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Set aside all expectations of folk music before clicking this photo for a sample song. Jes Hudak is a Saratoga-born pop artist with a great sense of humor, a sharp tongue, and compassion that knows no bounds. Jes got her start at our open mic more than 20 years ago and we’re thrilled to bring her back with her full band to celebrate her new album. Click Photo for Sample Song
Greetings – There are too many stories I want to share with you about this week’s line-up. Jes Hudak. I’ll never forget the passionate piano pop originals she played starting at age 13 at open mic every week. The place would fill up with students from Saratoga Springs High who were blown away by the talent of their classmate. “She’s going to be famous!” She did do the whole LA -TV-music-contest thing, toured internationally, and came home to Saratoga to raise her kids. Through our Caffe Lena On the Road program she has developed a deep connection with the teen girls at The Charlton School, who have faced serious emotional challenges. Her songwriting classes and encouragement of their artistry has been literally life-saving.

Josh Ritter. We sold 500 tickets for his album release show here in Saratoga on March 12, 2020. That afternoon, Gov. Cuomo declared a ban on gatherings of over 500 people. Josh stood on stage for soundcheck and said, “We can’t do this.” In a couple hours, we cancelled the show, got in touch with 500 stunned people, and headed back to Lena’s with Josh to catch our breath. We filmed this song that night. It was the start of those two years none of us saw coming.

Loudon Wainwright. This is a photo of him with Lena back in the ’70s. He and his wife, the great Kate McGarrigle, lived in town for a while back then. We’ll let Loudon tell his Saratoga stories to you himself, when he’s here next Tuesday and Wednesday.

What a blessing to have such a long, wide musical family, including you.

See you at the show,

Monday (8/21)
7 PM Open Mic Night
8 PM “Live From Caffe Lena” on WEXT 97.7 or 106.1 FM
7 PM & 12 AM “Live From Caffe Lena” on Folk Music Notebook
1:00 Slow Jam Song Circle
2:30 PM 10 Minutes with Mateo & Sarah on Facebook Live
7 PM Jes Hudak – Album Release Show – Full Band
12 PM Captain Fun Lunchtime Listening Hour
8 PM The Ballroom Thieves  SOLD OUT
5 PM Catherine Russell   (Early show)
8 PM Catherine Russell   (Late show)
9 AM Dharma Meditation with Pierre Zimmerman
7 PM Josh Ritter   SOLD OUT
Monday (8/28)
7 PM Josh Ritter   SOLD OUT
Sample Song |  In-person tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

She got her start with weekly appearances at our Open Mic Night 20 years ago. She went on to pop fame, earning 2nd place out of thousands on Platinum Hit and singing backup for Enrique Iglesias. Tonight she celebrates a new album with her full band. Her passionate alt-pop, led by stellar vocals and keyboard, takes a deep dive into rarely seen corners of the human heart.

Sample Song |  SOLD OUT | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Soul stirring cello, electric guitar, harmonious vocals. Calen and Martin command a room with their vigor and passionate lyrics – “calling light to the dark, cracking parts of our world.” (WTBU Boston). Their latest release, Clouds, is a lush meditation on longing. Their artistry navigates complicated situations, including their struggles with depression, which often colors their songs. If they can impart anything to listeners, it’s that talking about mental health is not a weakness – and that sharing any of life’s trials can be a source of strength.

Sample Song |  In-person tickets (5 PM)  In-person (8 PM) | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Renowed for her velvet, octave-jumping voice, this major jazz artist tours with Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon and Jackson Browne, among others, has appeared on over 200 albums, and plays with her trio on stages around the world.  “Russell is a tiny woman, and while her voice is enrapturing, it’s not brassy or huge. Still, as she dances and moves her hands to match the shape of the music, her voice has a command and assurance that belies her stature. She is so at home in all the music that she seems like a jukebox for a century of the coolest music ever.” – PopMatters

Sample Song |  SOLD OUT | Watch on Caffe Lena TV   (Subscribers only)

Fans moved fast when we put tickets on sale for a rare chance to see Ritter solo acoustic in an intimate listening room! With rich stories and heartfelt lyrics, Ritter’s Americana reflects personal experiences and historical themes. The New York Times reflects, “Harking back to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and maybe a little Mark Knopfler, Mr. Ritter has always been a slinger of serious ideas and high-flown imagery.” Subscribe to Caffe Lena to watch the show streamed live.

Sample Song |  In-Person for Tuesday | In-Person for Wednesday
Watch on Caffe Lena TV 

Biting humor, raw vulnerability and keen observations form a tapestry of songs with authenticity and emotional depth. His many accolades include a GRAMMY, and “Album of the Year” awards from NPR, Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice and No Depression. Wainwright cut his teeth at Caffe Lena in the 1970s before he became a household name for his work in music, film, television and theater.

View CaffeLena.tv subscription options.
There’s still time to see last weekend’s shows!