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 (920-565-9391) are recommended for all shows to help us 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. The show’s event page will indicate that. You will be able to buy tickets right from that page. There is a small booking fee to cover the costs of that convenience. Upon arrival, provide the name under which the tickets were purchased in order to claim your assigned seat. Sending checks or paying in person in advance are options, but call to reserve the seats first.
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.
Any exclusively livestream shows will be on our calendar, with a special link to the live event.
The place to access already-streamed shows is the Cafe Carpe YouTube channel, to which you should subscribe. Subscribing means you have the option (via Notification settings) to receive instant updates whenever new content from the Carpe appears.
We will indicate on the show’s event page whether an in-person show will be live-streamed, and provide the link there. During the closed period, considerable effort and money was invested In order to do quality live-streaming. It takes 2 people to make a quality production. If you watch live-streams either live or after the fact, please make a donation to support the artist/s and us for the opportunity to see a show you might otherwise not have been able to access. Please mention in the PayPal Notes section which show you are paying for so your donation will be shared appropriately. The PayPal link, also provided during the livestream, is www.paypal.me/cafecarpe
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 email@example.com. Existence has its vagaries. That means that e-mails may not be noticed. Phone calls, being immediate, may help to catch the worm. Not that Bill is a worm.
The Carpe has a good sound system with quality microphones, speakers, and monitors.
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 35 years are Isabell Abbott, Adrian + Meredith, Jerry Alexander, Tricia Alexander, Bruce Andersen, Eric Andersen, Matthew Francis Andersen, Muriel Anderson, Ryan Joseph Anderson, Andrus and the Mariners, Peter Asher, the Austin Lounge Lizards, Baba Ganouj, Perry Baird, Sam Baker, Simon Balto, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Basho and Parks, Patrick Ball, Dave Batti, Ben Bedford, Robert Bell, Dan Bern, Peter & Lou Berryman, BingBong, Tony Bird, Birds of Chicago, Rachel Bissex, Paul Black, Mike Blakely, Carsie Blanton, Rory Block, Hugh Blumenfeld, Erin Bode, Boo Bradley, Ray Bonneville, LJ Booth, the Boston Imposters, Bryan Bowers, Ralston Bowles, Boulder Acoustic Society, Claude Bourbon, Boxty, Brad & Harmony, the Briar Pickers, Chuck Brodsky, Jon Brooks, Jay Bullock, Katie Burns, Jonathon Byrd, the Soucie Brothers, the Brothers Quinn, Greg Brown, Pieta Brown, Katie Burns, the Buzzards, Andrew Calhoun, Fred Campeau & Mitch Thomas, Kate Campbell, Bill Camplin, Savannah Camplin, Caitlin Canty, Annie and Rod Capps, Craig Cardiff, Shannon Carey, Carolyn Carter, Peter Case, Paul Cebar, Phyllis Chapell, Chenille Sisters, the Chiara Quartet, Chicago Farmer, Slaid Cleaves, Jeremy Clyde, Michael Cockram, Steve Cohen, Cold Satellite, Tracy Jane Comer, Corinne Compton, Les Compton, Don Conoscenti, Special Consensus, Billy Conway, J.P. Cormier, Rose Cousins, Count this Penny, Coyote Brother, David Cox, Ronny Cox, Walter Craft, Jim Craig, Vivien