To connect people of all ages, backgrounds and musical abilities through singing, playing and sharing stories – transcending our egos and all our differences.
In 2012, producer Rebecca Weller was introduced to Paul Simon’s longtime guitarist Mark Stewart after he had led a parade of trombones down a street in the East Village. Weller and Stewart shared a passion for the participatory–and the recognition of the portable, democratic guitar as the quickest catalyst for sharing stories and songs –which resulted in him leading the first Guitar Mash “campfire jam” in a NYC living room. Our first signature Guitar Mash at City Winery NYC took place on November 11th , 2012, and has expanded to include new cities and a vibrant teen program for communal playing and songwriting.
While technology continues to disrupt the 'virtual' music business, this was an indication of what’s possible in the 'real' world of music: empowering more people to make music themselves.
- Paul Schatzkin, Cohesion Arts (April 2018)
Guitar Mash is a happiness machine.
- Mary Gauthier (April 2018)
This is really the only time I feel that I can completely be in touch with an audience.
- Jerry Douglas (April 2018)
There’s no exclusivity. There’s no I’m the performer, you’re the audience. WE are the thing.
- Mark Stewart
As someone who identifies outside the gender binary, it’s really welcoming.
- Maxwell Violet
We need to have places where we can reconnect with that joy of being alive.
- Joan Osborne
The stories that musicians and creators tell in the next few years will be the rallying cries our kids get inspiration from to make positive social change.
- Pat Stern
There's something sacred, almost, about the air of having the guitars ringing in harmony like that together.
- Jon Batiste
You get one piece of wood with strings on it and it connects everybody.
- Chad Smith
It got me over my shyness playing out.
- Tom Colicchio
Guitar Mash is like heaven.
- Brandon Niederauer
It's an innocent yet informed grab bag of guitar geekiness and greatness.
- Nels Cline
Guitarists learn, jam and prove why they fell in love with the instrument in the first place... In all "Guitar Mash" is what is needed to make you whole again.
- Carlos Alomar
One of the best events on the planet.
- Bakithi Kumalo
This is how music started, and this is how music should be.
- John Schaefer
Guitar Mash is really done perfectly: music for music’s sake, and participation for participation’s sake are very valuable to the world.
- Dar Williams