The Village Trip 2018

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.

Among them: David Amram, multi-instrumentalist and composer, who arrived in the Village in the 1950s and who has worked with such diverse and revered figures as Leonard Bernstein, Charles Mingus, Arthur Miller, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Hunter S Thompson, Joseph Papp and Jack Kerouac, with whom he performed the first ever jazz/poetry readings in 1957.

The Village Trip was honoured to feature David Amram as Artist-in-Residence and he performed with energy and generosity at every event. He said:

“I am basking in the glow of an AMAZING event that you somehow put on and made into a MIRACLE!!!!!

“Gearing up for next year and will do anything i can do to help (if you need any help in fundraising and need entertainment or furniture moving or whatever!)

EVERYONE I spoke to and who spoke to me LOVED EVERYTHING that took place!!

“You should be as proud of what you dreamed of and DID, and know that we are all equally grateful.


“It was a true honoring of dear friends no longer with us and honored and inspired many young creative people today who are here and who will redefine that spirit in their own way!”

David Amram

A full Village Trip album plus video clips will be published shortly. Meantime, here’s a few photos that capture the flavour.

From left: Musicians David Massengill, Diana Jones (and Birdie), and David Amram; Thom Duffy of Billboard; Arthur Levy, journalist and musician, and wife Andrea; and Joel Siegel, lawyer, musician and executor of photographer David Gahr in the Lobby of the Washington Square Hotel following the opening party

Artist-in-Residence David Amram makes his Village Trip debut with ‘Amazing Grace’ at the opening party

Professor Cecilia Rubino of the New School (center, in blue) and actors following the performance of scenes from Eugene O’Neill

From left: Vic Juris, Andy McKee, Joanne Brackeen and Billy Harper, jazz maestros and faculty from the New School, come together for a unique concert celebrating Jazz in the Village

Right: Jazz students from the New School play a late-night Jazz Jam with David Amram

Standing room only for Professor Lucy McDiarmid’s lecture on Edna St Vincent Millay,
‘Kissing in the Village’

David Amram with daughter, musician Adira Amram, and actress and film producer Suzanne Hayes-Kelly, following their performance of Jack Kerouac jazz/poetry

Pianist Yoshiko Kline and saxophonist Ken Radnofsky perform the world premiere of David Amram’s Greenwich Village Portraits. In the background, Conrad Kline’s accompanying film plays

Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square: VickiKristinaBarcelona win an enthusiastic reception as they open the proceedings; Suzanne Vega doffs her top hat to the Village, where she came to fame; Martha Redbone, all the way from Kentucky via Brooklyn, wows the crowd as the sun sets over the Washington Square Park. David Amram, who sprinkled his special brand of magic at every event, offers an entr’acte performance of Phil Ochs’ touching ‘When I’m Gone’

Talkin’ New York Folk Revival, a heartfelt celebration that conjured up the spirits of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and many others, took place at the legendary Bitter End on Bleecker Street. The Village Trip finale, it featured Tom Chapin and the Chapin Sisters, Happy Traum, Diana Jones and David Massengill, with Michael Mark on bass. David Mansfield, fiddler star of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, was the special guest and the irrepressible David Amram sprinkled yet more magic, recalling encounters with Guthrie and many others. 

Many thanks to everyone who helped make The Village Trip happen, not least our sponsors and partners, and all friends and family whose support and love enabled us to launch this cherished project. Thank you also to the many people, in the Village and beyond, who helped – artistically, practically, logistically. Please know how deeply we appreciate your time, patience and kindness.

We couldn’t have done it without you. 
See you all for The Village Trip 2019!