5th Annual Guitar Mash @ NYC City Winery

Article Contributed by THE GREENROOM | Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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 Fifth 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.

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 SchwimmerJohn Conte and Dave Cossin. The afternoon will be headlined by a diverse collective of renowned guitarists including singer/songwriter Dar WilliamsJon Herington of Steely Dan, "Voice of the Arab Spring" EmelJo Lawry of Sting's band and 20 Feet From Stardom, Newgrass icon and innovator Sam Bush, 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 LopezTop Chef star 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."

Tickets include a 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 FoxAcme Smoked FishBrooklyn Roasting CompanyFreshDirectHubert's LemonadeIlegal MezcalLagunitas Brewing CompanyMagnolia BakeryStinky BklynTito's Homemade VodkaVosges 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.

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 ClubThe DoorRenaissance YouthFace 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 (Chef/Owner, Crafted Hospitality and Co-Founder, Food Policy Action) 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.

Complete artist lineup coming soon. 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 guitarmash.org/mash-live on 12/11 at 12:30 pm EST. Play-along instruction chords and lyrics will be streamed with the performance.