Dialog Title


Your cart is about to expire.


Vanguard Award.

The Vanguard Award is an award and yearlong residency that celebrates the career of a singular artist who has contributed to American life and pop culture and is a part of the Joe’s Pub family of artists. This artist also sustains and leads their own artistic community while creating a body of work that stands apart from their peers. Additionally, the award answers to the music industry’s widening gaps in funding. 

The 2023-2024 Joe’s Pub Vanguard artist is five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Angélique Kidjo. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.

The Angélique Kidjo Vanguard Residency series:
Michael Olatuja & Lagos Pepper Soup | September 27, 2023

Magatte Fall | February 17, 2024
2024 Annual Joe's Pub Gala | April 8, 2024

The 2018 Vanguard Award recipient was Nona Hendryx. In 2019, the Vanguard Award recipient was Judy Collins. In 2020, the Vanguard Award recipient was Laurie Anderson, whose residency was interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and continued until 2022. In our 2022-2023 season, The Vanguard Award was awarded posthumously to Barbara Maier Gustern.

Image of Nona Hendryx

Nona Hendryx

Grammy Award-nominated funk, art rock and new wave pioneer Nona Hendryx was the inaugural recipient of the Joe’s Pub Vanguard Award. Joe’s Pub honored her career as a performer, producer, writer, curator, innovator and mentor, with a year of monthly programming in 2018.  From January through December, Hendryx curated and/or performed in shows that featured not only her body of work, but those of the many multidisciplinary artists who she has influenced (and who continue to influence her).

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell

Image of Judy Collins

Judy Collins

Judy Collins has inspired audiences with sublime vocals, boldly vulnerable songwriting, personal life triumphs, and a firm commitment to social activism. In the 1960s, she evoked both the idealism and steely determination of a generation united against social and environmental injustices. Five decades later, her luminescent presence shines brightly as new generations bask in the glow of her iconic 55-album body of work, and heed inspiration from her spiritual discipline to thrive in the music industry for half a century. Collins was the 2019 recipient of the Joe's Pub Vanguard Award.

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell

Image of Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson is one of America’s most renowned and daring creative pioneers. She is best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology.  As writer, director, visual artist, and vocalist, she has created groundbreaking works that span the worlds of art, theater, and experimental music. Anderson has published seven books and her visual work has been presented in major museums around the world. She was the 2020 recipient of the Joe's Pub Vanguard Award.

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell

Image of Barbara Maier Gustern

Barbara Maier Gustern

"Barbara Maier Gustern exerted an improbable influence over New York’s overlapping music scenes, guiding cabaret performers, stage actors and rock stars to get the most out of their voices. [She was] the grandmother who wore dominatrix gear to perform as a go-go dancer at a playwright’s birthday party; who left her friends in the dust as she ran to catch a subway; who danced on top of a table at the cabaret theater Joe’s Pub." 
-- The New York Times

Illustration: Leeza Joneé

Image of Angélique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo

Five-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is a creative force with sixteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva”, and named her one of the most influential people in the world for 2021. As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. She is the recipient of the 2023-2024 Vanguard Award.

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell

New York Voices.

New York Voices  is Joe’s Pub at The Public’s artist commissioning program. As part of The Public Theater’s long history of cultivating the country’s most celebrated artists, this program supports the creation of new works by critically-acclaimed musicians and performers. New York Voices encourages artists to explore their storytelling, narratives and songwriting processes, and includes a variety of developmental and practical resources. 

The program successfully connects artists with their contemporaries and significantly expands their ability to reach wider audiences. Many of the commissioned works have toured nationally and internationally.  

"New York Voices
 has become an indispensable addition to The Public’s programs for developing new work." 

-Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater 
Our 2023-2024 commissions are by: Dan Fishback, Omar Offendum, and Sarah Elizabeth Charles.

New York Voices is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Image of Dan Fishback

Dan Fishback

Chronically ill playwright/musician Dan Fishback is crafting a new, live song cycle of his work, performed by other people. An experiment in accessibility, the development process of this project will be guided by a disability justice framework. All presentations will require a masked audience so that other chronically ill people can safely attend.

The collection of songs, which is only partially about illness, speaks to the irresolvable complexity of queer, disabled life in an era of rising fascism. What happens when the world requires you to fight, while your heart requires you to grieve, and your body demands that you hold still? The working title is, Dan Fishback is Alive and Unwell and Living in His Apartment.

