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The WNYC Guide to the New York Guitar Festival

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Four Venues, Three Weeks, and Countless Guitarists, Presented in Conjunction with New Sounds® Live

Whether strummed, plucked, or played with a metal bar, the guitar easily finds a home in classical, jazz, blues, bluegrass, rock, country, and any number of international styles. That versatility is the point of the fourth annual New York Guitar Festival, which takes place September 17 through October 5. The 2002 Festival promises to be the largest to date, spanning four venues across New York. WNYC is broadcast highlights of the event as part of New Sounds® Live (93.9 FM) with host John Schaefer from November 4-11. As in seasons past, the festival seeks to strike that ideal balance of musical variety and quality that can sustain interest and momentum for hours. Here's a look at what to expect:

* Indicates live taping for New Sounds® Live broadcast. Also view an exclusive photo gallery from the series here.

Makor/Steinhardt Center of the 92nd St. Y
35 West 67th Street •

  • Tuesday, September 17
    7:30pm: Zubot & Dawson
    9:30pm: Bryce Dessner and the Sap Dream Electric Guitar Quartet with special guest Mark Stewart, guitar
  • Wednesday, September 18
    7:30pm: Jesse Harris & The Ferdinandos
    9:30pm: Oren Bloedow, guitar

Full Program Details and Artist Bios

Merkin Concert Hall
at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street • 212-501-3330

  • Thursday, September 19 at 8pm*
    A Long Strange Trip: The Legacy of Jerry Garcia with Jorma Kaukonen, guitar; The Persuasions; and Tony Trischka, banjo

  • Thursday, September 26 at 8pm*
    All Things Must Pass: A Tribute to George Harrison
    Vernon Reid and ensemble; Steve Bernstein’s Sex Mob with Dave Tronzo; Joel Harrison, guitar, with David Liebman, saxophone; Wolfgang Muthspiel, guitar; Tony Cedras, accordian/percussion; Stephan Crump, bass; Jamey Haddad, percussion;and Raz Kennedy, vocals

Full Program Details and Artist Bios

Joe’s Pub
at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street

  • Tuesday, September 24 at 9:30pm: Justin Adams*
  • Wednesday, September 25 at 7 & 9:30pm: Bach, Brazil and Beyond featuring Andy Summers, Victor Biglione and Benjamin Verdery*
  • Sunday, September 29 at 7:30 & 9:30pm
    The Campbell Brothers: Sacred Steel
  • Tuesday, October 1
    7:30pm: Anouar Brahem Trio featuring Barbaros Erköse and Lassad Hosni
    9:30pm: Ben Allison’s Peace Pipe featuring Mamadou Diabate

Full Program Details and Artist Bios

92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street

  • Thursday, October 3 at 8pm*
    A Tribute to John Fahey
    with Leo Kottke, Cindy Cashdollar, Artie Traum and Elliott Sharp
  • Saturday, October 5 at 8pm*
    The Romeros with Celin Romero, Pepe Romero, Lito Romero and Celino Romero

Full Program Details and Artist Bios

Many Ways to Trick a Guitar...
Read more about the New York Guitar Festival in an exclusive interview with the event's founder and executive director, David Spelman and WNYC's John Schaefer here.

Coming Soon... Guitar Harvest

The New York Guitar Festival is currently in the process of creating an exclusive compilation CD, entitled Guitar Harvest, to raise money for it's scholarship fund. The beneficiaries of the NYGF's scholarship program are students enrolled at the Manhattan School for Children, a unique and innovative elementary school in Harlem. "The original idea behind the Festival," said Executive Director and NYGF founder David Spelman, "was to put guitars into the hands of public school students with no strings attached, and we're proud to have begun that process. The New York Guitar Festival was established to raise money to fund scholarships in order to provide guitars and musical training free of charge, and in the process to encourage hope and inspiration through music-making at a time when arts education has fallen prey to so many budgetary cut-backs."

The recording is to be released in two volumes in Winter 2002, the first featuring the work of Alex DeGrassi, The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo, Bill Frisell, The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, David Russell, Gary Lucas, Andy Summers, Pierre Bensusan, Trey Gunn, Benjamin Verdery, Vernon Reid, the California Guitar Trio and others. Guitar Harvest, Vol. II: "Live From The New York Guitar Festival” will feature highlights from the festival over the past four years, and is also slated for release in Winter 2002. Both discs will be sold at all events and through The New York Guitar Festival is an official program of the D'Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts.