Guitar Mash 12.11.16 City Winery NYC
Words by Corinne Casella | Photos by Mark Dershowitz
Musicians of all ages, armed with guitars and smiles poured into City Winery Sunday, December 11th to celebrate Guitar Mash’s fifth anniversary event. This year’s theme, ‘Songs Shared are Bridges Built,’ gave voice to Guitar Mash’s mission of creating space for musicians to learn and play together. What makes their annual City Winery event so special is that audience members are not only given the opportunity to create together, they are given lessons and guidance by some of the music industry’s greatest talents. This year’s roster was a buffet of mixed genres, including Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio, Sam Bush, Joseph Arthur, Dar Williams and more. The always talented Guitar Mash house band comprised of John Conte on bass, David Cossin on drums and Rob Schwimmer on keys, showed their musical versatility in keeping up with each change of artist and style. (click here for full article and photo gallery)
Guitar Mash Executive Director, Rebecca Weller Talks About Guitar Mash
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. (click here for full article)
DAR WILLIAMS TUNES IN TO GUITAR MASH
December 7, 2016
GUITAR MASH CAN BEST BE DESCRIBED AS A GIANT JAM SESSION
February 25, 2016
WITH MASHES AND ‘URBAN CAMPFIRES’, NONPROFIT AIMS
TO REKINDLE PUBLIC MUSIC MAKING.
December 24, 2015
City Winery is known for great live music, wine and cheese. But on a Sunday afternoon early last month, it was all about acoustic guitars, around 300 of them — and strummers in equal number plucking away at them — for the fourth annual Guitar Mash benefit.
About a third of the audience was young children, with the rest adults, including many parents playing guitar side by side along with their kids. Here and there among the crowd could be spotted an occasional mandolin, banjo or ukulele.
On stage Mark Stewart, Guitar Mash’s ponytailed and high-energy musical director, and a rotating group of superstar musicians, led the room in twanging and singing along to classic rock songs like Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” Tom Petty’s “Free Falling,” the Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree” and jazzier Afro-inflected fare like Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Your Shoes” and “You Can Call Me Al.” Read More
GUITAR MASH 2015 – CITY WINERY
November 12, 2015
On Sunday, November 8th, City Winery was enlivened in an instrumental chorus, creating a celebration of music in its purest form. Guitar Mash’s 4th annual Benefit Jam brought musicians of all ages and levels of expertise together to play with some of music’s key players. Audience members were supplied with loaner instruments, tools, guidance, lyrics and chords. With more guitars than anyone is likely to ever to see in one place again, attendees were treated to a setlist inspired by genre-spanning masters of their respective crafts.
Imagine learning to play slide guitar with Jerry Douglas, or having Jackie Greene advising you that even the simplest of chords can be made fierce with the right attitude. Memories in the making like these set Guitar Mash apart.
Mark Stewart, the creative genius and music director of Guitar Mash, made the afternoon into a lesson of learning how to find one’s inner spark. Stewart led off the event in a fresh way, with a ‘no guitar moment,’ distributing wooden coffee stirrers for the audience to use as jaw harps, driving home the fact that communal music can be created in any form. Read More & See Picture Gallery
MARK STEWART TALKS UPCOMING GUITAR MASH, WORKING WITH PAUL SIMON & MORE
November 6, 2015
If Mark Stewart has five projects going on, you should expect that all five of them are going to be both interesting and innovative. As a renowned multi-instrumentalist, Mark has been touring and recording with Paul Simon as his Musical Director since 1998. As a builder of musical instruments, he is the inventor of the WhirlyCopter, a “bicycle-powered Pythagorean choir of singing tubes,” and the Big Boing, “a 24-foot sonic banquet table Mbira that seats 30 children playing 490 found objects,” to name a few. This is beyond being on the faculty of the Manhattan School Of Music and acting as a visiting lecturer at MIT. And being a founding member of the Bang On A Can All-Stars. And various projects over the years with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney. Read More
INTERVIEW WITH PRODUCER EXTRAORDINAIRE REBECCA WELLER, THE MIND BEHIND GUITAR MASH
November 3, 2015
Founded in 2012, Guitar Mash operates on a pretty simple concept– guitars are Great Connectors, with the power to draw people together and create community through music. Producer Rebecca Weller knew she wanted to create an interactive event, one that would draw people out of their screen-centered lives, so she conceived of a gathering where the lines between stage and audience would be blurred, and amateur and professional guitarists could play together. At the Mash, the audience is encouraged to bring in their own guitars or stringed instruments and play along with all-star “teachers.” Read More
JACKIE GREENE, CHILD PRODIGY BRANDON “TAZ” NIEDERAUER PERFORM AT MUSIC COMMUNITY BENEFIT CONCERT
November 13, 2015
The Fourth Annual Guitar Mash took place this past Sunday, November 8th at the City Winery in New York, NY. The theme of community through making music together is what makes the Guitar Mash so special. The special guests may change each year, but the basic ideals behind the jam is to create opportunities for people of all ages to be actively involved in music.
The creators of Guitar Mash certainly accomplished that. With Music Director Mark Stewart leading the way, coffee stirrers were given to the audience before the onset of the show. They were used to open the set as musical instruments, reinforcing the theme of community and communal music right from the start. everyone is encouraged to add their “music” to the jam, and the “audience” is encouraged to play along and interact with the musicians on stage. Read More
GUITAR MASH BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS BETWEEN AUDIENCE AND MUSICIANS
November 6th, 2015
Guitar Mash Breaks Down Barriers Between Audience and Musicians:
JUST DO ART
November 4, 2015
If you have an axe to grind, bring it and play along as the action unfolds on stage. If not, don’t fret — but do sing, because lyrics will be projected, along with tabs. It’s all in keeping with the Guitar Mash Benefit Jam’s participatory ethos, which encourages its audience to get in on the act. Featured performers worth emulating include Binky Griptite, Bill Kirchen, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and Bakithi Kumalo (composer of Paul Simon’s “Call Me Al” bassline). Even though you’ll provide some of the talent, this event is strictly pay-to-play. Welcome to show business, baby! No worries though, since proceeds from your ticket go to Guitar Mash, a nonprofit that provides opportunities for young guitarists from diverse cultures and ability levels to learn and play together.
November 6, 2015
Mass Mash: At City Winery, a Concert Featuring Guitars Galore
November 24, 2014
One day each year, the music that fills City Winery comes from stage and audience alike. It’s called Guitar Mash, and the annual event brings to the venue musicians and singers of every age and ability in a unique mix of top-talent entertainment and amateur sing-along. Led by the ever-exuberant Mark Stewart (music director for Paul Simon and sideman for a host of megastars), Guitar Mash filled the music and dining venue to capacity on Sunday, Nov. 16, for its third annual event there. Eight musicians—each taking their turn with a single tune—brought an eclectic mix of folk, country, rock, blues and bluegrass to an audience eager to join in….
PHOTOS GALLERY – GUITAR MASH 2014
November 18, 2014
Guitar Mash returned to City Winery on November 16th, encouraging musicians of all skill levels to participate in a massive play-along sing-along. Featuring performances by David Bromberg, Chris Eldridge, Valerie June, Robert Randolph, Duke Robillard, Scott Sharrard, Nano Stern, and Quinn Sullivan, this year’s event made for another round of epic jam sessions. Mark Dershowitz reporting from New York City…
GUITAR MASH & THE MUSIC-LED LIFE: AN INTERVIEW WITH MARK STEWART
November 13, 2014
In addition to being the Music Director for GUITAR MASH, the rather accomplished Mr. Stewart also hails as music director/instrumentalist for Paul Simon, founding member of Bang on a Can All-Stars and the Polygraph Lounge, and has performed with musicians including Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Joan Baez… and many, many more. During our conversation we discussed topics as varied as, touring with Paul Simon, his childhood family-band, Stony Brook University and didgeridoos…oh yes, and of course…Guitar Mash…
PLAY GUITAR? HEAD ON OVER TO CITY WINERY
October 28, 2014
City Winery will host as many guitarists as it can hold on Nov. 16 – roughly 350, all told, including well-known players as well as amateurs who just like to strum – for Guitar Mash, a concert at which the audience is encouraged to play along…
THE BAND IN THE AUDIENCE: HOW GUITAR MASH RECONNECTS PEOPLE WITH THEIR INNER MUSIC MAKERS, SIX STRINGS AT A TIME
October 1, 2014
Guitar Mash has watched professional women who haven’t played for years dust off their old Martins and dig in. They’ve gotten kids from different boroughs and backgrounds jamming together. They’ve hosted celebrity chefs, film stars, and musical heavyweights, and urged them to sit together in the same circles, with players young and old, experienced and newbie all strumming together…
ON AIR-INTERVIEW WITH LARRY CAMPBELL AND JIMMY BUFF
August 1, 2014
Larry Campbell talks about guitars, music programs in schools, his first guitar and the Woodstock Guitar Mash.
WILCO’S NELS CLINE WANTS YOU TO PLAY GUITAR
November 14, 2013
Nels Cline, guitarist for the band Wilco, talks about his work with Guitar Mash and the need for music education in schools.
NELS CLINE ON GUITAR MASH, DYLAN, MMW AND MORE
November 14, 2013
Nels Cline has spent the last nine years playing with one of the most respected rock bands out there, but simply calling him Wilco’s guitarist wouldn’t do him justice. Cline is one of the most versatile guitarists around, flourishing in a variety of musical spaces from jazz and punk to straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Wilco might be taking a break at the moment, but Cline sure isn’t. We caught up with him earlier this week to discuss this Sunday’s Guitar Mash event…
SECOND ANNUAL GUITAR MASH BENEFIT TO TAKE PLACE SUNDAY AT CITY WINERY
November 12, 2013
With the second annual Guitar Mash Benefit Concert + Jam set for Sunday (Nov. 17) at City Winery, Guitar Mash founder Rebecca Weller feels that the first one succeeded in meeting a long-term goal of the non-profit initiative that celebrates the communal and social power of the guitar by creating participatory events for players of all abilities, ages and cultures, and supporting music education.
G.E. SMITH AND JORMA KAUKONEN NOT ENOUGH? BRING YOUR OWN GUITAR
October 17, 2013
More than 150 guitarists – among them, Mark Stewart, G.E. Smith, David Broza, Captain Kirk Douglas and, by a Skype link, Jorma Kaukonen – will join forces at the City Winery on Nov. 17 for the Guitar Mash Benefit Concert and Jam. The ensemble will also include some high-profile amateur pickers like Tom Colicchio, the celebrated chef, and Chad Smith, who is better known as a drummer (for the Red Hot Chili Peppers).
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS – CHAD SMITH PICKING UP GUITAR FOR CHARITY JAM SESSION
October 20, 2013
Red Hot Chili Peppers star Chad Smith is swapping his drum sticks for a guitar pick to take part in a charity jam session.
The rocker will join more than 150 artists, including Paul Simon bandmember Mark Stewart, former Hall & Oates musician G.E. Smith and Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza, for the Guitar Mash Benefit Concert and Jam at New York’s City Winery on 17 November (13) to raise funds for music education programmes.
GUITAR MASH FOUNDER REBECCA WELLER ON MIDSUMMER NIGHT SWING AT LINCOLN CENTER
July 5, 2013
“From year to year, it was like watching a meadow,” Rebecca Weller, who produced the event through 2002, said. Different dances and different subcultures would flower and dominate. In the early ‘90s the tango was hot; in 1996, the macarena. Then swing swung back.
SPREADING JAMS IN THE CITY, CHOPS STRICTLY OPTIONAL
June 4, 2013
“It’s growing into a movement.” What will that movement look like? If Monday’s event is any indication, it’ll involve a lot of earnest music-making among players whose skills are all over the place, but who share a no-holds-barred commitment to belting out classic rock.
CHILI PEPPER, COLICCHIO FACE GUITAR PROS IN CHARITY MASH
November 9, 2012
“It doesn’t matter how you do it,” said financial adviser Arthur Black. “It’s just about picking up your guitar and playing.”
Black will live a rock fan’s dream tomorrow when he plies his Fender Stratocaster with guitar masters such as Vernon Reid of Living Colour. The 43-year-old Black, co-founder of the New York-based wealth advisory firm BBR Partners LLC, is one of several amateur guitarists who will play and sing with professionals at Guitar Mash, a charity event and jam session at New York’s City Winery…”
GUITAR MASH GUITAR FEST TO BRING HUNDREDS OF GUITARISTS TO CITY WINERY
November 4, 2012
Guitar Mash, a participatory guitar festival and multi-platform initiative to bring players of varying backgrounds together set for Nov. 11 at City Winery, is the latest in arts event/festival producer Rebecca Weller’s goal of engaging audiences in experiencing the artist’s creative process.
TOM COLICCHIO: WORDS AND MUSIC
November 9, 2012
Restauranteur, chef, and all around great food guy Tom Colicchio stopped by the Whole Wide World for a conversation and guest DJ set in advance of his appearance at the Guitar Mash benefit at City Winery this weekend. No surprise to learn that this five-time (!) James Beard award winner is not only a master foodie but has great taste in music. And as we learn in the interview, despite a bogglingly busy schedule, Tom still manages to find time to play guitar every day! Our conversation covers a lot of ground and really shines a light on the undeniable connection of food and music — my 2 favorite things as well…
A CAMPFIRE JAM BY THE GLOW OF A CRACKLING IPAD
MAY 23, 2012
On four iPad screens lying in the center of Anthony Sosnick’s spacious SoHo apartment Tuesday night, electronic fires were crackling. Nearby, vegan soy hot-dogs with beet-slaw were cooking, chef Tom Colicchio was strumming his guitar and a reporter was double-fisting a Brooklyn Lager and an artisanal coffee-ice-cream pop.