Café Bohemia hosts West Village Word’s Neo-Beat experience
New York, NY: West Village Word, a monthly curation at the legendary Cafe Bohemia by poet and jazz journalist John Pietaro, launches Wednesday, February 26. This month’s artists, featured in 45-minute sets, are downtown perennials Puma Perl & Friends and rising stars Lindsey Wilson & the Human Hearts. Pietaro’s duo SHADOWS will play a brief opening to each set. The series, planned for the last Wednesday of each month, will present integrated spoken word and music, conjuring Greenwich Village's underground arts past while exploring today’s unique JazzPoetry, Neo-Beat and Post-Punk poets.
Café Bohemia was a favorite 1950s haunt of jazz legends such as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and Cannonball Adderly as well as the original Beat Generation writer, Jack Kerouac. The club, recently re-opened in its original address, is already being touted as a space for a creative community displaced by ever-rising costs. “The heritage of this place is built into its foundation”, Café Bohemia manager Christine Santelli states. “You can feel it. Between 1955 and ’60, most every jazz great played here and many recorded live on the club’s stage”. The space’s history goes back to the 1940s when, as the Pied Piper, it hosted stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson and traditional jazz trumpeter Max Kaminsky.
With live music scheduled seven nights per week—from the “cool” progressive and trad “hot” jazz schools, rollicking blues and folk, and a new residency by noted singer-songwriter Michelle Shocked, the club’s promise has quickly been realized. “All that was missing was performance poetry”, said West Village Word curator Pietaro. “Hey, the Beats walked these quarters”.
West Village Word
February 26, 8PM and 10PM sets (see below)
Admission: $20 per set
Café Bohemia 15 Barrow Street, New York NY CafeBohemia.com
-8PM: PUMA PERL & FRIENDS: This Village poet and writer has five solo collections in print, most recently, Birthdays Before and After (Beyond Baroque Books, 2019.) Her band paints musical portraits behind the words: Joff Wilson, guitar; Walter Steding, violin; Danny Ray, saxophone; Joe Sztabnik, bass; Dave Donen, drums. Pumaperl.blogspot.com
-10PM: LINDSEY WILSON & THE HUMAN HEARTS: The singer-songwriter, poet, actress and guitarist is a performer steeped in story-telling, social justice and the liberation of creativity. The band includes Reggie Sylvester, drums and Michael Trotman, bass. lindseywilsonmusic.com