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We hope music is helping you get through this difficult time. We cannot have an audience in the house, but we haven’t shut down! Watch live shows in real time broadcast from Caffe Lena’s stage. Your tips help offset the loss of work for musicians, and help our legendary, non-profit venue survive the shutdown. Click the tip jar to lend your support!

Coming Up Next

Concerts & Music Classes Streamed Live.

Weekly Newsletter

May 13 – 19

May 13 – 19

Three years ago we decided it was time to develop a signature annual event to celebrate this community-driven venue, welcome newcomers, and thank everyone for making Caffe Lena an anchor of folk culture. Sing In the Streets was born! Each year it gets a little bigger, thanks to the sponsors who cover costs and put some extra money in our coffers for year round operations. If the sun is shining, you’ll find our six stages outdoors. If it’s raining, we’ll be at the Library, Misfits, upstairs at Caffe Lena, and upstairs at Walt & Whitman’s. But, it won’t rain. And the rest of our week leading up the festival is superb . . .

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May 6 – 12

May 6 – 12

One look at that smile and you know you’re in good hands. Peter Rowan is a Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee who is playing the Caffe this Sunday for the first time in 33 years. With a career spanning over 5 decades, this towering singer-songwriter is a 2022 & 2023 Grammy nominee. From his early years playing with Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way (Rowan, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and John Kahn) and his breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has kept it fresh, energetic and rooted in tradition.

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April 29 – May 5

April 29 – May 5

The Polish women of Polky play our Nordlys Global Voices Series this Sunday. There’s a good chance dancing will break out! Now living in Toronto, Polky celebrates music’s unity and invites us to revel in the joy of life. Their debut album was nominated in three categories at the Canadian Folk Music Awards 2022, ultimately clinching the Traditional Singer of The Year Award for the talented Ewelina Ferenc.

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Caffè Lena In the News

Caffè Lena at 60: Still ‘Essential’ After All These Years

While New York City wrote itself into music history with its sheer volume of folk venues—The Gaslight Cafe, The Bitter End, Cafe Wha?—Saratoga Springs needed just one. Caffè Lena, opened by Lena and Bill Spencer on Phila Street 60 years ago last month, typified a decade marked by great cultural upheaval and the transformation of societal norms. “The first show that ever happened on Caffè Lena’s stage was a Jewish woman opening for an African-American man,” says Sarah Craig, Caffè Lena’s executive director of 25 years, referring to Maxine Abel and Jackie Washington Landron. “It was very clear that Lena and Bill, while they may not have been out at the front of marches and might not have been making speeches, were having the Caffè take a position.” That same month, the Civil Rights Movement was in full tilt in the segregated South, with lunch-counter sit-ins in Nashville, TN. And the soundtrack of that cultural revolution—the punk rock of its time—was folk music.