The Village Trip 2021admin2022-03-30T09:21:53-04:00
REVIEW of THE VILLAGE TRIP IN 2021
A nine-day festival held in late September 2021 that celebrated the glorious community of Greenwich Village and all it has given the world. More than 30 events and over 50 performers at venues across the Village. Scroll on for photographs.
“New York is definitely back,” said musician and broadcaster Jon McEntyre aka Jonny Darlin at the end of a sun-filled, joy-fuelled day in Washington Square Park. Crowds danced away the final Saturday of September to the infectious rhythms of Bobby Sanabria and His Multiverse Big Band with special guest Janis Siegel, lead singer of The Manhattan Transfer.
The free concert was, as usual, the centerpiece of The Village Trip, the festival founded in 2018 to celebrate the artistic and social history of Greenwich Village. It’s been said that the Village is less a place, more a state of mind with no boundaries. The Village Trip celebrated that with more than thirty events – walks and talks, and folk, jazz, rock, and classical music, including a special concert by the young students of the Third Street Music Settlement School. The festival kicked off with David Amram and friends on Eighth Street on September 18, a celebration of “The Eighth Street Experience,” with appropriate touches of Jimi Hendrix provided by Bodies Electric, and ended on the 26th with David and yet more friends in a grand folk finale at the historic Bitter End, New York City’s oldest rock club, marking its sixtieth birthday this year.
David, who is Artist Emeritus of The Village Trip, also led a unique walk, celebrating “sixty-five joyous years in the Village,” its rich history deeply entwined with his own. In 2022, he will lead TVT’s celebration of his old friend Jack Kerouac’s centenary.
This year The Village Trip grew from three to nine days and expanded in scope to include a theater crawl, readings by children’s book authors, buskers, and open design studios.
Geographically as well as spiritually, Washington Square has always been the center of the Village, and Bohemia’s beating heart, a place to which everyone – locals and folks from around the world – is ineluctably drawn, whether it’s to protest or just hang out.
And hang out on that sunny Saturday they did, from the lunchtime soundcheck until the last notes of “Let the Good Times Roll.” “All night long” the crowds chanted back at surprise guest, singer Antoinette Montague, who closed the show, boogying through the throng to take the stage.
Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein, danced the day away, then commented on Facebook: “Boyoboy did it ever go down. Wash Sq Park didn’t know what hit it!”
Janis Siegel called it “a magical day of NYC music, history, community, movement and visual stimulation.” As the organisers of The Village Trip, we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Thanks for coming. See you next year.
Liz Thomson and Cliff Pearson
Joint Artistic Directors
Just simply a magical day of NYC music, history, community, movement and visual stimulation. I’m grateful to Bobby Sanabria and his powerful Multiverse Orchestra and to Liz Thomson, the creator and visionary of the Village Trip Festival. Was thrilled to see some NYU students attending as well as all the old hippies in the neighborhood! Janis Siegel, writing on Facebook. after performing in Washington Square with Bobby Sanabria
The Eighth Street Experience and The Bitter End
The Eigth Street Experience
Amram on Eighth: David (center) with (from left) Renée Manning, Jerome Harris, René Hart, Earl McIntyre, Kevin Twigg and Adam Amram (photo: The Village Trip)
Hannah Reimann giving a special after-show performance of Joni Mitchell’s Blue in its fiftieth anniversary year (photo: Jamie Kalikow)
David Massengill, Sing Out! stalwart (photo: Jamie Kalikow)
Make ‘em laugh: Artist Emeritus David Amram in storytelling mode at Sing Out! With (from left), René Hart, David Massengill, Robin Batteau, Marshal Rosenberg, Christine Lavin, Hannah Reimann and Michele Temple (photo: Jamie Kalikow)
Christine Lavin, host of Sing Out!, the closing event of The Village Trip, held as usual at the Bitter End. From left: David Buskin, David Massengill, Robin Batteau, René Hart, Hannah Reimann, Michele Temple and Marshal Rosenberg (photo: Jamie Kalikow)
David Amram (center) and friends Jerome Harris, guitar, and René Hart, bass (photo: Jamie Kalikow)
Turned on, tuned in – Bodies Electric (photo: The Village Trip)
