The 4th annual Alternative Guitar Summitwill take place Jan. 17-19 at Subculture in Manhattan. The Alternative Guitar Summit’s goal is to present master improvisers and composers in concert. We focus on free-thinkers, those who reject category and style and are radically imaginative. I’m Joel Harrison. I’m a life-long guitarist, composer, and Executive Director of the non-profit corporation, Life Force Arts and I am producing this one-of-a-kind event. The Alternative Guitar Summit will feature some of the boldest, creative musicians on earth, all of whom are working for a very low guarantee.
I feel these musicians should be paid decently and that's where I need your help, because ticket sales will not cover the costs. If you love guitar, if you love jazz, if you love spontaneity, beautiful melodies and grooves, shockingly surreal soundscapes, wild abandon, righteous distortion, funk, dreamy sound clouds, and the joy of surprise, this festival is for you. Fred Frith and Nels Cline together for the first time...Guitarheads unite! Typically, events like this are sponsored by a corporation or for-profit club or concert hall, but AGS is solely presented and backed by Life Force Arts. We are co-sponsored by the New York Guitar Festival, but they supply no funds. I, myself, make no profit from any of this, though I do hope to cover expenses such as publicity. All extra money, from gifts or ticket sales, goes to the musicians.
Your gift will go to three places:1. Directly into the hands of the performers. 2. Educational events. We are planning at least two master classes. In one, players from the night of Paul Motian’s music will discuss approaches and concepts of modern guitar playing. The other will be a rare class with Nels Cline. I’m hoping to also present more classes with these folks throughout the upcoming year. 3. To cover any expenses not covered by ticket sales. As I mentioned, this will never include profit for AGS or myself. Donors may receive signed CDs from the artists, a signed poster, a free guitar lesson from one of the artists, free admission, an exclusive invitation to a guitar-collecting seminar by Rudy of Rudy's Music in NYC, a personal thank you note signed by the artists, and even backstage access. Here’s the good news: even if we don't reach our goal, the festival WILL HAPPEN! We’re all too passionate about great music to let a lack of money stop us from sharing it.
Your contribution is to my non-profit 501 c-3 corporation. So it is tax deductible Schedule: Fri. Jan 17 @8pm: Trios focusing on evolving concepts of rhythm. Will Bernard and the Pleasure Drones, Miles Okazaki with James Hurt and Sergio Krakowski (pandeiro), Liberty Ellman Trio with Matt Brewer and Damion Reid, David Gilmore with Brad Jones and Gene Lake Sat. Jan 18th @7:30pm and @10 pm Dave Tronzo with Stomu Takeishi and Ben Perowsky Fred Frith and Nels Cline !!!! Sun. Jan. 19 @8pm: Music of Paul Motian Steve Cardenas, Ben Monder and Bill McHenry, Gilad Hekselman and Justin Brown, Brandon Ross, Vic Juris and Mary Halvorsen, Nels Cline and Julian Lage Duo, Joel Harrison (plus duo guests)
The Impact I’m doing this because I want to live in a world where challenging, thoughtful, non-commercial music happens. It only gets harder as rents soar, CD sales plummet, and we are left with less and less venues to share the fruits of our life’s work. Great music is holy to me. All these musicians have so much to share and most of them barely scrape by. Because they love to play and are almost all pals of mine, they said yes to my modest offer. But I want to surprise them by actually paying them well! Plus, I want students and octagenarians alike to bask in the range of wonderful sounds that the guitar is capable of. To learn, to enjoy, to be amazed, to grow. Furthermore, Paul Motian was a great composer/drummer/artist and the night of his music will be truly special—mesmerizing and unique. Let's continue to give his compositions life. I am committed to providing educational events throughout the year. Young players need wisdom from those who are out there on the cutting edge. Our master classes will stand out for their practicality and originality.
Thank you so much for your support–hope to see you there!