What Does It Mean to Be On the Caffè Lena Stage?

Bruce Piasecki
3 min readApr 6, 2022

This might come across as marketing for my upcoming appearance on the historic Caffè Lenas stage, but I promise you, it’s not. Yes, I will provide links to the livestream of my May 14th event, and even links to get a free ticket if you happen to be in the Saratoga Springs, NY area.

John Hartford and Ms. Spencer, in 1989. “After [Ms. Spencer’s] death, the club was organized under a nonprofit organization, which now owns the small building and some adjacent property. It is raising money for $1.25 million in renovations that would finally, after five decades, put in an elevator and make other improvements.” Photo by Joseph Duel

The real purpose of this post is about the excitement of having a platform to be in front of people to tell my stories, read from my books, and show people a side of me that they might not normally see on a zoom call or at a conference.

Throughout the years, Lenas has hosted many great performers, poets, activists, and artists.

The Ben Sisario of the New York Times wrote a piece on the venue titled Folk Music Heaven, Upstairs, saying,

Since 1960, tiny, unprepossessing Caffè Lena has hosted thousands of folk musicians, from first timers at the weekly open mike to Arlo Guthrie, Don McLean, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and Bob Dylan, who, by most accounts, played his first out-of-town show there after arriving in New York City.

Reading about Lenas in publications and sitting in the audience of a show is absolutely magical, but being on that historic stage with a mic in front of you, the lights around you, working with the sound engineer, and peering out beyond the edge of the stage and seeing faces watch you as you let down your guard to be someone in this light is something that is beyond description. There are no words that can express how incredible this feels.

Mississippi John Hurt performing at Caffè Lena, in 1964. Photo by Joe Alper

My first appearance at Caffè Lenas was earlier in the year and that moment and feeling was and is something I still talk about. To be invited back is empowering and tells me that what I have to say, the work that I do, and my thoughts connect with people in the way a songwriter’s melody or lyrics resonates with the listener or how a poet’s words can stay with the reader.

Joining me on the Caffè Lenas stage will be my friend and jazz musician, Gordon Lambert, who will perform wonder jazz interludes throughout the 90 minute appearance.

I want to share this moment with all of you and I hope you’ll join me in person or through the venue’s livestream. Today’s technology allows us to create a countdown to the actual performance, and will even archive it for future viewings long after I expire and I think that is wonderful.

If you’d like to be there in person, you can reserve a free ticket by clicking here.

Charles Neblett, of the group The Freedom Singers, in 1962. The photographer Joe Alper is seen in the mirror.

Along with stories, I will also be reading from my latest book A New Way to Wealth, which grows from Franklin’s classic essay “A Way to Wealth”. You can purchase my book directly from the publisher at www.doingmorewithlessbook.com or purchase a copy of the book on May 14th at Caffè Lenas.



Bruce Piasecki

Dr. Bruce Piasecki is the president and founder of AHC Group, Inc., NYT bestselling author, speaker, advisor on shared value and social response capitalism.