No instrument has spoken in more voices to more people than the guitar, and over the past decade 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.
Following its success since 1999 (with rave reviews in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Jazz Times as well as sister festivals in Urbana, Illinois and Adelaide Australia), the New York Guitar Festival announces its tenth season of concert performances, January 8 though February 4, 2010.
The festival boasts over 30 exceptional guitarists of jazz, classical, rock, traditional, and avant garde styles. Participating venues include Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Le Poisson Rouge and Barbes. Concerts range from an all-day Guitar Marathon interpreting the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, (featuring, among other internationally-famous musicians, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Paul O’Dette, Ana Vidovic, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith and Nigel North) to the Hindustani slide guitar music of Debashish Bhattacharya.
The festival also has a history of commissioning remarkable original works, and the 2010 season breaks yet more new ground by presenting ten classic silent films (seven by Chaplin, one by Keaton and two by Harry Smith) accompanied by original scores performed live by a spectacularly rich and varied coterie of guitarists: Gyan Riley, Alex de Grassi, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), Steve Kimock, James Blackshaw, Marc Ribot, David Bromberg and the members of Chicha Libre.
The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as its Artistic Director. The Festival’s goal is to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar by fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, and commissioning new works. In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools.