Synopses & Reviews
is a folklorist, producer, consultant, and musician, who played her first professional gig on Caffè Lena’s legendary stage. Inspired by the Caffè’s history, she began to document the legacy and cultural impact of the venue and its founder. The publishing of this remarkable collection of stories and images is the culmination of Arem’s decade-long work as Director of the Caffè Lena History Project in association with the Library of Congress and in collaboration with Caffè Lena Inc. Her writing appears in the American Folklife Center News
, The Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal
, and Boston Beats
magazine, and her research has been featured on NPR, NBC, CBS, ABC, in American Airlines Magazine
, and at GRAMMY week in Los Angeles. In partnership with Magic Shop Studio and the Joe Alper Photo Collection LLC, she is producing a boxed set of original Caffè Lena recordings and an exhibition of Joe Alper’s Caffè Lena photographs to accompany the release of the book.
Joe Alper (1925–1968) is responsible for widely recognized and historic jazz, folk, and blues performance photography, including candid shots of the folk revival and the civil rights era. Joe and his wife, Jackie Gibson Alper, played a key role in supporting Lena Spencer and her Caffè, often housing musicians at their nearby home in Schenectady, New York. Jackie’s musical/political career included singing with the original Almanac Singers, becoming the fifth member of the original Weavers folksinging group, befriending Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, and hosting WRPI’s Mostly Folk radio show from 1971–1993.
Joseph Deuel has been an avid photographer since grade school. He discovered Caffè Lena during high school in the early 1970s and has been taking photos there ever since. Many of these photos have found their way to nationally distributed CD covers and magazines. Mr. Deuel has been a frequent sound engineer at Caffè Lena since the late 1980s.