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Chad Smith, Mark Stewart, Tom Colicchio and More Headline Guitar Mash Concert Today, 11/11

Chad Smith, Mark Stewart, Tom Colicchio and More Headline Guitar Mash Concert Today, 11/11

Guitar Mash, a multi-platform initiative to bring players of varying backgrounds together, shows the many sides of the ubiquitous instrument. By kicking off with a big, open jam, the star-studded project will get guitarists of all levels, ages, and backgrounds actively participating. From metal shredders to acoustic aficionados, from novices to pros, Guitar Mash aims to unite players online and off, including via Facebook and Twitter (@GuitarMashNYC).

To spread the word and get perfect strangers making music together, Guitar Mash will hold its inaugural event at City Winery today November 11, 2012, 11:30am. The centerpiece will be a mass jam led by musical director Mark Stewart and a selection of "star guitarists" backed by a band of New York's finest session players, featuring tunes participants can download and practice prior to the show. Guests will enjoy brunch, craft beers and cocktails.

Participants will also have a unique opportunity to play a selection of "Dream Guitars," rare instruments from such esteemed makers as Martin, Gibson and Fender for a small fee. They will also get a chance to bid on signed instruments and guitar paraphernalia (such as an effects pedal signed by The Edge) as part of the Guitar Mash silent auction.

Spearheaded by Weller (who co-founded Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night Swing, among other innovative projects), Guitar Mash is supported by a diverse group of allies including Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer and guitar fan Chad Smith and chef and guitar collector Tom Colicchio of Craft restaurants and Top Chef fame, who are co-chairing the benefit concert and jam. Mark Stewart, whose musical vision and guitar playing powers Paul Simon's current projects, will serve as musical director. Among the featured guitarists will be Bob Dylan collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (who has played with everyone from Levon Helm to Rosanne Cash); downtown rock icon and music historian Lenny Kaye (guitarist for Patti Smith, and mastermind behind the Nuggets garage rock compilations); and admired bluesman Stefan Grossman (protégé of the fingerpicking blues legend Rev. Gary Davis).

The resulting jam will stream online via Livestream, with lyrics and chords accompanying the stream, so that even those players not physically present can take part.

"It's just a piece of wood with some strings on it," Smith reflects. "But you start to play and everyone starts smiling. It's a wonderful communicator."

"The guitar is really friendly, and it rewards simple, honest effort," says Stewart, who still remembers fondly the group jams around the fire at summer camp in rural Wisconsin that first fueled his passion for the instrument. "It has a humble nature but extraordinary eloquence. "

"You can play a few chords and hum along," notes Colicchio, who collects vintage guitars and plays for his own pleasure on a regular basis. "You can make music with something very simple."

Guitar Mash is proud to partner with Sam Ash Music and True Religion. Guitar Mash is a production of the non-profit Musiquarium, in association with Church Street School for Music and Art. Proceeds from the inaugural event at City Winery to benefit Guitar Mash and Church Street School for Music and Art, Lower Manhattan's strongest voice in arts education.

Tickets: $50-125 at www.guitarmash.eventbrite.com. Today, November 11, 2012, 11:30am-3:00pm at the City Winery, NYC: 155 Varick Street. 

Live Stream begins at 12:00 Noon at new.livestream.com/guitarmash/Nov11Jam. Silent Auction begins October 22nd online at www.biddingforgood.com/guitarmash culminating live at the City Winery event.

For more information, visit www.guitarmash.org or email info@guitarmash.org.

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