Winter may be just over the horizon, but that doesn’t mean things are slowing down in Saratoga Springs, least of all at the Spa City’s signature folk music venue, Caffè Lena. For the upcoming 2019-20 winter season, the Saratoga venue has expanded its musical offerings with an incredible and diverse lineup, featuring more folk, jazz, roots music, Americana and even some 60th anniversary celebrations. saratoga living recently sat down with Caffè Lena’s Executive Director Sarah Craig to get a preview of what to expect this winter at the venue.
Tell me about the big acts that’ll be heading to Caffè Lena this winter.
On December 1, we’ll feature the gorgeous harp, piano, cello and vocal harmonies of Sons of Serendip, who were Season 9 finalists of America’s Got Talent. We’re also partnering with Hattie’s to heat up the holiday season with a December 12 dinner and show, featuring C.J. Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band, one of America’s premier Zydeco outfits. And we’ll finish the year with two intimate nights, featuring Amy Helm, daughter of Levon Helm of The Band, and her acoustic trio on December 28 and 29.
Which artists are you most looking forward to?
We developed a strong jazz following with our ongoing series curated by Chuck Lamb, but now we’re adding more jazz to our weekends. February’s going to have some stellar jazz shows, including French vocalist Cyrille Aimee, the double-Grammy-nominated singer Jane Monheit and an unbelievable co-bill featuring The Montreal Guitar Trio and The California Guitar Trio. Dates to come!
How do the winter months affect Lena’s programming?
Winter brings the opportunity to access top-tier Americana/roots artists, who are busy on the outdoor festival circuit in the summer. For fans who are accustomed to seeing bands such as Red Molly, We Banjo 3, Livingston Taylor, Ryan Montbleau and Joe Purdy as distant specks at a bluegrass or folk festival, this winter will be your chance to get up close and personal with them.
What’s coming up for Caffè Lena’s 60th anniversary next year?
The venue’s focused on the future of its legacy. Expect a series of storytelling sessions, where fans of the venue will share special memories in addition to a big show in May to celebrate our birthday. Lastly, throughout the year we’ll feature some fun contests and special activities, so the whole town can show its pride that Saratoga is home to the historic and vibrant Caffè Lena!