By Roger Paradiso
The Village Trip Festival comes back for its third year on Saturday, September 18th, through Sunday, September 26th, with a variety of events covering most of the arts. It is a celebration of what the Village was, is today, and could be in the future. It is definitely worth a visit online at greenwichvillage.nyc/events/village-trip-2021-festival.
My favorite Village artist, whom I have written about, and is in my documentaries, is the great David Amram who is not slowing down at the age of 90. David was appointed artist in residence of the first Village Trip by the festival’s Executive Producer Liz Thomson. This year he was given a raise, and is now artist emeritus. He once told me that his “heart forever belongs to the Village even though I may sleep somewhere else.”
I had the pleasure to speak to David about his many roles in this year’s festival. He said that on September 18th “We’re going to celebrate the collaboration of artists through music in Greenwich Village. I wrote music for the world premiere of Arthur Miller’s After the Fall in 1964. We were supposed to do it at the new Lincoln Center Theater, but it wasn’t ready yet. So we opened at the ANTA Washington Square Theater on West 4th Street. For this year’s festival, we’ll be outdoors on opening night, playing on West 8th Street. You know, Ernest Hemingway once said, ‘Paris is a moveable feast.’ If you walk down 8th Street today, you feel something special because the Village is also a moveable feast.”
Joining David will be vocalist Renee Manning, Jerome Harris on guitar, and Earl McIntyre on trombone. The Electric Guitar Quartet will also perform, playing music from the 1960s.
At Judson Memorial Church, on September 21st, the festival will present the world premiere of Eve Beglariam’s “Earth Requiem” and the world premiere of Amram’s “Prelude, Prayer and Dance for Unaccompanied Viola” with soloist Consuelo Sherba.
Then, on September 26th, the amazing Mr. Amram will conduct a walking tour of the Village where he will talk about the many friends with whom he collaborated, like Jack Kerouac, Edgar Varese, James Baldwin, Joan Michell, Robert Frank, and many others. It’s a tour of places where we all “hung out.” David went on to say, “The Village was and remains a community of collaborators who respected each other and were friends.”
David will also perform on the closing night of the festival, September 26th, at the world-famous Bitter End on Bleecker Street. It is billed as a “A glorious finale to The Village Trip—a celebration of the New York folk revival and its rich and enduring heritage.”
Other events and artists I would recommend seeing are the following:
Walk on the Wild Side: The Folk Scene, Before and After Bob Dylan: on September 18th, from 2:00-3:30 p.m., starting out at the Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic at 130 West 10th Street, music historian Jesse Rifkin will lead us back “down the foggy ruins of time” on a tour of places associated with the folk revival.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Talk: on September 19th, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. at the North Square Lounge at the Washington Square Hotel, 103 Waverly Place, hear Bill Groom, production designer of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, talk about using Greenwich Village as one of the key locations for the hit television series.
“It’s Difficult to Write This Without Sounding Alarmist…” Larry Kramer and the Start of AIDS Activism: this free event will take place on September 22nd from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the NYC AIDS Memorial Park, 76 Greenwich Avenue. The quote comes from the beginning of Larry Kramer’s first article on AIDS, “A Personal Appeal,” published in August 1981 in the New York Native, a gay newspaper.
Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square—Free Concert in the Park with Bobby Sanabria and His Multiverse Big Band: this performance, featuring friends and special guests, will take place on September 25th from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Garibaldi Plaza, Washington Square Park. Bring your dancing shoes for the ultimate high-energy, feel-good afternoon.
Sing Out! The Village Trip Hootenanny: on September 26th, from 7:30- 11:00 p.m., a glorious finale to The Village Trip—a celebration of the New York folk revival and its rich and enduring heritage—will be held at the Bitter End, 147 Bleecker Street.