Please see our Upcoming Events listed in the right sidebar and full calendar here.

The Carpe has a talk-free listening room separate from its main bar-dining area. The room, noted for its great acoustics and sound system, seats 60 people comfortably but can hold 70 people who are enthralled enough by a performance that they only almost forget that their quarters and style are seriously cramped.

Due to the dearth of good small performance spaces, the Carpe has attracted people on the singer-songwriter circuit, and gained a national reputation among songwriters as a decent venue with good sound and wonderful attentive audiences. To date, our lobbying efforts for a mandatory audience have failed– come and enjoy the solitude as you listen to amazing talent with 2 to 15 others, or enjoy the show with more people than can reasonably fit, or anything in between.


Shows are primarily on weekend nights, and there is a cover charge for all performances except the periodic open stages. Reservations are recommended for all shows so that we can plan for an evening.

In cases when we are reaching capacity, reservations will be held until 15 minutes before showtime.  A bird who shows up and is willing to pay is worth two on paper.  Please contact us if you do not intend to come, or may be late, or can’t use all the tickets you have reserved or paid for in advance.

Advance tickets are sold for those shows which experience demonstrates are likely to sell out.

For some of these shows, we will be using on an online ticket sales program known as Brown Paper Tickets.  These credit card prepayments will automatically include a fee for this, which should not be much more than $2.  The link will be provided on the page for that show.

For shows that do not have that link, contact us by phone (920-563-9391) to reserve your seats and make arrangements to pay. Sending a check is the preferred option.

We do not have a box office or even an office, really. Someone answering the phone may be serving customers when you call.  Please forgive the inability to answer a lot of questions at busy times, and consider calling back later.

For weather and other reasons, shows are occasionally cancelled.  There is the occasional sellout.  Do not drive from Chicago (or any other location, in case you read literally) without calling first to see if the show you wish to attend is already sold out, or has been cancelled.

Weekly E-mail Updates

Please sign up for our e-mail list at the bottom of this page if you wish to receive weekly updates which may or may not contain more information than is listed in the calendar.


Bill has written a treatise on this. After wading through it, if you still want to play here, contact Bill by phone (late mornings is best), or e-mail him at

The Carpe has a good sound system with quality microphones, speakers, and monitors.

Name Droppings

While the Carpe does not have a policy restricting any kind of music, most of the performances are by singer-songwriters, since they are the majority of those who seek to be booked. Occasionally there is a bluegrass band, or a jazz combo, a play, a poetry performance, a chamber music quartet, a reading by Ursula LeGuin, a stump appearance by Carole King, or an internationally acclaimed cellist…