Photo credit: Christopher Risch

Image of Omar Offendum

Omar Offendum

Omar Offendum: Little Syria. Set in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood once known as Little Syria (1880~1940), this genre-bridging performance — spanning Hip-Hop, Arabic instrumentation, and ḥakawātī oral storytelling traditions — reimagines early 20th-century life in the heart of Arab-America. Just south of the current World Trade Center, this once vibrant cultural hub for New York’s Middle Eastern immigrants was home to artists and intellectuals, with live instrumentation by Ronnie Malley on the Oud and Piano and beats by Thanks Joey, this creative retelling of a tragically underrepresented history draws an audience attuned to stories of immigration, xenophobia, and the elusive “American dream.”

Photo credit: Alex Myung

Image of Sarah Elizabeth Charles

Sarah Elizabeth Charles

Sarah Elizabeth Charles' Maya Angelou Project. Maya Angelou’s writing, work as a performer and identity as a prolific artist have influenced/inspired Charles for over 20 years and continue to have an enormous impact on her creative space today. This musical work has developed overtime and now exists as a moment for Charles and her collaborator in performance, Jordan Peters (guitarist/producer/composer), to delve into Angelou’s creative world, intertwining it with their own. With this project, Charles utilizes her multifaceted identity as a musician rooted in jazz, folklore, hymns, soul, rock and blues to celebrate Angelou’s imaginative, profound and historically valuable poetry. 

Photo credit: Shervin Lainez


Joe's Pub Working Group.

JOE'S PUB WORKING GROUP(JPWG) aims to enrich the sustainability and growth of New York-based emerging and established artists’ careers by providing administrative resources, physical space and curatorial services, further cultivating a community atmosphere wherein those artists can create and sustain new and developing work.

The program was conceived to address the rapidly shifting state of the performing arts and help artists at a critical point in their careers. “Being an independent performing artist comes with a lot of responsibilities and needs beyond purely making art. This program is a way for us to address and decipher those things for artists in a space that is accessible and inclusive,” said Alex Knowlton, Director of Joe's Pub.

The current JPWG cohort is comprised of: Ellen Winter, Esraa Warda, Firas Zreik, and Queen Esther.

Image of Ellen Winter

Ellen Winter

Image of Esraa Warda

Esraa Warda

Image of Firas Zreik

Firas Zreik

Image of Queen Esther

Queen Esther

Previous Artist Development Programs.


Image of Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn

2013 | Claw-hammer banjo player, composer and singer Abigail Washburn premiered Post-American Girl, a theatrical event exploring US-China relations through the lens of folk music.

Image of Alicia Hall Moran

Alicia Hall Moran

2020-2021 | Musical traditions yearning for each other across race, class, and nation grace Alicia Hall Moran’s meditation on the classic Motown songbook — a cinematic, movement-based aria. the motown project reimagines Motor City poetics in a study of desire and infatuation only soul and opera embodied by one chanteuse could endure.

Image of Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint

2012 | One of America’s greatest musical treasures, Allen Toussaint presented A Southern Night featuring songs from the album as well as songs that relate to the Toussaint Family.

Image of Angelique Kidjo

Angelique Kidjo

2012 | Angelique Kidjo and director Jo Bonney revisited the legends and tales of Angelique’s childhood, with a poignant perspective on the history of her native country.

Image of Alynda Segarra

Alynda Segarra

2019 | Bronx native Alynda Segarra spreads a new kind of roots-conscious folk music across the country from her adopted hometown of New Orleans, often with her band Hurray for the Riff Raff. The Navigator is a concept album about gentrification and diasporic identity by Alynda Segarra (Hurray for the Riff Raff) originally released in 2017. Segarra teamed up with playwright C. Julian Jiménez (Oso Fabuloso & The Bear Backs), to bring the story of the Navigator to life on stage.

Image of Bahia Watson & Liza Paul

Bahia Watson & Liza Paul

2022 - 2023 | Bahia Watson + Liza Paul continue to explore the absurdities of life through an afro-caribbean feminist lens with their bashment* circus variety show, MASHUP Ting! *Bashment (n): jamaican vernacular for a really good party

Image of Bridget Everett

Bridget Everett

2013 | Rock Bottom was written by Bridget Everett with Tony-winning writing duo Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.

Image of Chris Pattishall & Vuyo Sotashe

Chris Pattishall & Vuyo Sotashe

2022 - 2023 | Chris Pattishall & Vuyo Sotashe are developing a new project as their New York Voices commission.

Image of Daniel Alexander Jones

Daniel Alexander Jones

2015 | Daniel Alexander Jones developed Black Light, an evening-length performance for Jones’s musician persona Jomama Jones. Black Light featured music composed by Jones with Bobby Halvorson, and arranged for performance with musical direction by Samora Pinderhughes.