Craig, Joe Crookston, Paul Curreri, Curtis & Loretta, Catie Curtis, Jeremy Moses Curtis, Katie Dahl, the Danberrys, Matthew Davies, Glenn Davis, Rachael Davis, Ben de la Cour, Bianca De Leon, Sims Delaney-Pothoff, Maggie Delaney-Pothoff, Kris Delmhorst, Krista Detor, Kitty Donohoe, Pat Donohue, the Dorkestra, Martin and Chris Dowling, Mike Dowling, David HB Drake, Casey Driessen, David James Duncan, Tom Dundee, Antje Duvekot, Mark Dvorak, Bob Dylan, Fred Eaglesmith, Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, Cliff Eberhardt, Mare Edstrom, Kenny Edwards, Ana Egge, Kat Eggleston, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Chad Elliott, John Elliott, Vicky Emerson, the Emmylous, Mark Erelli, John Fabke, Tim Fast, Stephen Fearing, Anne Feeney, Fendrick & Peck, Mandy Fer & Dave McGraw, Mike and Amy Finders, Ella Fitzgerald, BeJae Fleming, Marianne Flemming, Wade Fernandez, Foma, Steve Forbert, Mel Ford, Steve Ford, Stephen Foster, Jeffrey Foucault, Kaia Fowler, Kenn Fox, Michael Fraccaso, David Francey, Hannah Frank, Denice Franke, Friction Farm, Andy Friedman, Ari & Mia Friedman, Freebo, Tom Freund, Mrs. Fun, Tret Fure, Tony Furtado, Mary Gaines, Annie Gallup, Rayna Gellert, Alan Gerber, Vance Gilbert, Greg Gilbertson, Steve Gillette, Tif Ginn, Marti Gobel, Adrianne Gonzalez, David Goodrich, James Gordon, John Gorka, Tracy Grammer, Grass Food and Lodging, Meridian Green and Gene Parsons, Harmony Greenhalgh, Jan Lucas Grimm, Jackson Grimm, Tim Grimm, Judd Grossman, Matt Haimovitz, Bucky Halker, Ed Hall, Hamell on Trial, Spook Handy, Chris Hanson Band, J. Hardin, Harmonious Wail, Corey Matthew Hart, Harpeth Rising, Reggie Harris, Rick Harris, Josh Harty, Alex Harvey, Liz Harvey, Max Hatt & Edda Glass, Christy Hays, Heartsfield, Ernie Hendrickson, Margo Hennebach, Don Henry, Her Crooked Heart, Eric Heywood, Phil Heywood, Anne Hills, Tish Hinojosa, Malcolm Holcombe, Cynthia Holt, Kira Hooks, Alice Howe, Annelies Howell, Joseph Huber, David Huckfelt, Dakota Dave Hull, Humbird, Meg Hutchinson, Bill & Kate Isles, David Jacobs-Strain, Nick Jaina, Joe Jencks, Al Jewer, Michael Johnson, Prudence Johnson, Scott Jones, Pete Jonsson, Martyn Joseph, Ray Kamalay, Christine Kane, Bruce Kaplan, Lucy Kaplansky, Betsy Kaske, Chris Kasper, Tom Kastle, James Keelaghan, Paddy Keenan, The Kennedys, Jill Kessenich, Nathan Kilen, Rachael Kilgour, Beth Kille, Jason Klagstad, Patrick Klaybor, Dan Kleiman, Jess Klein, Chris Kokesh, Bonnie Koloc w/Don Stille, Micky Korb, Eric Koskinen, Krause Family Band, Jan Krist, Dayna Kurtz, Sleepy LaBeef, Diana Laffey, McKain Lakey, Brianna Lane, Patty Larkin, Last Acre, Gaelynn Lea, Frankie Lee, Albert Lee, Phil Lee, Adrian Legg, Shane Leonard, Howard Levy, Bernice Lewis, Tina Lie, L’il Rev, Live Bait, Sam Llanas, Rebeccah Loebe, Bobby Long, Matt Lorenz, Radoslav Lorkovic, Lorenz Family, Lost Lakes, John Louis, the Lowest Pair, Brian Lucas, Old Man Luedecke, Eric Lugosh, Luray, Julie Macarus, Macarus Family, Country Joe MacDonald, Phil Madeira, Karen Mal, Dave Mallett, Mike Mangione, Cindy Mangsen, Jan Marra, Jeffrey Martin, David Massengill, Jeff Mason, Hugh Masterson, Peter Mayer, Laurie McClain, Michael McDermott, John McEuen, Erin McKeown, Sarah McQuaid, Pamela Means, Nicki Mehta, Mike & Ruthie, Carmel Mikol, Lynn Miles, Bill Miller, Eric Miller, Jacob Miller, Marie Miller, Buddy Mondlock, Alastair Moock, Kristin Mooney, Jay Moran, Dave Moore, Sarah Morris, Bill Morrissey, Pete Morton, Mother Banjo, Bob Mueller, Geoff Muldaur, Peter Mulvey, Larry Murante, Neal & Leandra, Lee Murdock, Zoe Muth & the Lost High Rollers, Lee Murdock, Dan Navarro, Roxanne Neat, Dave Nelson, JT Nero, Carrie Newcomer, Brett Newski, Jon Neufeld, New Pioneers, Nickel and Rose, the Nields, Miles Nielsen and Dan McMahon, Huck Notari, Gerry O’Beirne, Colin O’Brien, Erin O’Brien, Jim Ohlschmidt, Danny O’Keefe, David Olney, Mark Olson, the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, Carey Ott, Sam Pacetti, Paradise String Band, John Parrott, Mel Parsons, Kalyan Pathak, Ellis Paul, Patchouli, Pearl and the Beard, Larry Penn, Grace Pettis, Pierce Pettis, Kelly Joe Phelps, Utah Phillips, Rod Picott, Jeremy Pinc, The Pines, Piper Road, Tom Pirozolli, Cris and Ann Plata, Robin Pluer, Plume Giant, Willy Porter, Chris Porterfield, Jim Post, Sarah Potenza, Potters Field, Tom Prasado-Rao, Cheryl Prashker, the Kevin Prater Band, Chris Proctor, Chris Powers, Chris Pureka, Radio Wranglers, Alex Ramsey, Benson Ramsey, Bo Ramsey, Dave Ramont, Joe Rathbone, Jerry Rasmussen, Jerry Rau, Jenn Rawling, Dave Ray, Red Tail Ring, Preston Reed, Rebecca Rego, Harvey Reid, John Renbourn and Jacquie McShee, Mustard’s Retreat, Stephen Lee Rich, Kim Richey, TR Ritchie, Scarlet Rivera, Kim Robertson, Robinson and Rohe, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Suzzy Roche, Garnet Rogers, Peter Roller, Rusty Belle, Dave Van Ronk, Sparky & Rhonda Ruckers, Gary Rue, Allison Russell, Claudia Russell, Ryanhood, Barb Ryman, Randy Sabien, Les Sampou, Paul Sanchez, Victor Sanders, Maria Sangiolo, Santa Cruz River Band, Karen Savoca & Pete Heitzman, Martha Scanlan w/ Jon Neufeld, Zander Schloss, Trapper Schoepp, Art Paul Schlosser, Ben Schmidt, Claudia Schmidt, Danny Schmidt, Jim Schwall, Katie Scullin, Dan Sebranek, Steve Seifert, Session Americana, Cosy Sheridan, Richard Shindell, Susan Shore, Shrug, Corky Siegel, John Sieger, Kim Simmonds, Dev Singh, SistaStrings, Small Potatoes, Darden Smith, Dick Smith, JohnSmith, Michael Smith, Chris Smither, Sonofmel and the Slideman, Ali Sperry, Paul Sprawl, Devon Sproule, Bill Staines, James Lee Stanley, John Stano, Garrison Starr, John Statz, Anna Stine, Dean Stevens, Alpha Stewart, John Stewart, David Stoddard, Strangled Darlings, Heather Styka, Suitcase Junket, Kasim Sulton, Sundae & Mr. Goessl, Jon Svetkey, Ember Swift, the Talbott Brothers, Tall Heights, Tannahill Weavers, Eric Taylor, Louise Taylor, Awna Teixeira, Steve Tesmer, Art Thieme, Richard Paul Thomas, Lucy Thorne, Three Thin Dimes, The Thriftones, Rick Thum, The Tillers, Anna Tivel, Tony Trischka, Zak Trojano, Greg Trooper, Ernest Troost, Mark Truesdell, Greg Valde, Anna Vogelzang, Ross Volkmann, Chris Wagoner, Tom Waselchuk, Cam Waters, Sterling Waters, Ernie Watts, TS Webb, Paul Wehrley, Tod Weidner, Kai Welch, Satchel Paige Welch, Bob Westfall, Cheryl Wheeler, the Whiskey Belles, Andy White, Jerry Wicentowski, Jason Wilber, Wild Ponies, Brooks Williams, Dar Williams, Hayward Williams, Jack Williams, Robin & Linda Williams, Ted Williams, Telisha & Doug Williams (Wild Ponies), Beth Wood, Wrong Omar, Uprooted Theater, The Yearlings, The Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Gabby Young, Steve Young, Tommi Zender, Natalia Zukerman, 10 String Symphony, the 442’s– there’s more I’ve probably forgotten but I’m getting tired. And I only stretched the truth 4 times…