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Alternative Guitar Summit brings together Nels Cline, Mary Halvorson, Ben Monder, Thurston Moore: Jan. 13-15, plus many more


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Joel Harrison presents the Alternative Guitar Summit Co-sponsored by the New York Guitar Festival

Featuring Nels Cline, Mary Halvorson, Vic Juris, Ben Monder, Thurston Moore and many more!

January 13, 14 and 15, 2012
Rockwood Music Hall
196 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 477-4155

The guitar these days is a kind of magic wand, a poly-theistic blow torch, lovely, raging, gentle, noisy, intimate, voluminous, hallucinogenic, funky, juvenile, ageless. More than any instrument of our time it seems capable of anything, home to the transcendent and the wretched. In the hands of masters, it is a wonder to behold.

In 2011 Guitarist/Composer Joel Harrison curated three nights at Cornelia Street Cafe that he dubbed the “Alternative Guitar Festival." David Spelman, founder of the New York Guitar Festival, attended two of those nights and was sufficiently enthused to invite Harrison to organize a similar gathering for his festival this year.

Harrison's goal as curator of the summit is to present master improvisers, free-thinkers who reject category and style and are radically imaginative. Ideally they are under-appreciated and have not won any polls. These players will be presented in unusual contexts, outside of their normal trio or quartet settings.

The word eclectic has been beaten half to death. But it applies here. Some participants are jazz-based, some not. Some will play songs (the great Ben Monder will premiere a new project of all Jimmy Webb tunes) while others will create electronic soundscapes. Many of the performances will be duos, each pairing mixing generations and approaches. Straight ahead jazz master Vic Juris will be paired up with the unpredictable and lyrical Mary Halvorson, in a wonderful, quirky union. Nels Cline will appear in a duo with another fearless experimenter, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Curator Joel Harrison will play mostly slide on a National Steel with the virtuoso Indian classical sarode player, Anupam Shobhakar.

Mark Stewart, who plays avant-garde classical music with the Bang On A Can Allstars and is Musical Director for Paul Simon, will perform with the nylon -string- wielding Gyan Riley (Terry Riley's progeny). David Tronzo, slide-master and all-around eccentric, pairs with the ever-whacky J. A. Granelli. From a completely different perspective comes Liberty Ellman with Vijay Iyer, both masters of elliptical odd-times and left of center funk.

Night three will be special—a tribute to octogenarian Jim Hall. Guitarists and non-guitarists all owe a lot to this composer, experimenter, poet. His huge body of work includes some of the best music of our time, whether the 3rd Stream recordings with Ornette and Gunther Schuller, the incomparable Jimmy Guiffre Three, or his late 90's effort with strings on the Telarc label. All the participants have been asked to either play a tune of Jim's, a standard associated with him, a free improv, or composition in his spirit. Highlights include Mary Halvorson with Vic Juris, Nels Cline and Trevor Dunn, Chris Potter with Scott Colley, and Adam Rogers with David Binney.

Alternative Guitar Summit Lineup

3 night pass for $40
$15 in advance, $20 at door
tickets: rockwoodmusichall.com
advance tix highly recommended!

January 13

7:30- 8:10- Mark Stewart (guitar) and Gyan Riley (guitar)

8:20- 8:50- Joel Harrison and Anupam Shobhakar (sarod)

9:00- 9:40- Ben Monder (guitar) and Pete Rende (Keyboards) play songwriter Jimmy Webb

9:50- 10:45- Pillow Wand / Nels Cline (guitar) and Thurston Moore (guitar)

January 14

7:30-8:15- Knox Chandler (guitar and effects) and Ismail Lalal (drums)

8:25- 9:10- Dave Tronzo (guitar) and Jay Granelli (bass)

9:20- 10:05- Liberty Ellman (guitar) and Vijay Iyer (piano)

January 15: Honoring Jim Hall

8 to 11pm—Gilad Hekselman (guitar) and Obed Calvaire (drums), Vic Juris (guitar) and Mary Halvorson (guitar), Jim Ridl (piano) with Vic Juris (guitar), Steve Cardenas (guitar) and Jacob Sacks (piano), Adam Rogers (guitar) and David Binney (sax), Joel Harrison String Choir (arrangements of Subsequently and Misterioso for 2 guitars and string quartet), Nels Cline (guitar) and Trevor Dunn (bass)8) Scott Colley (bass) and Chris Potter (sax)

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