Bodies Electric opened “The Eighth Street Experience”, co-hosted by The Village Trip and the Village Alliance. A celebration of one of New York City’s most iconic thoroughfares, a center of fashion, art and music, and home to Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios. The day-long event opened the festival, “The Star-Spangled Banner” a clarion call to late-sleeping neighbors. From left: William Anderson, John Chang, Dan Lippel, Kyle Miller and Adam Negrin (photo: Maria Passannante-Derr)
William Anderson and John Chang of Bodies Electric (photo: Maria Passannante-Derr)
Just Trippin’: under blue skies and hot sun, relaxing to the music of David Amram and Friends, including special guests Renée Manning and Earl McIntyre. The Village Trip Artist Emeritus anchored the event, playing and singing for much of the afternoon. “Amazing Grace”, sung by Renée, was dedicated to local activist Doris Diether, a veteran of the battle against Robert Moses to save the Village (photo: Maria Passannante-Derr)
Bodies Electric, left to right, Dan Lippel, Oren Fader, John Chang, William Anderson, Kyle Miller, Adam Negrin, John Ferrari and Rich Atkins (photo: Vong Pak)
At the Bitter End, celebrating Frank Zappa and Edgard Varèse, two great Village iconoclasts. Left to right Dan Lippel, Oren Fader, John Chang, William Anderson, Kyle Miller, Adam Negrin, John Ferrari and Rich Atkins – Bodies Electric – with soprano Sharon Harms (photo: Vong Pak)
This is what New York is all about. Live music, community-based, for free that everybody can enjoy, we’ve been missing this. This is a late summer explosion before the weather shuts us down. Let’s enjoy what the city has to offer Ericka Hamburg, who traveled from Staten Island to join the fun, quoted in AMNY
Classical music at St John's and Judson
Mika Sasaki, piano, Serena Canin, violin, Sophie Shao, cello, and Daniel Panner, viola, perform Harold Meltzer’s Piano Quartet at St John’s in the Village. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
Malcolm J Merriweather directs the choir in Earth Requiem at Judson Memorial Church. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: Fritz Myers)
Soprano Sharon Harms and Susannah Chapman, cello, perform at an evening of chamber music by Harold Meltzer at St John’s in the Village. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
Soprano Elizabeth Farnum with William Anderson, mandolin, and Oren Fader, guitar, at an evening of chamber music by Harold Meltzer. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
Harold Meltzer and friends at St John’s in the Village after the concert of his chamber music. The performance was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
Diana Wege (center), artist and librettist, with Eve Beglarian and Jeff Beal, composers of Earth Requiem. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: Fritz Myers)
Marc Peloquin and David Del Tredici pause during the concert to discuss Del Tredici’s music. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
At St John’s in the Village, Marc Peloquin gives a recital of David Del Tredici’s piano music. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
At Judson Memorial Church, violist Consuelo Sherba premières David Amram’s Prelude, Prayer and Dance. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
William Anderson and Oren Fader performing at an evening of chamber music by Harold Meltzer at St John’s in the Village. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
Rehearsing: Consuelo Sherba talks with David Amram, composer of Prelude, Prayer and Dance for Unaccompanied Viola, which was premiered at The Village Trip. The concert was presented with support from the Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music (photo: The Village Trip)
David Amram and Consuelo Sherba, relaxing after the concert. Their friendship dates back more than forty years and began in Greenwich Village (photo: The Village Trip)
With Liz and Cliff joining hands and so many other people now realizing that Liz's crazy dream is NOT so crazy after all, I feel certain that the Festival will continue to grow and become an inspiration for ALL New Yorkers to appreciate the amazing city we still have and the jewel and oasis that the Village has been for so long!! David Amram
Walks and talks
David Amram’s walk began under the Arch, the walk took in the site of the celebrated Cedar Tavern, Alice Neel’s old home, the site of the Weather Underground’s explosion, and his own former pad on Sixth Avenue and 10th Street. The Pied Piper of Greenwich Village led everyone on to Patchin Place, where a plaque marks where e e cummings once lived, and into Cornelia Street. It ended outside Café Figaro, where so much Village history happened – and soon will again (photos: Maria Passannante-Derr)
