5th ANNUAL GUITAR MASH and Brunch at CITY WINERY on 12/11

By: Dec. 01, 2016
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What began in 2012 as an intimate gathering of 50 guitarists and music lovers at a loft in New York City, Guitar Mash has emerged as a platform for participatory events large and small, from flash mobs to the annual jam at New York's City Winery. The 5th Anniversary Guitar Mash at City Winery will take place on Sunday, December 11th (noon to 3:30 pm) and will feature a line-up of some of the music world's most sought-after guitarists and singer-songwriters leading the audience of 350+ guitarists and music lovers in song. The event celebrates the power of communal music-making while supporting outreach to teen musicians in communities from across New York's five boroughs.

The event includes playroom of interactive musical experiences, plus an all-you-can-eat-and-drink artisanal brunch featuring great treats from local and national sponsors, including A Casa Fox, Acme Smoked Fish, Brooklyn Roasting Company, Fresh Direct, Hubert's Lemonade, Ilegal Mezcal, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Magnolia Bakery, Stinky Bklyn, Tito's Homemade Vodka, Vosges Chocolate and Zucker's Bagels.

A Silent (but musical!) Auction will include select instruments, tickets to Broadway shows and special one-on-one experiences, including meet-ups with artists from the cast of Hamilton and School of Rock. Early bidding for that auction is available now and will remain open even to non-attendees for the Jam. You can view the items and bids here: http://501auctions.com/guitarmash5th.

Blurring the boundary between the stage and the audience, Guitar Mash invites you to play along with our featured guest musicians as they share their favorite songs and life stories. The 2016 Guitar Mash Jam is anchored by acclaimed Guitar Mash Artistic Director Mark Stewart (founding member of Bang on a Can All-Stars, fresh off tour with Paul Simon) and his stellar house band including Rob Schwimmer, John Conte and Dave Cossin. The afternoon will be headlined by a diverse collective of renowned guitarists including singer/songwriter Dar Williams, Jon Herington of Steely Dan, "Voice of the Arab Spring" Emel, Jo Lawry of Sting's band and 20 Feet From Stardom, and Blues Guitar Maestro Bill Sims Jr. The Guitar Mash Teens, including teens from our community-based partners, will lead the audience in song under the direction of musician/producer Rene Lopez. Founding Artist Co-Chair and Chef Tom Colicchio will transcend his creative mediums and lead the audience for one of his favorite songs.

Hosted by acclaimed WNYC radio personality John Schaefer, the Guitar Mash Jam is an old-fashioned hootenanny, a musical be-in and an all-star concert wrapped into one. Participation in the jam is designed for ages 10 to 100, no matter your musical background. All ticket holders are strongly encouraged to arrive with their acoustic guitars or just come prepared to sing along. Lyrics and charts to all songs will be shared by December 1st on the Guitar Mash website and will be projected on screens flanking the stage at City Winery, so even the novice guitar player will be able to follow.

"Playing and singing music is fundamentally different than engaging music solely as a listener. Participation provides a connection to one's creative power and a connection to the other humans around us. Regardless of where we're at in the continuum of our creative practice, we're all doing the same thing," says Guitar Mash Founder and Executive Director Rebecca Weller. "Bring your guitar or just bring you and come with appetite and agency. We promise great songs, great stories, great food and drink -- a truly filling afternoon."

Weller spoke about the new elements that Guitar Mash fans can expect. "No two Guitar Mashes are alike not only because of each artist's approach to their instrument and to song writing, but because of the diversity of musical genres they inhabit and grew up on. Each and every Mash is a different adventure in music and storytelling. This year we'll be journeying from Bob Marley through the lens of Newgrass pioneer Sam Bush, to The Beatles with Steely Dan's Jon Herington. Jo Lawry is going to lead what she usually sings back-up on with Sting: "Fragile". Dar Williams will celebrate strong women, and master bluesman Bill Simms Jr. will be teaching three-minute blues lessons downstairs at City Winery during intermission, something new we're calling 'Musical Speed Dating.'

Weller also commented, "The Guitar Mash Teens include kids from a new community-based partner of ours in NYC, The Door, leading the audience in "Purple Rain" and "Lean On Me" under the direction of Rene Lopez. Part of this assortment of teens is Evie Dolan, who originated the role of Katie in School of Rock on Broadway (and one of our auction prizes will be ice cream sundaes with Evie and guitarist Brandon Niederauer following a SOR performance!). While we have live streamed in the past, we are aiming this year for the "Song Played Round the World", as "Voice of the Arab Spring" Emel leads "Hallelujah". The entire show will be broadcast live at at 12:30pm (EST) at www.guitarmash.org/mash-live with the lyrics and chords streaming for easy follow-along."

We also asked Weller why she projects that this year's event will be so successful. "In addition to the featured musicians providing their own different flavors, the context which the audience inhabits at any particular time affects the Mash experience. We are in the midst of one of the strangest times in our country's history, where no matter what your political persuasion, there's a feeling of uncertainty and tumult. It's at times like these that communal music-making serves its most fundamental purpose, and there is no one better than our Artistic Director Mark Stewart to lead people to higher ground."

Proceeds from the Jam support Guitar Mash teen programming throughout the year, providing opportunities for young guitarists from diverse cultures and ability levels to learn and play together. Not-for-profit partners include Lower Eastside Girls Club, The Door, Renaissance Youth, Face the Music and other community-based organizations supporting underserved teens across New York City. Guitar Mash is grateful to our media partners Relix Magazine and WNYC.

Guitar Mash counts Tom Colicchio (Top Chef, Crafted Hospitality) and Chad Smith (drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers) as its Artist Co-Chairs. Legendary performers from past Jams include Jorma Kaukonen, David Bromberg, Nels Cline, Bill Kirchen, Valerie June, Kaki King, Jackie Greene, Larry Campbell, Jerry Douglas and Vernon Reid.

Visit bit.ly/GuitarMash5th to purchase tickets now; prices start at $50 for students, $90 for adults. For those who can't make it, you can play and sing along from around the world in real-time via the Live Jam Stream at www.guitarmash.org/mash-live on 12/11 at 12:30 pm EST. Play-along instruction chords and lyrics will be streamed with the performance.

Visit Guitar Mash Online at http://www.guitarmash.org and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

City Winery is located at 155 Varick Street, New York, NY. To learn more about City Winery, visit http://www.citywinery.com/newyork.

Photo Credit: Guitar Mash