Image of Daniel Breaker

Daniel Breaker

2014 | Daniel Breaker has been seen on Broadway, in film, and on TV. He brings a soulful mix of tunes from all around the musical spectrum, and offers up refreshing new twists on classic soul, R&B, rock and more.

Image of Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire

Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire

2022 - 2023 | Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire began to develop a new work, Quixoteas their New York Voices commission.

Image of Dawn Landes

Dawn Landes

2014 | Dawn Landes (music and lyrics) and director Daniel Goldstein (book) created a musical called ROW – the heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting story of Tori Murden McClure, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Image of Erin Markey

Erin Markey

2017 | Erin Markey's Little Surfer is a Beach Boys/Spice Girls-inspired energy concert written and created by Markey with music by Markey and Emily Bate.

Image of Ethan Lipton

Ethan Lipton

2012 | In No Place to go, Ethan Lipton & his Orchestra an irreverent song cycle about the demise of a local workplace and the diminishing returns of the American dream. 

Image of Haig Papazian

Haig Papazian

2020-2021 | Haig Papazian's Space Time Tuning Machine (STTM) is a cross-disciplinary musical narrative exploring the multifaceted meanings of home.

Image of Helga Davis

Helga Davis

2019 | Helga Davis' Cassandra was inspired by the Greek myth of cursed seer Cassandra. A semi-autobiographical work that merged Davis’s own experience of otherness in contemporary America with the iconic myth, this raw work crashed classical legend into the 21st century to weave a prescient and fiery account of our culture’s possible demise.

Image of Jamie Leonheart

Jamie Leonheart

2015 | Jamie Leonhart’s Estuary: an artist/mother story, made in collaboration with critically acclaimed director Joanna Settle, is a musical exploration of the challenges and unanticipated realities of being an artist and a new parent.

Image of Jean Grae

Jean Grae

2018 | Jean Grae's Jenius is a deep dive into the multi-hyphenate's many lives, talents, and propensity for complete public vulnerability. It explores the importance of claiming your life's credits, the beauty of self-challenge, the exhaustion of explaining who/what you are and why you won't be stopped, and the importance of standing all the way up.

Image of Joey Arias

Joey Arias

2015 | Joey Arias and playwright and director José Manuel López Velarde, of Mexico City’s innovative theater La Teatreria, developed a children’s musical called A, B… Z. This work explored the fluidity of humanity, the space between light and darkness, and the limitlessness of an open mind.

Image of Kiki & Herb

Kiki & Herb

2015 | Mx Justin Vivian Bond and Kenny Mellman returned as their iconic characters Kiki and Herb – the “perverse” and “transcendental” (The New York Times) septuagenarian, lounge-singing duo. The pair debuted Seeking Asylum!, a fully-formed show with new music, current events and aged favorites.

Image of Martha Redbone

Martha Redbone

2014 | In Bone Hill, Martha Redbone explored her Appalachian mining family's heritage and history in an epic piece that spans generations and a breadth of music genres. Redbone called on her Native American and African American roots to tell this unexpected family story that unveils a shadowy part of American history through breathtaking original music, humor and layers of dramatic revelation.

Image of Murray Hill

Murray Hill

2018 | Renowned as a comic host around the world, Murray Hill: About to Break is a departure. It put Hill center stage in the first major dedicated solo show of his long, storied career. Musical direction is by Paul Leschen with original music by Hill with Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman, Kyle Forrester, Eric Kornfeld, Jesse Elder, and Leschen.

Image of Noche Flamenca

Noche Flamenca

2013 | Noche Flamenca’s adaptation of the Sophocles classic Antigone (Antigona in Spanish) honors the Greek tradition of sung poetry and musical accompaniment. The score was created by Salva de María, Eugenio Iglesias, David ‘Chupete’ Rodriguez, Hamed Traore, and Martín Santangelo using both traditional flamenco styles, new compositions, and the poetry of Sophocles.

Image of Nona Hendryx

Nona Hendryx

2018 | Refrigerated Dreams is a multimedia installation and concert inspired by Carrie Weems’s seminal The Kitchen Table Series. It was directed by Niegel Smith and featured choreography and performances by Francesca Harper, Josh Johnson and The Francesca Harper Project, with original music by Nona Hendryx.

Image of Rizo


2012 | Rizo with director Niegel Smith: Ordained. Rizo was ordained by the Temple of Glitter. Aggressively feminine and possessing a distinct absence of inhibition, she led a night praising the power of song, giggles, madness and glamorous glances in this collaboration with director Niegel Smith.

