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Alternative Guitar Summit 2017: Guitars of Heaven, Guitars of Hell

March 15, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


About the Show

 Alternative Guitar Summit 2017: Guitars of Heaven, Guitars of Hell

Founded and produced by Joel Harrison and Life Force Arts, The “Summit” is a yearly gathering of some of the most creative guitarists on earth.

Each of these acts is a stand out, deliciously unique in the world of new music, improvisation, and guitar- but together they make a formidable bill.

Steve Mackey is the foremost classical composer for electric guitar in classical settings worldwide. 30 years ago he took his roots in prog rock, got himself a phd, and began writing compositions that have subtly altered the 21st century music landscape. He is a fantastic player as well, and his “guitar opera” covers a huge amount of sonic, textural, and harmonic ground. Add one of the most celebrated percussionists of our day, Jason Treuting (from So Percussion Quartet) and you have a great duo.

Dither Quartet has, like Mackey, altered the landscape for electric guitar. Dither is the only group of its kind. With youthful enthusiasm they’ve commissioned numerous works that showcase the astonishing variety of sounds the guitar is possible of. This concert is special though. They are playing a seldom heard piece by the “godfather” of alternative guitar, Fred Frith. Fred basically began what many of us are now doing back in the early 70’s.

Steven Bernstein (trpt)- Steve Bernstein is one of the most vibrant, charismatic, and  creative individuals in recent jazz history. Whenever he shows up, people begin to smile. in “Blue Campfire” Steve says that he wanted to create the feeling of a bunch of guitarists sitting around in a circle intimately jamming, and that he then would become the lead singer with the trumpet. With these guitar players it will be a heavenly tapestry. Tronzo and Cardenas are amongst the most respected players of their generation having played with countless acts such as Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Paul Simon, and John Hiatt. We can’t name the third guitarist due to pr restrictions but we can say he spent a lot of time with Bob Dylan. Come sit by the “camp fire” and be surprised.

Joel Harrison’s Resophonic Guitar Orchestra:
A resophonic guitar is most often made of steel. It has a cone in the body that acts almost like an amplifier. I fell in love with this unique brand of guitar years ago, listening to the old blues masters like Son House and Willie Johnson. I began to imagine the sound that a large number of them would make. They are soulful instruments, able to cry and wail, amazing creations, and we plan to conjure not only the ghosts of the past but create visions of the future. We’ll bang on them caress them, slide along them…Elliott Sharp will contribute with a composition and the other players are pure magic, the best there is- Dave Tronzo (greatest jazz slide master in America), Brandon Ross (from Harriet Tubman, Cassandra Wilson, Henry Threadgill), Gyan Riley, members of Dither and more.


March 15, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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National Sawdust
80 North 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249 United States
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