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NY Guitar Festival: Stretching the Strings

The New York Guitar Festival is taking place January 6 - 29, 2012 at Carnegny-guitar-Sheuie HallMerkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, Joe’s Pub, (le) Poisson Rouge, the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden and Rockwood Music Hall, among other venues around Manhattan, New York City.

The New York Guitar Festival was founded in 1999 by musician/producer David Spelman,  intended to "broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar by fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, and commissioning new works."

The Festival boasts over 35 exceptional guitarists of jazz, classical, rock, traditional, and avant-garde styles.

This year's Tributes are to

  • legendary jazz guitarist/composer Jim Hall
  • musician/producer/visual artist Brian Eno

A free Opening Night Concert kicks off the Festival with The Apollo Project in honor of the 30th anniversary of Brian Eno's tribute to the NASA moon landings, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.ny-guitar-Hall

"Eno and his collaborators guitarist/producer Daniel Lanois and instrumentalist brother Roger Eno, created a rich, deeply moving sonic landscape which melded cutting edge electronics and studio techniques with raw virtuosic guitar."

The Festival hosts its 6th all-day Guitar Marathon, interpreting classical guitar music of Italian composers from the Renaissance and Baroque to Berio and the music of today. Featured artists include

  • Eliot Fisk
  • Bill Kanengiser ny-guitar-Zanes
  • Connie Sheu
  • Dale Kavanagh
  • Emanuele Segre
  • Jason Vieaux
  • Nigel North
  • Hopkinson Smith
  • Pino Forastiere
  • The Harlem Quartet
  • Lionheart

The Alternative Guitar Summit, curated by the guitarist/bandleader/composer Joel Harrison, is intended “to present master improvisers, free-thinkers, those who reject category and style and are radically imaginative.

"Ideally they are under-appreciated and have not won any polls. I wish to present these players in unusual contexts, outside of their normal trio or quartet settings, mixing ny-guitar-Kinggenerations and approaches,” says Harrison.

Featured artists include

  • Nels Cline (Wilco)
  • Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
  • Mark Stewart
  • Liberty Elman
  • Dave Tronzo
  • Ben Monder

Silent Films/Live Guitars is this year's program of commissioned original works, with 11 classic silent films by Buster Keatonaccompanied by original scores performed live by a rich mix of guitar stylists, including

  • Dan Zanes for Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
  • Gyan Riley for The Goat (1921)
  • Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) for Cops (1922)
  • Kaki King for The Scarecrow (1920)ny-guitar-Keaton
  • Buke & Gase for a Buster Keaton film (TBA)
  • My Brightest Diamond for Balloonatic (1923)
  • Keller Williams for One Week (1920)
  • Redhooker for The Neighbors (1920)
  • Califone for Go West (1925)
  • Howard Fishman for The Frozen North (1922)

"No instrument has spoken in more voices to more people than the guitar, and no festival has sought out the modulations in those voices and the range of the guitar’s cultural expressions than the New York Guitar Festival."

For more information, go to

New York Guitar Festival
January 6 - 29, 2012

Carnegie Hall,
881 7th Ave
New York City

Joe’s Pub,
425 Lafayette Street  
New York City

(le) Poisson Rouge,
158 Bleecker Street
New York City

Merkin Concert Hall,
Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street
New York City

92nd Street Y,
1395 Lexington Avenue
New York City

Rockwood Music Hall
196 Allen Street  
New York City

Winter Garden
World Financial Center
220 Vesey St.
New York City

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