Tom Colicchio, Chad Smith & More Set for Massive Play-Along at NYC Benefit, 11/17
Top Chef's Tom Colicchio, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, The Roots' Captain Kirk Douglas and former Saturday Night Live bandleader G.E. Smith are among the celebrities slated to join over 150 guitarists in a massive six-string symphony benefitting music in education programs.
For the 2nd annual Guitar Mash Benefit Concert + Jam on November 17th, guitarists of all ages will converge with instruments in hand at Manhattan's City Winery for an enormous play- and sing-along. Chords and lyrics will be available for download one week prior to the event and projected on a large screen at the event for easy follow-along.
Guitar Mash is a nonprofit initiative that celebrates the communal and social power of the guitar. Proceeds from the event will support Guitar Mash in creating opportunities for guitarists of all abilities, ages and cultures to play together, as well as music in education programs including Church Street School for Music and Arts, Lower Manhattan's only nonprofit school for the arts, and Little Kids Rock, which brings guitars and music education into at-need New York City schools. The benefit is sponsored by C.F. Martin Guitars, Sam Ash Music and WFUV Radio.
Under the direction of Mark Stewart, Paul Simon's longtime guitarist and musical director, virtuosos like Captain Kirk Douglas, G.E. Smith, Julian Lage, Amy Helm, and David Broza will share the spotlight with high-profile amateur guitarists like Colicchio and Smith, the co-chairs of the benefit. Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist for Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, will lend his chops live online from the stage of his Fur Peace Ranch in Ohio. More special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Throughout the event, headlining artists will take turns discussing their creative process, offering tips on technique, sharing stories from their careers, and more. In addition, Mark Stewart has begun collaborating with a group of teen guitarists that will culminate with them leading the audience at City Winery in a celebration of the perennial teenage rock n' roll fantasy.
"Playing music with other people is a profound, thrilling, and transformational experience," said Guitar Mash founder Rebecca Weller. "Guitar Mash provides an extraordinary opportunity for people from all walks of life to play the guitar communally and celebrate this uniquely democratic, accessible, and inspiring instrument."