Turns out the Communal Spaces theatrical festival isn’t the only cultural happening adding some color to local community gardens next weekend. The annual “harvest festival,” hosted by Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS), returns next Saturday and Sunday, bringing a variety of live music (from Afro-Cuban to jazz to “multiculti dream pop”) to the gardens of the East Village.

Though this celebration of greenery and scenery happens every year, it has never been more timely, given the passing of guerilla gardener Adam Purple, who in the mid-’80s fought to keep his Garden of Eden from being replaced by a housing complex. Not to mention, a present-day version of Purple’s story is playing out in Nolita, where the city recently moved forward with plans to build affordable housing on the site of the Elizabeth Street Garden.

Seems like a good time to support LUNGS, which is pushing a community gardens district that would help protect these local oases. Lucky for penny pinchers, that support needn’t come in the form of $$$, since the festival is free as air. Read the schedule below to find out what’s on deck, and watch the video above to see highlights from past fests.

  • Jack Hardy Songwriter’s Exchange
    Saturday, 9/26, 1pm to 7pm
    DeColores Garden, E 8th St bet Aves B & C

    In 1970’s Greenwich Village, Jack Hardy wanted to write more songs, so he got a group of like-minded souls together. Everyone agreed to write a song a week. Decades of pasta dinners, a crop of legendary careers, and thousands of brand new songs later, the group continues to meet with an ever-shifting cast of wildly various characters aged 8 to 78, representing every genre of music.
  • Martian Harvest Moon Annual Dance Party
    Saturday, 9/26, 5pm to 10pm
    Dias y Flores Garden, E 13th St bet Aves A & B

    Live Afro-Cuban music by local musicians, Ray Santiago and Friends for a true Loisaida flavor.
  • Faith
    Sunday, 9/27, 7pm
    Green Oasis Garden, E 8th St bet Aves C & D

    Faith has formed a musical style, “Unlike virtually any other sound out there” (J. Lien – CMJ). “If Nina Simone had a power trio with a rock/soul and reggae flair, it would sound something like this” (Doug DeFalco, Talent Buyer, Southpaw). Felice Rosser “Sings in a voice both plangent and wailing” (New York Times). With sweet and powerful guitars from Nao Hakamada, Faith has developed an immensely colorful sound, “…tunes that are not rock, not funk, not R&B, so much as deeply soulful tone poems backed by multiculti dream pop” (Village Voice).
  • Hayes Greenfield and the Gravity Unplugged Trio
    Sunday, 9/27, 1pm to 3pm
    6B Garden, E 6th St and Ave B

    Hayes Greenfield, the fiercely innovative jazz musician and long time East Village resident brings his Gravity Unplugged trio back to celebrate the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival. From inside to outside and everything in between, Hayes and Gravity Unplugged deliver a magically wonderful unpredictable journey through jazz.

You’re also invited to our opening night party for neighbors and gardeners. Friday, September 25, 6:30-9pm, La Plaza Cultural Garden, E 9th St and Ave C. Hope to see you there.