“What a beautiful gift all your events were for NYC!” Terri Howell, Director of Operations, The Village Alliance
Heartfelt thanks to all those who had faith in our vision and who made the journey with us – sponsors, partners and private donors, and those who gave so generously of their time and expertise. Please know how much you are appreciated.
And thanks too, of course, to our wonderful performers, speakers, actors, musicians. It was an honor to have you.
See you next year – September 26-29, 2019
“Such an important new festival which needs
to become an annual event!”
“The best part was the glow on the audiences faces”
Bathed in glorious late September sunshine, on the last weekend of September Washington Square Park and the surrounding streets were a mecca for all those who appreciate the history and heritage of Greenwich Village and who want to celebrate and preserve it. From its Thursday evening launch at the historic Washington Square Hotel to Sunday’s closing folk festivities at the fabled Bitter End, The Village Trip honoured some of the many figures whose careers were born in the Village and who went on to leave an indelible mark on the world.
New Festival Shines Light on Undervalued Greenwich Village Music History
This weekend (Sept. 27-30) in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, a new festival entitled The Village Trip will shine a light on a neighborhood whose artistic and historical riches are as curious and circuitous as its winding, brick-laden streets. And while a number of boutique festivals have popped up in New York City over the last few years, this one comes from an unlikely source – a British journalist living a full ocean away.
Liz Thomson, a London-based journalist, has nurtured a lifelong interest in Greenwich Village. “Baez was my gateway drug,” says the Village Trip co-founder/executive producer of her interest in the ’60s New York folk revival, a fertile scene of music and protest that involved a post-blacklist Pete Seeger, a pre-fame Bob Dylan and a lot of acoustic guitars. Falling for Joan Baez, Vol. 2 and learning guitar as a kid, Thomson’s passion for music continued throughout college (she earned a music degree) and into her journalism career (one of her first gigs was interviewing Leonard Cohen in the ’80s prior to his comeback).
Fast-forward to 1995. Thomson is a working reporter and she gets an offer from U.K. publication Mojo to visit the neighborhood that captured her imagination as a teen. The reason, coincidentally, is Joan Baez, then in the midst of recording an album in the storied (but now-shuttered) Greenwich venue The Bottom Line. Mojo wanted her to cover the Rings Them Bells sessions, and she only too happily agreed.
Singer-songwriter whose career was born in Greenwich Village returns to headline Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square
Suzanne Vega – whose career began in Greenwich Village in the new folk revival of the 1980s – is to headline Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square, the free concert in Washington Square Park which is the focal point of The Village Trip.
Suzanne Vega to headline concert in Washington Square Park
Premiere of Greenwich Village Portraits for Saxophone
and Piano by David Amram, Village Trip Artist-in-Residence
A new festival will celebrate Greenwich Village as the historic forge in which much of 20th century American culture was hammered out. Taking place over the last four days of
September and based out of the fabled Washington Square Hotel, the inaugural Village Trip will honor the lives and work of Edna St Vincent Millay, Jack Kerouac and Eugene O’Neill, all of whom spent their formative years in the Village, and the work of photographer David Gahr.
It will also celebrate the legendary Village jazz heritage with two events in partnership with the New School: a concert at the Stiefel Hall by Billy Harper, Joanne Brackeen, Vic Juris and Dave Douglas, and a post-concert Jazz Jam at the Washington Square Hotel’s North Square Lounge featuring students from the School of Jazz sitting in with multi-instrumentalist and composer David Amram, who has worked with Leonard Bernstein, Joseph Papp, Charles Mingus and Hunter S Thompson, among others, and whose film scores include The Manchurian Candidate.
Amram, who is The Village Trip Artist-in-Residence, has worked in Greenwich Village since the 1940s, and created Jazz/Poetry with Jack Kerouac. He will perform Kerouac’s Blues in the Afternoon at the Jefferson Market Library, where Kenneth Radnofsky and Yoshiko Kline will give the world premiere performance for saxophone and piano of Amram’s Greenwich Village Portraits – three movements dedicated to his late Village friends Arthur Miller, Odetta and Frank McCourt.
Suzanne Vega, whose career began in Village clubs and coffeehouses more than 30 years ago, headlines a free concert in Washington Square Park. Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square will honor the musical heritage of the Village, whose siren call drew a student dropout from the University of Minnesota whom the world would come to know as Bob Dylan. Says Vega: “ I am happy to be doing this show in Greenwich Village, where I spent a lot of time in the eighties. I first ventured down to Folk City afraid to cross the threshold because I knew Bob Dylan had started there. But I was thrilled to be accepted by the gang of poetic songwriters I found. And it’s always good to be back.”
Village Trip will be a journey through music, words, photos and more
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | A new annual festival celebrating the “history and heritage” of Greenwich Village will hold its inaugural edition later this month.
The brainchild of Liz Thomson, a British former journalist with an abiding love for the famed Downtown enclave, The Village Trip will take place over four days, from Thurs., Sept. 27, to Sun., Sept. 30. Plans are for live music, readings, guided walks, talks and a rousing concert in Washington Square Park.
Legendary musician David Amram is enthusiastic to be the festival’s “artist in residence” and will be participating in every event. The Village Trip will feature the world premiere of Amram’s “Greenwich Village Portraits,” a piece for saxophone and piano.
Artist Lori Loebelsohn was a teenager in Brooklyn when she first set foot in the Village. She was immediately hooked and was soon living there, an art student with Washington Square Park as her campus. The richness of her experience, and her longstanding connections with the Washington Square Hotel, have now inspired an evocative poster for The Village Trip… Continue reading Memories and reflections of Greenwich Village→
The Bitter End, one of the most historic clubs in Greenwich Village, is the venue for the closing event of this year’s The Village Trip festival.
On Sunday September 30 2018, the Bitter End, at 147 Bleecker Street, will play host to a celebration of folk music in New York City with Talkin’ New York Folk Revival, an evening of live music and chat which will end in a folk jam recalling the club’s famed 1960s hootenannies. Among those performing will be Happy Traum and David Massengill, whose Village roots run deep indeed, the former having played with Bob Dylan and the latter with Dave van Ronk, the legendary “Mayor of MacDougal Street” whose memoir inspired the Coen Brothers movie Inside Llewyn Davis. Other musicians will be announced shortly.
Ian Seeberg and his band the Gingermen played Joe Marra’s legendary Night Owl in the 1960s, one of many clubs around the crossroads of MacDougal and Bleecker
Every night the streets of Greenwich Village in the 1960s were filled with a riotous blaze of neon lights and patchouli oil; a teeming, bell-bottomed sea of peace and love with no shortage of feathers, headbands and beads. Wherever you looked indelible images appeared: a darkened doorway becoming an impromptu stage for someone to muse mystically on a native flute, fervent chanters intoning through clouds of incense, strange figures emerging out of the night fog of Washington Square looking like lost Indian scouts for General Custer – and all of it set to the endless soundtrack of ringing guitar music pouring from clubs up and down the streets.
David Amram – whose distinguished seventy-year career embraces every sphere of music and who has collaborated with such diverse figures as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Hunter S Thompson and Willie Nelson – is to be Artist-in-Residence at The Village Trip.
Icon Books, a leading independent publisher with offices in New York and London, is partnering with The Village Trip for a book on Greenwich Village. The Village Trip will be a guide to the people and places that comprise this unique neighborhood. Publication is scheduled for fall 2019 in both markets.