Debo Band, Lady Rizo, and More Set for Joe's Pub This Week

Debo Band, Lady Rizo, and More Set for Joe's Pub This Week

Each week Joe's Pub at The Public presents some of New York City's most eclectic programming ranging from world to classical, pop, singer-songwriter, jazz and more. At the center of Joe's Pub's genre-blind booking is The Public Theater's mission to bring world-class performance to New York City's diverse cultural community.


January 14 at 7:00 PM

Bandleader Danny Mekonnen, lead singer Bruck Tesfaye and their nine partners in the Boston-based outfit Debo Band were inspired by eminences of the Golden Age of Ethiopian popular music -Astatke; singers Mahmoud Ahmed, Tilahun Gessesse, Alemayehu Eshete, Bezunesh Bekele. Mekonnen, an ethnomusicologist by training, speaks with awe of the moment he received several hundred MP3s from an elder in Washington, D.C. (that hub of the Ethiopian diaspora). Other Debo members, like electric violinist Jonah Rapino, credit Ethiopiques for making them aware of the sound. The band's new album includes songs (some traditional) that one or another of these icons performed in their time, alongside material from the repertoire of Azmari praise-singers, and Debo originals. Call it Gospel Funk! In truth, the sound of The Relatives is so much more. Formed in 1970 by veteran Dallas Gospel singer Rev. Gean West and his brother Tommie, The Relatives' sound bridges the gap between traditional Gospel, Soul and Psychedelia. In the early 1970's, they recorded three obscure singles and a previously unreleased session-all of which are compiled on the acclaimed 2009 anthology, Don't Let Me Fall. The release of the anthology brought The Relatives back together as a band, planting the seeds for their 2013 Yep Roc release, The Electric Word, which was recorded and produced by Jim Eno of Spoon. The Relatives are spawned from the same fervent Pentecostal tradition that begat Elder Utah Smith. In the 1950's and 60's, the West family were Dallas Gospel royalty and often hosted traveling musicians including a young Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Lou Rawls, and O.V. Wright.

Gabriel Kahane

January 14 at 9:30 PM

Gabriel Kahane is not part of a scene. He writes string quartets and musicals and pop songs, and his heart is fully in all of those endeavors. But what unites all of his musical efforts is the desire to communicate honestly and without pretense. On his rich and focused sophomore LP, Where are the Arms, Gabriel has brought together an all-star band including Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Antony and The Johnsons, The National), Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens, Richard Swift, Pedro The Lion), and Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright), in support of eleven intricate and literate, yet clear and accessible songs. This is a record to play on repeat, soaking up the details!


January 15 at 7:00 PM

Amy Lynn & The Gunshow, a 9-piece band, led by lovebirds Amy & Alex, has a 60's pop and soul sound marked by powerhouse singers and infectious horn licks as especially fertile ground on which to showcase their combined talents. Together and apart they have played all around the world gracing the stage with Duffy, St. Vincent, Lucy Woodward, Yo La Tengo, Spoon, The Radio City Orchestra and many more. Given the Gunshow's standout showmanship and feel-good energy, it's no wonder that their performances at NYC's top venues have met with glowing reviews.

Mike Daisey: F*CKING F*CKING F*CKING Ayn Rand

January 15 at 9:30 PM
January 16 & 17 at 7:00 PM


The latest piece in an explosion of new work by Mike Daisey, F*CKING F*CKING F*CKING Ayn Rand is an evening dedicated to that most frustrating and difficult woman in our literary and philosophical canon, Ayn Rand. Reviled by millions for her infantile philosophies and turgid prose, she is simultaneously worshipped by millions more for her ideological purity and dedication to the self at all costs. Torrid rape sex, terrifyingly bad movies, and the underpinnings of the modern American financial system all play a role in how Ayn Rand became the most powerful woman in the American mythos today. Discounted tickets are available, though all who do not pay full price will be required to perform a ritual of public humiliation during the show for being moochers, takers, and part of the 47% of proles who are dragging the rest of us special people down toward the gutter when we could be reaching for the stars.


January 16 at 9:30 PM

Composer Dave Malloy brings his unique blend of indie rock, electronica, jazz noise, Romantic lieder and Russian folk to Joe's Pub, with selections from the smash hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the electro-pop opera that premiered at Ars Nova this fall. Lovers are betrayed, society is scandalized and glasses are raised in this slice of Tolstoy's War and Peace. With director Rachel Chavkin of the TEAM, and an ensemble of 16 musicians and singers, including Brent Arnold, Brittain Ashford, Gelsey Bell, Nick Choksi, Blake DeLong, Mark Dover, Amber Gray, James Monaco, John Murchison, Phillipa Soo, Lucas Steele, Sally Wall, Pinky Weitzman and Amelia Workman.


January 17 at 9:30 PM
$20 Advance / $25 at Door

The incomparable "cabaret star" (NY Magazine) Lady Rizo is back for an unchaperoned evening of song and decadence. You may have seen her here at Joe's Pub with her "glam bottom baring dance troupe the Assettes" (Village Voice), celebrating the billboard top ten in the monthly series Our Hit Parade, or midtown at the gothic Night Hotel co-hosting the weekly transnational lounge Foreign Affairs. But here is your chance to have her all to yourself. Her seamless mix of baudy humor and elegance has been likened to Mae West but its her vocal chops that have garnered recent attention: collaborating with both Yo-Yo Ma & Moby on albums this year, singing selections of the American Songbook in front of the internationally acclaimed 36 -piece orchestra The Knights, and at MOMA for a sold out cabaret for the Kirchner Exhibit. Let her lashes beguile you as she interprets an irresistible mix of popular songs from all eras backed by some of the finest musicians in New York City. Even though she is venturing out solo, if you know Lady Rizo you won't be surprised if a couple special guests pop up.


January 18 at 7:00 PM

Brooklyn-by-way-of-Charleston songwriter Frances Cone has a soulful/ indie-pop sound with a voice that "hits somewhere between Neko Case's Americana and the breathy depth of Cat Power" (Nathan Reese, Refinery29). Featured on Vanity Fair's playlist in summer 2012, her debut album drops January 2013.


January 18 & 19 at 9:00 PM

Toshi Reagon has been described as "a talented, versatile singer, songwriter and musician with a profound ear for sonic Americana--from folk to funk, from blues to rock" by critic/blogger Eva Yaa Asantewaa (InfiniteBody). "She masters each of these genres with vocal strategies that easily spiral and swoop from the expressively sinuous to the hard-charging, a combination of warmth and mischief." Toshi has had the pleasure of working with Lenny Kravitz, Lizz Wright, Ani DiFranco, Carl Hancock Rux, Nona Hendryx, Pete Seeger, Chocolate Genius and many other amazing artists, including her favorite collaborator, her mom, Bernice Johnson Reagon. Yaa Asantewaa writes, "Toshi knows the power of song to focus, unite and mobilize people. If you've been lucky enough to be in Toshi's presence, you know you can't walk away from her without feeling better about yourself as a human being. She aims for nothing less."


January 18 at 11:30 PM