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. In June 2020, Guitar Mash took a pause in events and programming. The Virtual Campfire sessions developed in response to social distancing requirements from Covid-19 continue to be led by Mark Stewart. Visit soundstewart.com/virtualcampfire for more information.
It will stay in my memory for a long while. We need more of these for sure.
- Sofia Rei
If kids in Ogden Utah had something like this they would stop doin so many damn drugs, just no way to express themselves.
- Sammy Brue
Playing guitar with someone else is a communal experience, and playing and singing together is an intimate thing, and it’s a joyful thing, and that is all captured at Guitar Mash.
- Buddy Miller
I think they should have this every Sunday, in every city. You know if there was a Guitar Mash every Sunday it would get rid of a lot of people’s Sunday blues.
- Nicole Atkins
The experience was magical! The sense of community, all ages, all skill levels, everyone dialed in, joining and sharing the moment; being one.
- Fernandito Ferrer
I had a blast participating in Guitar Mash. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the young people who attended the afternoon workshop. I feel blessed to have spent the day with them at the Urban Campfire!
- Ani DiFranco
It was a borderline spiritual moment, having the people play around you as you sing your lungs out to "This Land was Made for You and Me."
- Paloma, Road Recovery
I would highly recommend taking part in one - as a musician or audience member. The experience is transformative and brings people together.
- Delicate Steve
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
Guitar Mash is a happiness machine.
- Mary Gauthier
This is really the only time I feel that I can completely be in touch with an audience.
- Jerry Douglas
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, WNYC
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