Among those who have appeared here in the last 24 years are Jerry Alexander, Tricia Alexander, Muriel Anderson, the Austin Lounge Lizards, Baba Ganouj, Perry Baird, Basho and Parks, Patrick Ball, Peter & Lou Berryman, Tony Bird, Birds of Chicago, Rachel Bissex, Paul Black, Rory Block, Hugh Blumenfeld, Erin Bode, Boo Bradley, Ray Bonneville, LJ Booth, Bryan Bowers, Ralston Bowles, Boulder Acoustic Society, Chuck Brodsky, the Soucie Brothers, Greg Brown, Pieta Brown, the Buzzards, Andrew Calhoun, Kate Campbell, Bill Camplin, Craig Cardiff, Peter Case, Paul Cebar, Phyllis Chapell, Chenille Sisters, the Chiara Quartet, Slaid Cleaves, Michael Cockram, Steve Cohen, Cold Satellite, Tracy Jane Comer, Don Conoscenti, Special Consensus, Billy Conway, Count this Penny, Ronny Cox, Walter Craft, Jim Craig, Joe Crookston, Paul Curreri, Catie Curtis, Rachael Davis, Kris Delmhorst, Krista Detor, Kitty Donohoe, Pat Donohue, Martin and Chris Dowling, Mike Dowling, David HB Drake, Casey Driessen, David James Duncan, Tom Dundee, Antje Duvekot, Bob Dylan, Fred Eaglesmith, Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, Cliff Eberhardt, Mare Edstrom, Ana Egge, Kat Eggleston, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Chad Elliott, Mark Erelli, Stephen Fearing, Mike and Amy Finders, Ella Fitzgerald, BeJae Fleming, Marianne Flemming, Steve Forbert, Mel Ford, Steve Ford, Stephen Foster, Jeffrey Foucault, Kenn Fox, David Francey, Denice Franke, Andy Friedman, Mrs. Fun, Mary Gaines, Annie Gallup, Vance Gilbert, Steve Gillette, Marti Gobel, Adrianne Gonzalez, David Goodrich, John Gorka, Grass Food and Lodging, Meridian Green and Gene Parsons, Tim Grimm, Judd Grossman, Matt Haimovitz, Hamell on Trial, Harpeth Rising, Reggie Harris, Rick Harris, Josh Harty, Liz Harvey, Heartsfield, Ernie Hendrickson, Margo Hennebach, Eric Heywood, Phil Heywood, Anne Hills, Malcolm Holcombe, Cynthia Holt, Annelies Howell, David Huckfelt, Dakota Dave Hull, David Jacobs-Strain, Joe Jencks, Michael Johnson, Prudence Johnson, Scott Jones, Martyn Joseph, Christine Kane, Lucy Kaplansky, Betsy Kaske, Tom Kastle, James Keelaghan, Paddy Keenan, The Kennedys, Jill Kessenich, Jason Klagstad, Dan Kleiman, Jess Klein, Chris Kokesh, Micky Korb, Jan Krist, Dayna Kurtz, Sleepy LaBeef, Phil Lee, Adrian Legg, Howard Levy, Bernice Lewis, Tina Lie, L’il Rev, Live Bait, Sam Llanas, Radoslav Lorkovic, Brian Lucas, Country Joe MacDonald, Karen Mal, Dave Mallett, Cindy Mangsen, Jan Marra, David Massengill, Jeff Mason, Hugh Masterson, Peter Mayer, Laurie McClain, John McEuen, Pamela Means, Nicki Mehta, Lynn Miles, Bill Miller, Buddy Mondlock, Mother Banjo, Alastair Moock, Kristin Mooney, Jay Moran, Dave Moore, Bill Morrissey, Pete Morton, Mother Banjo, Geoff Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Larry Murante, Lee Murdock, Roxanne Neat, Dave Nelson, JT Nero, New Pioneers, the Nields, Miles Nielsen and Dan McMahon, Colin O’Brien, Erin O’Brien, David Olney,  Mark Olson, the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, Carey Ott, Sam Pacetti, Paradise String Band, Ellis Paul, Patchouli, Pearl and the Beard, Larry Penn, Kelly Joe Phelps, Utah Phillips, Jeremy Pinc, The Pines, Piper Road Spring Band, Tom Pirozolli, Cris and Ann Plata, Robin Pluer, Willy Porter, Jim Post, Tom Prasado-Rao, Chris Proctor, Chris Powers, Alex Ramsey, Benson Ramsey, Bo Ramsey, Dave Ramont, Joe Rathbone, Jerry Rau, Dave Ray, Preston Reed, Harvey Reid, John Renbourn and Jacquie McShee, Mustard’s Retreat, Stephen Lee Rich, TR Ritchie, Kim Robertson, Garnet Rogers, Peter Roller, Dave Van Ronk, Sparky & Rhonda Ruckers, Gary Rue, Allison Russell, Claudia Russell, Barb Ryman, Randy Sabien, Les Sampou, Maria Sangiolo, Santa Cruz River Band, Art Paul Schlosser, Ben Schmidt, Claudia Schmidt, Danny Schmidt, Jim Schwall, Dan Sebranek, Shel, Cosy Sheridan, Richard Shindell, Susan Shore, Corky Siegel, John Sieger, Dev Singh, Small Potatoes, Dick Smith, John Smith, Michael Smith, Chris Smither, Paul Sprawl, Devon Sproule, Bill Staines, James Lee Stanley, John Stano, Garrison Starr, John Statz, Dean Stevens, Alpha Stewart, John Stewart, Kasim Sulton, Ember Swift, Eric Taylor, Louise Taylor, Awna Teixeira, Steve Tesmer, Art Thieme, The Tillers, Tony Trischka, Greg Trooper, Greg Valde, Ross Volkmann, Chris Wagoner, Cam Waters, Sterling Waters, Kai Welch, Satchel Paige Welch, Bob Westfall, Cheryl Wheeler, Andy White, Jason Wilber, Brooks Williams, Dar Williams, Hayward Williams, Jack Williams, Robin & Linda Williams, Ted Williams, Uprooted Theater, Gabby Young, Natalia Zukerman–  there’s more I’ve probably forgotten but I’m getting tired. And I only stretched the truth 4 times…


    NEW HOURS Some new hours going on, opening at 4:30 for the evening (weekday lunch hours remain the same), serving food until 10:00 nightly. Also are open for lunch on most Saturdays beginning at noon. Good idea to call ahead and check.