Image of Samora Pinderhughes

Samora Pinderhughes

2020 Venus Smiles Not in the House of Tears is a transformative concert event and intimate, radical experiment in multi-genre storytelling, written and produced by Samora Pinderhughes and Jack DeBoe.

Image of Somi


2016 | Dreaming Zenzile, a jazz opera based on the extraordinary life of the late South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba, conceived, written and performed by East African vocalist and songwriter Somi, and directed by Liesl Tommy.

Image of Toshi Reagon

Toshi Reagon

2012 Lines was a collaboration conceived by singer, musician, and composer Toshi Reagon in development with playwright Winter Miller, and director Lear deBesonnet. 

Image of Sunny Jain

Sunny Jain

2022 - 2023 | Sunny Jain's Love Force is a musical theatre piece drawing parallels between the Indian caste system and hierarchies of America. The Punjabi dhol drum is the heartbeat of the show, bringing into conversation faith and compassion.

Image of The Illustrious Blacks

The Illustrious Blacks

2019 | Traveling via intergalactic-astro-disco-space-punk velocity to deconstruct your mentality to a higher vibrational frequency, neo-afrofuturistic psychedelic surrealistic hippies, The Illustrious Blacks, invite you to Planet Ocsid to rejoice in their union…A Union Of Kings.

Image of treya lam

treya lam

2022-2023 | treya lam developed otherland during their New York Voices commission year.

Image of Vuyo Sotashe & Chris Pattishall

Vuyo Sotashe & Chris Pattishall

In this highly-anticipated collaboration, South African vocalist Vuyo Sotashe and pianist/composer Chris Pattishall come together for an intimate and soulful evening of duets. Mainstays of the NYC music scene over the last decade, Vuyo and Chris have each contributed to a wide range of projects spanning jazz, gospel, theater and film.

Described as "a bright tenor that can easily spring from sonorous depths to the full-bodied top of his impressive range" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Vuyo made his off-Broadway debut in The Public Theater's production of Black Light. Chris has established himself as "an expert at using the jazz tradition as a jumping off-point for experimentation" (JazzTimes) and his debut album Zodiac was called "a startling revelation" (NY Times). Together they make music with a hushed vulnerability, a quiet invocation of community in the midst of turbulent times. In a program that will range from the American masters of Duke Ellington and Nina Simone to South African Xhosa hymns and Stevie Wonder, Sotashe and Pattishall bring the healing power of music to the forefront.

Image of Yacine Boulares

Yacine Boulares

2021 - 2022 | Yacine Boulares and Meera Dugal present the annual Habibi Festival: a performance showcase and community gathering that will amplify traditional and contemporary music from the SWANA region.


Image of Ali Grieb

Ali Grieb

Image of Bridget Barkan

Bridget Barkan

Image of Danny Lipsitz

Danny Lipsitz

Image of Larry Krone

Larry Krone

Image of Michael Mwenso

Michael Mwenso


Image of Celisse


Image of Isaac Oliver

Isaac Oliver

Image of Kaylyn Marie

Kaylyn Marie

Image of Stephanie McKay

Stephanie McKay

Image of Trish Nelson

Trish Nelson


Image of Courtnee Roze

Courtnee Roze

Image of Erin Markey

Erin Markey

Image of Ike Ufomadu

Ike Ufomadu

Image of Julian Velard

Julian Velard

Image of Shaina Taub

Shaina Taub


Image of Dan Fishback

Dan Fishback

Image of Dana Lyn

Dana Lyn

Image of Juliette Jones

Juliette Jones

Image of Samora Pinderhughes

Samora Pinderhughes

Image of Tori Scott

Tori Scott


Image of Becca Blackwell

Becca Blackwell

Image of Migguel Anggelo

Migguel Anggelo

Image of Truth Bachman

Truth Bachman

Image of Treya Lam

Treya Lam

Image of Yacine Boulares

Yacine Boulares

CLASS OF 2020-2022

Image of Jaime Lozano

Jaime Lozano

Image of Kirsten Maxwell

Kirsten Maxwell

Image of Roopa Mahadevan

Roopa Mahadevan

Image of Salty Brine

Salty Brine

Image of Sarah Elizabeth Charles

Sarah Elizabeth Charles

CLASS OF 2022-2023

Image of J. Hoard

J. Hoard

Image of Lama El Homaïssi

Lama El Homaïssi

Image of LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

Image of Olivia K

Olivia K

Image of Roshni Samlal

Roshni Samlal

Image of Sita Chay

Sita Chay