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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.
Facing the rapidly shifting state of the music industry, Shanta Thake, former Director of Joe’s Pub, conceived of Joe’s Pub Working Group to help artists at a critical point in their careers. “From where we stand, at the center of one of the most vibrant performance ecologies in the world, we have the great fortune of intersecting with hundreds of unique artists every year,” said Thake. “We see it as our responsibility as a non-profit independent music venue to foster a community that elevates the work and reach of these artists.”
Our 2019 cohort includes: Migguel Anggelo, Trevor Bachman, Becca Blackwell, Yacine Boulares, and Treya Lam.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Applications are now open for the Joe's Pub Working Group class of 2020. Apply here by November 15, 2019.
MIGGUEL ANGGELO is a performer, writer, and songwriter breaking barriers on the American stage by creating unique works that are reflective of the multicultural, multi-lingual, changing demographics of our country and times. The Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born artist trained for a dozen years in classical ballet, studied voice at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany, has written music throughout all of his journeys as an immigrant in several countries, and has released two albums, the most recent being La Casa Azul.
TREVOR BACHMAN is a composer, vocalist, and writer of socially-focused musicals. Described by The New York Times as ”musically and vocally rich” and by New York Magazine for their “golden-voiced…soulful vocals.” Their most recent works are FARMED: A Live Podcast Album (Joe’s Pub, Theatre C, Kickstarter HQ), which featured scored interviews from dozens of communities nationwide and a 25-person choir; Shapeshifters, a new musical commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, commissioned by the Denovan Grant, debuting January 2019; and Chasing Fear, a new musical in English and Turkish, debuting in San Diego in April 2019.
BECCA BLACKWELL is a New York-based transgender actor, performer, and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun "they," Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller's Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, Erin Markey, Sharon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf, and Lisa D'Amour. Their solo show They, Themself and Schmerm still tours. Film and television credits include High Maintenance, Untitled Noah Baumbach Project, Shameless, Deadman's Barstool, and Jack in the Box. Blackwell is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award.
YACINE BOULARES is a French-Tunisian saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. Granted a Fullbright Scholarship to the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Boulares moved to New York to learn from his idols, including Chris Cheek, Donny McCaslin, Reggie Workman and more. New York exposed him to different music—he joined ex-Fela Kuti drummer Jojo Kuo's Afrobeat Collective, late Cameroonian singer Martino Atangana's African Blue Note, and Haitian Kompa legends Tabou Combo. In their music, he found a deep echo of his North African roots – the Bikutsi rhythms from Cameroon evoked the rhythms of Tunisia. This led to the creation of the band AJOYO, a mystic brew of African tradition, jazz, and soul.
TREYA LAM is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose cinematic songs and ethereal vocals are built on Nina Simone-inspired piano, meditative guitar, and lush chamber arrangements. Lam’s debut album, Good News, was released on Kaki King’s label, Short Stuff Records. Produced by King, the album, which features Lam playing many of the instruments, was recorded with many talented female musicians, most notably Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams, Jack White, Norah Jones) on upright bass, and mixer Erin Tonkon (David Bowie, Esperanza Spalding). It debuted to a sold-out crowd at Joe’s Pub followed by a nationwide tour in fall 2018.
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. Each commission culminates with a run of live shows on the Joe’s Pub stage.
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 2019 commissions are by: Alynda Segarra, Erin Markey, Helga Davis, and The Illustrious Blacks.
The Illustrious Blacks
Joe’s Pub expands the reach of its artist driven programming, with an annual Philadelphia-based residency for musical storytellers. Led by Alex Knowlton, Director of Joe’s Pub, and Jay Wahl, Artistic Director of the Kimmel Center, Joe’s Pub Philadelphia is an incubator created to enrich works-in-progress through mentorship. Artist-residents represent the breadth and diversity of the work performed on the Joe’s Pub stage, and are encouraged to produce work that resonates far beyond it.
Ethan Lipton’s The Outer Space represents a wonderful example of the program’s success. The New York Times Critic’s Pick was initially explored at Joe’s Pub Philadelphia in 2015. In 2017 it was performed as part of The Public Theater’s season as a full production on the Joe’s Pub stage.
The 2019 cohort was focused on text, voice, music, and body, and how these elements are woven together into musical and theatrical storytelling. Artists will be challenged to transcend their rehearsal limitations and plumb the depths of long-form narrative, with strategic guidance from Knowlton, Wahl, and Dael Orlandersmith (Mentor & Playwright in Residence), in addition to their mentor partners. The residency will culminate in excerpt performances at the Kimmel Center that are free for the public to attend.
Elvis-Bob Ohia Bechiro
Anthony Martinez-Briggs with LaTasha Morris, Andrew Nittoli, and Jordan McRee
Michael Joseph McQuilken
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.
Judy Collins is the 2019 recipient of The Joe’s Pub Vanguard Award & Residency.Collins is honored for her legendary career inspiring audiences with her sublime vocals and boldly vulnerable songwriting but also her fierce activism and mentorship to many artists. Beyond her own performances, the year under Collins’s distinctive curatorial guidance will include Thomas Dybdahl, Mx. Justin Vivian Bond and Ari Hest.
Alex Knowlton, Director of Joe’s Pub, said, “Continuing this program into its second year with the Voice of a Generation is a dream. Beyond her extraordinary talent, Judy Collins remains one of America’s most vital artists because of her creative rigor and dedication to her artistry. As Joe’s Pub endeavors to support artists at every stage, we look to Judy for not only what it takes to make a sustainable career but one with significant social and cultural impact. Her values align so closely with ours at Joe’s Pub – especially her steadfast dedication to social justice.”
Judy Collins 2019 Curated Performance Series:
The 2019 Joe's Pub Vanguard Gala | Honoring Judy Collins - February 4, 2019
Thomas Dybdahl - February 7, 2019
Justin Vivian Bond: Under the Influence - March 5 - 17, 2019
Ari Hest - May 23, 2019
Shaina Taub - July 16, 2019
Helga Davis – September 27, 2019
Justin Vivian Bond: Under the Influence – September 27 – October 2, 2019
Judy Collins: Winter Stories w/ Jonas Fjeld & Chatham County Line – November 18 – November 27, 2019
Fay Wildhagen – December 11, 2019
The 2018 Vanguard Award and Residency was awarded to Nona Hendryx. In 2020 the Vanguard Award & Residency will be awarded to Laurie Anderson.
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).
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.
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.