David Amram, Artist Emeritus of The Village Trip, came to the Village in the 1950s. He’s known everyone, played with everyone – Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Oscar Pettiford, Woody Herman, and Woody Guthrie to name but a few. He and Jack Kerouac brought jazz/poetry to New York City, playing at the Five Spot and the Circle in the Square. David’s walk through “sixty-five joyous years” of Village history explored “The Beatific Spirt of the Village: An oasis for Bohemians, Beats, Be-boppers and Lovers of Beethoven, Boiled Cabbage, and Borscht.” (photos: Maria Passannante-Derr)
Storytelling in Washington Square Park with authors Ann Burg and Diane Zahler (photo: The Village Trip)
Bill Groom, production designer of the award-winning Amazon series, takes a rapt audience behind the scenes of The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. The capacity crowd, gathered at the Washington Square Hotel’s North Square Lounge over Black Manhattan cocktails, had plenty of detailed questions to pose (photo: The Village Trip)
In a talk at the New York City AIDS Memorial, NBC’s Bill Goldstein, authorised biographer of playwright and activist Larry Kramer, looked back forty years to the first reports of the mysterious disease that came to be known as AIDS. Drawing on his research in the Kramer archives, Bill discussed with David Harper, Executive Director of the Memorial, the early calls to community activism prompted by Kramer’s “A Personal Appeal,” the very first article on AIDS, published in August 1981 (photo: The NYC AIDS Memorial)
Public historian Kathleen Hulser explored the lives of the “Mad, Bad and Boho Women of the Village” – mavericks such as Emma Goldman, Isadora Duncan, Dorothy Day, Mabel Dodge, Louise Bryant, Nina Simone, Jane Jacobs, and Angela Davis and the many other rebellious spirits who left their mark on Greenwich Village – and on the world. Eleanor Roosevelt lived in the Village before and after her time in the White House (photo: CC Arshagra)
A weekend of organised busking took place in Father Demo Square, supported by the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. One of the acts: Off the Bar Brass (photo: The Village Trip)
From a big band blaring Latin-spiced jazz in Washington Square Park to a phalanx of electric guitarists playing Frank Zappa and a special 50th-anniversary performance of Joni Mitchell’s landmark Blue album, The Village Trip’s final weekend was awash in music. The nine-day annual festival, in its third incarnation, wrapped up in grand fashion The Village Sun
Happy crowds in the Park (photo: Maria Passannante-Derr)
Amram’s tools of the trade (photo: The Village Trip)
Ronald Koppel and his feathered friend (photo: The Village Trip)
Artist Olivia Gonzalez Zamarron at work sketching the band (photo: The Village Trip)
Hanging out: Jeremy Tepper of Sirius XM (right) with journalist and author Larry Sloman, celebrated chronicler of the Rolling Thunder Revue tour when Joan Baez nicknamed him Ratso (photo: The Village Trip)
On West 4th Street – and just outside Bob Dylan’s first Village apartment – an electronic billboard advertises the main event (photo: The Village Trip)
Laura Cantrell, country singer-songwriter and broadcaster, with Doug Yeager, manager of David Amram and festival consultant (photo: The Village Trip)
David Amram relaxing in The Cagney Room at the Washington Square Hotel (photo by Alana Amram)
David Amram, Artist Emeritus of The Village Trip (center) with joint artistic directors Cliff Pearson and Liz Thomson, the festival’s founder (photo: Maria Passannante-Derr)
Downtime at Da Andrea: From left, Dr Elise Sobol of NYU, Liz Thomson, Janis Siegel, Cliff Pearson, Bobby Sanabria and his wife Elena Martinez, co-artistic director of the Bronx Music Heritage Center, and Antoinette Montague (photo: The Village Trip)
Many thanks to all our donors and supporters, in particular:
The Washington Square Park Conservancy | The Washington Square Association | The Village Alliance | Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce | Village Preservation | New York University | The Red House Fund | Three Lives & Company | Martin Colyer | Jeanne Donovan Fisher | Keith Fox | Leslie Garfield |The Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music
Special thanks to David Amram and Doug Yeager for their belief, wise counsel and energetic participation; Duncan Milne; Ellen Rubin and Dan Scheffey; Jamie Kalikow and Maria Passannante-Derr; Paul Rizzo and the Bitter End; Father Graeme Napier and St John’s in the Village; and to the great band of festival volunteers.
Finally, deep thanks and appreciation to Judy Paul and Marc Garrett, and Rita Paul, owners of The Washington Square Hotel, inaugural sponsor of The Village Trip and the festival’s home base. Their friendship and support over more than twenty-five years proved that even crazy dreams can sometimes come true.