Fresh off the heels of the enormously successful inaugural Adelaide Guitar Festival in Adelaide, Australia, which drew more than 30,000 attendees, organizers for the New York Guitar Festival (the original in a series of sister festivals, which also includes Wall to Wall Guitar Festival) proudly announce its 7th season of concerts, January 12 – February 6, 2008.
With more than 25 performances by some 60 exceptional guitarists – whose styles vary from jazz and classical to rock/pop, traditional and avant-garde – the festival will explore the universal significance of the guitar. Audiences will be treated to concerts ranging from an all-day Guitar Marathon that focuses on the guitar’s history in Brazil to eclectic tributes to country music’s biggest legends. A sure highlight at this year’s event, The “Royal Albert Hall” Project honors the music of Bob Dylan, the most covered songwriter in history, by reinventing his famed 1966 concert. In 2006, the Bruce Springsteen tribute drew rave reviews and The Boss himself showed up to sit in. This year’s performances will be held at Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Jazz Standard, the Apple SoHo Store, and The Monkey. Featured artists include Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), The Assad Brothers, Larry Coryell, GE Smith (former music director of SNL), Teddy Thompson, Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Laura Cantrell, Marshall Crenshaw, Toshi Reagon, and Jason Isbell, among many others.
The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as the festival’s Artistic Director. By fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists and commissioning new works, the festival endeavors to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar. The festival is presented with support from Apple, The D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts, Avalon Guitars, WNYC Radio, WFUV Radio, WBJB-90.5 The NIGHT, Guitar Player Magazine/Music Player Network, flavorpill.net , and Brooklyn Brewery.
In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools. Spelman says “In raising scholarship funding, the New York Guitar Festival, in partnership with the Lucy Moses School at Kaufman Center, is able to provide guitars and musical training free of charge. At a time when arts education is the first to go in budgetary cutbacks, encouraging hope and inspiration through music making is invaluable.” The beneficiaries of the New York Guitar Festival’s scholarship programs are young students enrolled at an innovative elementary school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Stay tuned to www.newyorkguitarfestival.org for current show schedules and information.