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Caffé Lena @ SPAC

“Caffè Lena @ SPAC” Returns for a Free Two Day Festival on the Charles R. Wood Stage at Saratoga Performing Arts Center

In partnership with Caffè Lena, Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces that its popular “Caffè Lena @ SPAC” Concert Series will return for a free two day festival on Saturday, July 24 and Sunday July 25 from noon to 4 p.m. Slated to take place on SPAC’s Charles R. Wood Stage, the festival will feature six bands that explore global and American folk music including The Kruger Brothers, The Sea The Sea, Jean Rohe Trio, The Rad Trads, Kiran Ahluwalia Trio and The Lost Radio Rounders. The “Caffe Lena @ SPAC” series highlights a unique, ongoing collaboration between the classical cornerstone and iconic folk music venue.

“Our on-going partnership with Caffè Lena has been so gratifying on so many levels, never more so as we continued to work together throughout some of the darkest days of the pandemic. We are just thrilled to be celebrating this summer’s return to live music with Sarah Craig and the amazing array of global artists she has put together for Caffe Lena @ SPAC,” says Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of SPAC. 

"We've done several editions of ‘Caffè Lena @ SPAC’ and it's one of the most-requested events of the year. The audience gets to enjoy a couple regional favorites, and also discover some fresh new sounds from the national scene,” says Sarah Craig, executive director of Caffè Lena. "Our theme this year is the roots of branches of global folk music. Opening on Saturday, The Lost Radio Rounders ground us in classic American folk and then we just start building from there. The Sea, The Sea and Jean Rohe Trio show us what folk becomes when you merge it with rock and pop. The Rad Trads from NYC branch out with a folk and jazz toolkit on really happy harmony-drenched pop. We follow that with the Kruger Brothers, a Grammy-nominated contemporary bluegrass band from North Carolina by way of Switzerland. Capping off the two days is Kiran Ahluwahlia Trio merging the folk traditions of three continents: Africa, India and North America.”

The collaboration between SPAC and Caffè Lena first launched in 2017, encompassing jointly curated and presented programs at both venues, with the location varying by season. Guests are welcome to bring in food, drink, blankets and lawn chairs for the concerts. Food concessions will also be available. The concerts will take place rain or shine.

Saturday, July 24

The Lost Radio Rounders

Revisit the early days of live radio with Lost Radio Rounders’ broad selection of favorites and re-discovered relics from classic shows such as Grand Ole Opry, the National Barn Dance and King Biscuit Time. In addition to a mixed bag of hillbilly ravers, gospel favorites, string band curios and classics from the folk tradition, expect nuggets from the likes of the Delmore Brothers, Cousin Emmy, and Hank Williams. Guitarist/vocalist Tom Lindsay and multi-instrumentalist Michael Eck make up the Lost Radio Rounders with Evan Conway on bass.

The Sea The Sea

Chuck E. Costa and Mira Costa are an Upstate New York indie folk-pop duo featuring what Bob Boilen (NPR’s All Songs Considered) calls “excellent harmonies” & Huffington Post calls “Two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year.” The band has garnered features across all music platforms including Apple Music “Best of the Week” and “A-List Singer/Songwriter,” gathering 20+ million streams on Spotify to-date.

Jean Rohe Trio

Jean Rohe writes one-of-a-kind narrative songs, concerned as much with the internal world as with the external. Her latest record as a bandleader, Sisterly, produced by longtime collaborator Liam Robinson (Music Director, Hadestown), is a collection of songs about communication and missed connections, and tackles topics from love, lust, and longing to prisons, police violence, and migration. Her sound is jazzy, rootsy and global.

Sunday, July 25

The Rad Trads

Based in New York City, The Rad Trads have quickly gained a reputation for being one of New York’s most entertaining live acts. They bring their love of the game to soulful American music, with influences ranging from early jazz to New Orleans brass, R&B, Chicago and delta blues, and rock & roll. Featuring three powerful horns, a driving rhythm section, and three captivating lead vocalists, The Rad Trads consistently win over audiences with their relentless energy, charisma, and enthusiasm.

The Kruger Brothers

Originating in Switzerland, the Kruger Brothers seamlessly blend elements of bluegrass, jazz and classical music into a sound all their own. Brothers Jens and Uwe were first drawn to American folk music after discovering artists such as Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and Lester Flatts. Over the course of two decades, the Kruger Brothers have become a fixture of the folk world, gaining the attention of the musicians that once served as role models to them. Doc Watson said, “The Kruger Brothers are just about as fine a band as I’ve ever played with.”

Kiran Ahluwalia Trio

Kiran Ahluwalia is a modern exponent of the great vocal traditions of India and Pakistan which she honors intensely yet departs from in masterful, personal ways. Her original compositions embody the essence of Indian music while embracing influences from Mali and Western blues, rock, R & B and nuances of jazz. With her trio of guitar, organ and vocals, Ahluwalia creates boundary-breaking songs that invite us to explore the human condition, transcending the self by losing ourselves in a trance of groove and melody.

CAFFE LENA @ SPAC CONCERT LINEUP

JULY 24

Noon-1 PM|The Lost Radio Rounders

1:30-2:30 PM| The Sea, The Sea

3-4 PM | Jean Rohe Trio

JULY 25

Noon-1 PM| Rad Trads

1:30-2:30  PM | The Kruger Brothers

3-4 PM | Kiran Ahluwahlia Trio