4th ANNUAL ALTERNATIVE GUITAR SUMMIT,
Part of City-Wide NEW YORK GUITAR FESTIVAL
JANUARY 17-19 at SubCulture: Arts Underground
OPENING NIGHT: EVOLVING CONCEPTS OF RHYTHM:
MILES OKAZAKI, WILL BERNARD, LIBERTY ELLMAN, DAVID GILMORE
RARE NYC APPEARANCE BY DAVID TRONZO +
FIRST EVER DUO MEETING OF FRED FRITH & NELS CLINE
FINAL NIGHT – THE MUSIC OF PAUL MOTIAN
featuring Duo Performances By
STEVE CARDENAS, BEN MONDER,
GILAD HEKSELMAN, BRANDON ROSS, VIC JURIS,
MARY HALVORSON, JULIAN LAGE &
FESTIVAL FOUNDER JOEL HARRISON
The Alternative Guitar Summit, founded in 2010 by guitarist Joel Harrison, is an annual gathering of daring, inventive players who explore new and unusual approaches to the guitar. The music presented during AGS always seeks to celebrate the instrument’s enormous range of possibilities, beyond style or genre.
“If you love spontaneous improvisation, beautiful melodies, nasty funk, surreal soundscapes, wild abandon, righteous distortion, elliptical chords, dreamy sound clouds, and the joy of surprise, this festival is for you,” says Harrison. “It’s an incredible experience to see so many six-string wizards at work in one place over such a concentrated period of time. Ecstatic moments are in abundance all weekend long.”
The Fourth Annual Alternative Guitar Summit is the most ambitious lineup yet, housed this year in the burgeoning new downtown music venue SubCulture: Arts Underground (located in the basement of the old 45 Bleecker Street Theater) and features a lineup that seems too good to be true. This year AGS is again co-sponsored by the New York Guitar Festival.
Friday, January 17will focus on evolving concepts of rhythm. Four players who have pushed the boundaries of rhythm in different ways will each play a short set. Harvard and Juilliard graduate Miles Okazaki delves into South Asian rhythm; Bay Area transplant Will Bernard works with many of New Orleans’ finest groove-masters; guitarist and producer Liberty Ellman has absorbed new languages through his work with Henry Threadgill’s Zooid and Greg Osby, and from his background in African and funk musics; David Gilmore, who worked with Steve Coleman early on, has conjoined numerous traditions from the African diaspora.
Saturday, January 18 will feature the finest jazz slide guitarist alive, David Tronzo, with acoustic bass guitarist Stomu Takeishi, and drummer Ben Perowsky.
Also that night AGS is pleased to present first-ever meeting of a legend whose career began with the prog-rock group Henry Cow in 1968, Fred Frith with lifelong improviserNels Cline. Frith, one of the founding fathers of progressive improvisation, has redefined what it means to be an improvising guitarist and reinvented the electric guitar along the way. Nels Cline operates as a one-man orchestra, creating whole new approaches to sound and texture through his work with his own ensembles and the rock band Wilco. Nels has been an enormous Frith fan his whole life. Expect some of the most radical soundscapes you have ever heard.
Closing night, Sunday, January 19 will be an especially moving night, celebrating the music of the late drummer Paul Motian. Numerous guitarists, some of whom played with Motian, will choose two of his songs to perform. Motian actually played guitar himself, and was perhaps one of the last founding fathers of jazz to include guitar players in his ensembles, often more than one. He left us in 2012, but his presence will be very much felt in the spirit of this music. The performers for this program will include guitaristSteve Cardenas with pianist Jacob Sacks, guitarist Ben Monder with saxophonistBill McHenry, Brandon Ross with bassist Stomu Takeishi, Vic Juris with fellow guitarist Mary Halvorson, guitarist Nels Cline with guitarist Julian Lage, guitaristGilad Hekselman with drummer Justin Brown, and festival founder/guitarist Joel Harrison with drummer Tyshawn Sorey.
Friday January 17: Trios Focusing on Evolving Concepts of Rhythm (TICKETS)
8:00 pm: Miles Okazaki with James Hurt and Sergio Krakowski
8:30 pm: Will Bernard and the Pleasure Drones
9:00 pm: Liberty Ellman Trio with Matt Brewer and Damion Reid
9:30 pm: David Gilmore with Brad Jones and Gene Lake
Saturday January 18: Dave Tronzo & Fred Frith/Nels Cline (TICKETS)
7:30 pm & 10:00 pm: Dave Tronzo with Stomu Takeishi & Ben Perowsky (2 sets)
8:15 pm & 10:45 pm: Fred Frith and Nels Cline (2 sets)
Sunday January 19: The Music of Paul Motian: Duos (TICKETS)
8:00 pm: Steve Cardenas with pianist Jacob Sacks, Ben Monder with saxophonist Bill McHenry, Brandon Ross with bassist Stomu Takeishi, Vic Juris with Mary Halvorson, Nels Cline with Julian Lage, Gilad Hekselman with Justin Brown, and Joel Harrison with Tyshawn Sorey.