Vanguard Award & Residency.
The Vanguard Award & Residency 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 Residency is awarded to 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
Additional shows to be announced.
The 2018 Vanguard Award and Residency was awarded to Nona Hendryx. In 2019 the Vanguard Award & Residency was awarded to Judy Collins. In 2020 the Vanguard Award and Residency was awarded to 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.
Grammy Award-nominated funk, art rock and new wave pioneer Nona Hendryx was the inaugural recipient of the Joe’s Pub Vanguard Residency. 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
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 is the 2019 recipient of the Joe's Pub Vanguard Award & Residency.
Photo credit: Alaric Campbell
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 is the 2020 recipient of the Joe's Pub Vanguard Award & Residency.
Photo credit: Alaric Campbell
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
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 & Residency.
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.
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
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
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.
Previous Artist Development Programs.
NEW YORK VOICES ALUMNI
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
2013 | Rock Bottom was written by Bridget Everett with Tony-winning writing duo Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.
Chris Pattishall & Vuyo Sotashe
2022 - 2023 | Chris Pattishall & Vuyo Sotashe are developing a new project as their New York Voices commission.
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.
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.
Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire
2022 - 2023 | Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire began to develop a new work, Quixote, as their New York Voices commission.
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.
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.
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.
2020-2021 | Haig Papazian's Space Time Tuning Machine (STTM) is a cross-disciplinary musical narrative exploring the multifaceted meanings of home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2012 | Lines was a collaboration conceived by singer, musician, and composer Toshi Reagon in development with playwright Winter Miller, and director Lear deBesonnet.
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.
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.
2022-2023 | treya lam developed otherland during their New York Voices commission year.
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.
JOE'S PUB WORKING GROUP
CLASS OF 2015
CLASS OF 2016
CLASS OF 2017
CLASS OF 2018
CLASS OF 2019
CLASS OF 2020-2022
Sarah Elizabeth Charles
CLASS OF 2022-2023
Lama El Homaïssi
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs