Becca Kauffman moved to New York from Boston nine years ago to be a jazz singer. Since that time, Kauffman has toured cities in the U.S. and Europe with her band Ava Luna. Three years ago she moved to Ridgewood and began working on her very first solo project.
That project became Jennifer Vanilla — an alter ego she created to help bring a sense of community and connection to the many different people of New York.
“I feel like it’s so hard to find your place and arrive somewhere you feel like you belong,” Kauffman said. “I created the world of Jennifer because I wanted to create a place where Jennifer belonged undoubtedly. But it’s a very inclusive environment, and it’s like everyone is a Jennifer … it’s like the best version of you, and her attitude is meant to bring that out in people, even for a moment when you’re having an experience at a show.”
A Jennifer Vanilla experience — as Kauffman likes to call them — involves a lot of house and dance music, with a fitness and self-improvement aspect and a hint of ’90s aerobic video vibes.
Now, for the fourth time, Kauffman is bringing Jennifer Vanilla to The Windjammer for her “Jennifer Vanilla Live at the Bar” performance.
Joining Jennifer Vanilla on stage will be erotic poet and DIY artist Alaina Stamatis, as well as painter, writer, and Jenny Hval collaborator Annie Bielski. Closing out the show will be acclaimed interactive sculpture performance artist duo Poncili Creación.
Throughout the night, Jennifer Vanilla will don her shoulder-padded suit jacket and act as the show’s host, much like a late-night talk show host from the ’90s, and will interview the artists after their performances.
At her previous “Jennifer Vanilla Live at the Bar” performances, Kauffman would hold the show right near the bar. This time, however, the show will take place on the stage in the back room at The Windjammer, allowing for more room and a bigger audience.
In the audience, Kauffman is hoping to see a wide variety of different people enjoying the show where everyone, old residents of the neighborhood and newer ones, can “feel comfortable and happy.”
“The neighborhood is changing and I recognize that and know that I’m part of that change,” Kauffman said. “But I come here with the utmost respect and gratefulness for the environment that exists now and I don’t seek to change that. Jennifer is a people person and I am interested in doing the best I can to help bridge the gap between older and newer generations of residents here … I really just want to hopefully plant a seed of community here.”
“Jennifer Vanilla Live at the Bar” will take place on Tuesday, June 6, at The Windjammer, located at 552 Grandview Ave. Doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show will start at 9 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge at the door. For more information on the show, visit the Facebook event page.