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“As a violinist, Lena Jonsson is hard to beat. She swings the bow like a magic wand.” Our Nordlys Global Voices Series continues this Sunday with the tradtional and contemporary music of Sweden’s Lena Jonnson Trio. Click photo for sample.
Greetings – “By understanding how we biologically react to aesthetic experiences, we can not only heal as individuals but thrive as communities.” Doesn’t that sound juicy? It comes from a book called This Is Your Brain on Art. A friend gave it to me recently, and I couldn’t be more grateful. It builds a case for something we Caffe Lena community members know all about: being close to music, and the brilliant artists who create it, makes us feel healthier and more optimistic.

You know what takes that feeling to the next level? Making art yourself. Making poems, stories, crafts, paintings, skits, pottery, songs, gardens. The week ahead will provide opportunities for toddlers to dance, for children to have their own open mic, for adults to pick & sing together, and for anyone and everyone to sit at a table with a stranger and share a concert. I hope there’s something in the listings below that will inspire you to come visit this week and take part in this creative community.

See you at the show,

P.S. Don’t forget to check the Just Announced section below. There are some great shows in the list this week!

Sample Song | In-Person Tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

In 1988 Tracy Chapman proved that the market for acoustic folk music was alive and well. With songs like “Fast Car,” “Talkin’ ‘bout a Revolution,” “Baby Can I Hold You,” “She’s Got Her Ticket,” “For My Lover” and 7 more, Tracy’s music is just as relevant 35 years later. Our in-depth look at this classic album is co-written and co-presented by Rochmon’s Executive Producer, Karen Garner, and Chuck Vosganian, aka “Rochmon.” A Rochmon Record Club Listening Party is meant to inform and deepen our understanding of the history of the individual performers, songs and the stories that went into the making of a classic album.

Sample Song | In-Person Tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler call their music “dumpster-folk and thrift store-Americana.” They make songs with a smorgasbord of instruments and stunning harmony vocals. Glide Magazine writes: “The Rough & Tumble makes like Nickel Creek meets Head and The Heart with its melodic Americana.” Our monthly Bright Series provides opportunities for musical discovery by featuring bands that are new to our area.

Sample Song | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Fusing folk intimacy and rock energy with soul power and pop charm, the band first emerged from Boston in the early 2000s and quickly garnered widespread acclaim for their insightful songwriting and euphoric performances. Ezra and his bandmates treat every single gig like their last, attracting a die-hard following that believes not just in the music, but in activism and social change, as well.

Sample Song | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

This Austin-based, globe-trotting trio makes music “light and tight, like tumbleweeds made of velvet.” (Rochester City Paper) Their joyful repertoire blends Western swing of the 1940s with European hot jazz of the same era. They’ve toured with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, been inducted into the Texas Swing Hall of Fame, and serve as American music ambassadors for the US State Department from Azerbaijan to the Sultanate of Oman.

More Info/Register in Advance

We welcome performers aged 5 to 16 for this special open mic hosted by Rick Bolton. Songs, poems, stories and comedy are all welcome. Each performer gets five minutes on stage. If time permits, we’ll allow a second five minutes for those interested. A piano is available & we can play backing tracks from a phone. Doors open at 1:30 and the show starts at 2. Please plan to stay for the full event.

Sample Song | In-Person Tickets | Watch on Caffe Lena TV

Sparkling joie de vivre and the charisma of a rock-star have made Swedish fiddler Lena Jonnson one Scandinavia’s most exciting musicians. She merges traditional Swedish dance music with rock, pop, funk and American old-time and bluegrass. She’s Sweden’s current Folk Artist of the Year, and is in heavy rotation on European folk radio. Joined by guitarist Erik Ronström and bassist Krydda Sundström.

Made possible by the Nordlys Foundation.


Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
Saturday May 18, 8 p.m.

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet
Friday June 28, 8 p.m.

Livingston Taylor with opener Pete Muller
Saturday July 6, 5:00 p.m.

Livingston Taylor with opener Pete Muller
Saturday July 6, 8:00 p.m.

Erin Harkes
Friday July 12, 8 p.m.

Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar
Wednesday July 31, 7:30 p.m.

Rory Block
Saturday August 17, 8:00 p.m.

Chris Jones & The Night Drivers
Thursday August 22, 7 p.m.

Tom Paxton & The DonJuans
Friday October 18, 8 p.m.


Our membership ranks are growing. That’s really good news, and we’re tremendously grateful to you for doing your part. This week we have a question for you: why did you decide to become a member of Caffe Lena? Is the benefits? To support the mission? Or something else? Click here to share your thoughts.

Caffe Lena has more than 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.

Explore Membership Options
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Miss a show from last weekend? Watch HERE.
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