here at Lena’s. And not only are you liking our programming, you’re making sure it keeps coming in 2022. Your donations are going to put beautiful music on stage, in the song circles, and out into the community. Thank you for amplifying the talent, creativity, kindness and caring that’s all around us.

With gratitude and hope,


Monday, Jan 3

Tuesday, Jan 4 / 4 PM / Free
Art of Community: Nonprofit Sector Meet-Up

Tuesday, Jan 4 / 7 PM / $5

Tuesday / 8 PM
“Live From Caffe Lena” Radio Show: Racquette River Rounders

Listen on WEXT 97.7 or 106.1 FM

Wednesday, Jan 5 / 7 PM / $5
Poetry Open Mic Night

Featuring Suzanne Rancourt

Wednesday, Jan 5, 7 PM & 12 AM, Sunday, Jan 9,  1 PM
“Live From Caffe Lena” Radio Show: Sirsy
Listen on Folk Music Notebook Internet Folk Radio

Tuesday, Jan 4 / 4 PM / FREE
The Art of Community
Sarah Craig in conversation with Duane Vaughn
Executive Director, Shelters of Saratoga

Our local nonprofits care for hungry and homeless neighbors, maintain nature trails, put on concerts, keep seniors active, preserve our historic buildings, and so much more! What inspires and energizes their leaders? How did they get into these unusual careers? What are their greatest hopes for our community, and what good advice do they have to share?

We start with a 30 minute conversation with Duane Vaughn, a long-time leader in housing our most vulnerable citizens, followed by an informal half hour gathering to swap news, ideas and encouragement.

Staff, volunteers & caring donors are welcome to come recharge, connect & learn!

Thursday, Jan 6 / 7 PM / $25
Joe Jencks and Crys Matthews
In-person tickets
Watch on Caffe Lena TV

On the anniversary of the Capitol Riot, we bring you artists who use music to expose the wounds that drive us apart, and set us on a path to healing. Democracy requires engagement, and that means calling people out when they do harm–and then calling them back in. Joe and Crys call people in with their songs. Veteran folksinger Jencks merges conservatory training with a working-class upbringing to create ballads filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Crys Matthews’ hope-fueled, love-filled songs are just what’s needed today.

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Friday, Jan 7 / 8 PM / $20
Mark and Jill
In-person tickets
Watch on Caffe Lena TV

2021 winners of the Capital Region round of the International Blues Challenge! Mark Tolstrup is a NYS Blues Hall of Fame inductee with a treasure trove of gospel, jazz, and blues-inspired originals.  With sultry vocalist Jill Burnham, this duo treats listeners to a taste of New Orleans-meets-Austin. Over haunting slide guitar their voices soar & blend, surveying life’s joys & hard realities.

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Saturday, Jan 8 / 3 PM / FREE
Bruce Piasecki with Connolly Akstens
Co-Presented with Sustainable Saratoga
In-person tickets
Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Storytelling, music, and interactive conversation with New York Times bestselling author Bruce Piasecki, who has dedicated 40 years of his life to climate solutions and thrift. Musical accompaniment by Connelly Akstens will set the mood.

Saturday, Jan 8 / 8 PM  / $20
Rees Shad and the Convo Combo
In-person tickets
Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Led by the warm, gracious and effervescent Rees Shad, a brilliant guitarist well-known in the region, the Convo Combo intersperses neatly arranged jazz remakes of the modern American songbook with soulful, smart originals.

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Sunday, Jan 9 / 4 & 7 PM / $45
Ranky Tanky
In-person ONLY
Early show / Late Show

This Grammy Award-winning, Charleston, SC-based quintet performs timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Their debut album was featured on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and the TODAY show. It also soared to #1 on the Billboard, Amazon, and iTunes Jazz Charts. Playful game songs, ecstatic shouts, and heartbreaking spirituals comprise their latest release, Good Time, which also offers the groups first originals inspired by Gullah tradition.

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One of the reasons Caffe Lena is thriving is because of a talented, engaged Board of Directors. Jim Mastrianni completed his term as President of the Board at the close of 2021 and we thank him for his transformational leadership. Board member Kira Favro has stepped up to the Presidency. Kira is the COO/CFO of Newport Festivals, producing both the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival. She’s excited about broadening Caffe Lena’s impact beyond the local region. She’s joined on the Executive Committee by Eric Gordon (Secretary) and Peter Martin (Treasurer). We also welcome Joe Jencks and Cassandra Kubinski as new Board members!

Caffe Lena has nearly 1,000 active members. These folks are planting songs and growing community with their annual donations. They also get the best seats in the house, early access to special shows and some neat swag. Learn More