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).