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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 abilities to reach wider audiences. Many of the commissioned works have toured nationally and internationally. The 2022/2023 commissions are by: Bahia Watson & Liza Paul, Chris Pattishall & Vuyo Sotashe, Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire, Sunny Jain, and treya lam.

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

Photo credit: Lawrence Sumulong

Sunny Jain: Love Force

Sunny Jain’s Love Force centers on the Punjabi dhol drum, blurring the lines of performer and audience by creating a collective effervescence. Drawing from tradition, rituals and in the moment musical improvisation, the show reflects the ethos of Leo Tolstoy, B.R. Ambedkar, Martin Luther King, Jr, Audre Lorde and Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II. 

This presentation of Love Force is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Love Force is funded in part by the MAP Fund and their funding partners, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, along with the The Howard Gilman Foundation.

Performed at Joe's Pub May 4, 2022.

Photo credit: Adrienn Tillmann

MASHUP ting!

MASHUP ting! is an island-kissed circus cabaret. fusing irreverent humor with clever cultural critique, MASHUP ting! pokes fun at human life and puts it to music. through a series of vignettes and songs, two ringmasters rum punch up at the ruling class, giving you a funhouse mirror look at the sheer absurdity of dis oppressive world. the path to liberation sparkles with laughter. come one, come all. let’s get unruly.

To be performed at Joe's Pub September 15 - 17, 2022.

Photo credit: Ariane Laezza
Photo edit: Bahia Watson

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.

To be performed at Joe's Pub Octoer 20, 2022.

treya lam

treya lam is developing otherland - an audiovisual chamber-folk album on radical self acceptance, intersecting identities and healing in the wake of grief and loss - during her New York Voices commission year.

treya lam is an American multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who’s joyously complex identity informs but does not define their work, whether solo or when collaborating with a variety of multidisciplinary ensembles. Their strident voice, politically charged songwriting and fluent instrumental prowess on guitar, piano and strings recalls Nina Simone and Ani DiFranco. Their debut album Good News was released via Kaki King’s label, Short Stuff Records.

Photo credit: Anna Azarov

Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire

Daniel J. Watts & Nick Blaemire will develop a new work, Quixote, as their New York Voices commission.

Daniel J. Watts is a 2020 Tony Award nominee and Outer Critics Circle Award Winner for his portrayal of Ike Turner in the hit broadway musical TINA. He has appeared in several Broadway shows including Hamilton, Memphis, and After Midnight. He received the Barrymore Award (Peoples Light) and the LA Ovation Award (Geffen Playhouse) for best featured actor for his portrayal of Sammy Davis, Jr. in Lights Out: Nat King Cole opposite Dulé Hill. His television credits include “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, “The Last OG”, “Blindspot”, and “Vinyl”.

Nick Blaemire is a writer and performer based in Brooklyn. At 23 years old, Nick made his Broadway debut twice over, at the same time — as an actor, he was in the original cast of Cry-Baby, and he also wrote the score to the Broadway one-night sensation rock musical Glory Days (book by James Gardiner), which has since had over 50 productions around the world, and re-opened in Japan in Fall 2021. He has since written six other original musicals.

Photo courtesy the artists.