Dialog Title


Your cart is about to expire.


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.

“One of the greatest joys in assembling each year’s JPWG cohort is to watch the interconnection between this group of far-reaching artists develop over the course of the year. Each member brings their own expertise and inquiry to the group, and together create a microcosm of the city’s larger artistic community.” - Alex Knowlton, Director of Joe's Pub.

The 2023-2024 Joe's Pub Working Group is comprised of: Ellen Winter, Esraa Warda, Firas Zreik, and Queen Esther.

Past JPWG members include Becca Blackwell, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Celisse, Erin Markey, Michael Mwenso, Isaac Oliver, Samora Pinderhughes, Shaina Taub, Ikechukwu Ufomadu, and more.

Photo credit: Alaric Campbell

Ellen Winter

Ellen Winter is a song-singing queerdo, music producer, and teaching artist whose music fuses theatrical storytelling with dreamy synths and vocal stacks. She co-composed/wrote/directed 36 Questions, the world’s first Broadway-caliber musical podcast starring Jonathan Groff (Hamilton) and Jessie Shelton (Hadestown). In 2020, she released her debut glitter-fueled album, Every Feeling I've Ever Felt, and the record's viral empowerment anthem “Mantras” hit #1 on the US In-Store Radio Charts. Ellen is a recipient of the 2021 Bryan Gallace/Posthumous Prodigy Productions Musicians Fellowship. Past Residencies include: Ars Nova Makers Lab, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Mercury Store, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, and BarnArts. 

Esraa Warda

Esraa Warda is New York's emerging dance artist and educator specializing in Algerian and Moroccan traditional dance forms. A child of the Algerian diaspora, Warda is a cultural warrior advocating for the representation & preservation of North African women-led dance traditions and the decolonization of euro-centricity, orientalism, and patriarchy in dance. Warda is a product of "popular education"; a student of intercommunal transmission of oral history and muscle memory from her family's living room in Algiers. She continues with this essence both still as a student of elders and as an educator for the upcoming generations. Her dance workshops and lectures have trailblazed their way to educational institutions such as Cornell University, Wellesley College, King's College (London), and University of Ottawa. She performs with notable North African women's groups such as Rai icon Cheikha Rabia (Paris), and Bnat el Houariyat (Marrakech) and often performs internationally in New York, Paris, Belgium, Casablanca, and London.

Firas Zreik

Firas Zreik is a Palestinian Kanun player, composer, arranger, and educator based in New York. Zreik combines his deep understanding of the Maqam (the scale system in the Levantine, North African & the Mediterranean region) with elements of modern global musical styles which he absorbed throughout his musical development, creating a fresh modern authentic sound, in a dazzling technique with the Kanun at its core. Firas is the lead Kanun player and soloist for The National Arab Orchestra, the lead Kanun player for legendary Oud virtuoso Simon Shaheen, as well as the musical director for his illustrious mother Amal Murkus and her band. He has worked with international artists ranging from Roger Waters to Bassam Saba and performed at prestigious venues across the world including Boston Symphony Hall, Lincoln Center, Carthage International Festival, Savannah Music Festival, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and the Smithsonian Museum.

Queen Esther

Queen Esther is a Harlem-based vocalist, songwriter, musician and solo performer (1983 YoungArts winner in Theater) uses her Southern roots as a touchstone to sonically explore cultural mores in America, deconstructing well-worn historical narratives and creating a reclamation-driven soundscape. She was raised in Atlanta and embedded in Charleston, South Carolina’s culturally rich and enigmatic Lowcountry – a region with African traditions and Black folkways that span centuries and continue to inform her work. Although she is often described as “...a Black Lucinda Williams…” (Vanity Fair), vocal descriptives have included “...Aretha Franklinesque…” (Feedback) and have shifted easily from Billie Holiday and Sly Stone to Sarah Vaughn and Melissa Etheridge. Her self-released critically acclaimed Black Americana album Gild The Black Lily continues to make waves since its March 2021 release.