Alternative Guitar Summit: Nels Cline, Thurston Moore


Joel Harrison
In 2011 Guitarist/Composer Joel Harrison curated three nights at Cornelia Street Café that he dubbed the "Alternative Guitar Festival." David Spelman, founder of the New York Guitar Festival, attended two of those nights and was sufficiently enthused to invite Harrison to organize a similar gathering for his festival this year.

The word eclectic has been beaten half to death. But it applies here. Some participants are jazz-based, some not. Some will play songs (the great Ben Monder will premiere a new project of all Jimmy Webb tunes) while others will create electronic soundscapes. Many of the performances will be duos, each pairing mixing generations and approaches.

Straight ahead jazz master Vic Juris will be paired up with the unpredictable and lyrical Mary Halvorson. Nels Cline will appear in a duo with another fearless experimenter, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Curator Joel Harrison will play mostly slide on a National Steel with the virtuoso Indian classical sarode player, Anupam Shobhakar.

Night three will be special – a tribute to octogenarian Jim Hall. Guitarists and non-guitarists all owe a lot to this composer, experimenter, poet. His huge body of work includes some of the best music of our time, whether the 3rd Stream recordings with Ornette and Gunther Schuller, the Jimmy Guiffre Three, or his late 90's effort with strings on the Telarc label. All the participants have been asked to either play a tune of Jim's, a standard associated with him, a free improv, or composition in his spirit.

The Alternative Guitar Summit takes place January 13-15 at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Click here for advanced tickets.

Jan. 13

  • 7:30- 8:10- Mark Stewart (guitar) and Gyan Riley (guitar)
  • 8:20- 8:50- Joel Harrison and Anupam Shobhakar (sarod)
  • 9:00- 9:40- Ben Monder (guitar) and Pete Rende (Keyboards) play songwriter Jimmy Webb
  • 9:50- 10:45- Pillow Wand- Nels Cline (guitar) and Thurston Moore (guitar)

    Jan 14

  • 7:30-8:15- Knox Chandler (guitar and effects) and Ismail Lalal (drums)
  • 8:25- 9:10- Dave Tronzo (guitar) and Jay Granelli (bass)
  • 9:20- 10:05- Liberty Ellman (guitar) and Vijay Iyer (piano)

    Jan 15: Honoring Jim Hall

  • 1) Gilad Hekselman (guitar) and Obed Calvaire (drums)
  • 2) Vic Juris (guitar) and Mary Halvorsen (guitar)
  • 3) Jim Ridl (piano) with Vic Juris (guitar)
  • 4) Steve Cardenas (guitar) and Jacob Sacks (piano)
  • 5) Adam Rogers (guitar) and David Binney (sax)
  • 6) Joel Harrison String Choir (arrangements of Subsequently and Misterioso for 2 guitars and string quartet)
  • 7) Nels Cline (guitar) and Trevor Dunn (bass)
  • 8) Scott Colley (bass) and Chris Potter (sax)

  • [Published on: 1/3/12]

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