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NYC-based Music Curator Bill Bragin Moves From Joe’s Pub To Lincoln Center
Published November 15, 2007

By Tad Hendrickson

After six years as the booking genius behind one of New York's most consistently edgy music clubs, Bill Bragin moves on to the larger stage of Lincoln Center.

Bill Bragin, one of the leading curators of world music in the United States, has accepted a new position as Director Of Public Programming for Lincoln Center. Bragin started at Joe’s Pub in 2001 as club's director, and while there, he kept one of the best music clubs in the city bustling with great music, booking three shows a night seven days a week into the intimate room. Bragin is now moving uptown to oversee the programming for Midsummer Night’s Swing and Lincoln Center Out Of Doors festivals, and will help plan special programming to mark Lincoln Center’s 50th Anniversary, scheduled for the 2009-2010 season.

In issuing the announcement, Jane Moss, Vice President Of Programming, commented, “We wish to unify the curatorial vision for our outdoor programming festivals – Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors – especially in light of the current transformation of Lincoln Center’s public spaces. Bill’s encyclopedic knowledge of the international music scene will ensure that the hundreds of thousands of people who come to Lincoln Center each summer will have outstanding, diverse artistic experiences in a new, welcoming outdoor environment.”

Under Bragin’s leadership, Joe’s Pub went from being a cool room with hit-or-miss bookings to a cutting-edge room to play for artists traveling to New York from all over the world. The club hosted such varied genres as rock, country, hip-hop, jazz, electronic, cabaret and folk music. The room also became a showcase for local-based stars to try new material, and for underground artists to gain broader exposure in the New York City scene. Among Bragin's recent booking coups, the U.S. debut of Amy Winehouse generated unprecedented attention.

Bragin has been included on Time Out New York’s Most Essential New Yorkers list as “Most Essential Booker,” and his sharp ear for talent led the Village Voice to vote the club as the Best Excuse to Let a Single Venue Dictate Your Taste. Newsweek calls Joe's Pub "one of the country's best small stages" and New York Magazine raves “you never know what you’ll find next at Joe’s Pub, but you can count on the fact that it will be good, very good."

In recent years, Bragin has also helped assemble the world music-oriented globalFEST. Held in January to coincide with APAP (Association Of Performing Arts Presenters), Globalfest presents 12 world class acts in one night at one venue as a virtual smorgasbord of great music from all points on the globe. He also put together the Pub In The Park Series, which brought many club favorites uptown to play Central Park’s Delacourte Theater. Bragin has also branched out into theater production as part of the team that brought Passing Strange to the Public Theater and now help put it up on Broadway when debuts there in February 2008. If that wasn’t enough, he also DJs as part of GlobeSonic Sound System under the name Acidophilus.