Artistic Director, Producer, Music Supervisor
New York Guitar Festival
New York Guitar Festival
The New York Guitar Festival is a citywide music festival founded by David Spelman and radio host/author John Schaefer. Since 1999, the festival "has been examining virtually every aspect of the guitar's musical personality" and has launched sister festivals in cities in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. David serves at the festival's Artistic Director.
The Festival has presented several hundred of the world’s most distinctive guitarists at Carnegie Hall, The World Financial Center Winter Garden, The 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall, Joe’s Pub, The Jazz Standard, Le Poisson Rougue, Flushing Town Hall, Makor, BB King Blues Club, The Monkey, Barbes, and The Apple Store theater in SoHo. Performers have included: Pepe Romero, The Assad Duo, Vernon Reid, Andy Summers, Daniel Lanois, Jorma Kaukonen, Bill Frisell, Sonny Landreth, Cindy Cashdollar, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke, Kaki King, as well as surprise guests Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, and Bruce Springsteen.
While many celebrated and internationally acclaimed artists have made appearances at the festival over the years, the event’s greatest strength is its commitment to showcasing emerging classical, jazz, blues, folk, world-music and experimental artists—many of whom receive little radio or television exposure. Not only does the press love the festival (The Wall Street Journal called it “an epic event”), but so do audiences and artists. Andy Summers of The Police expressed it best: “If you are interested in guitar at all then the New York Guitar Festival has to be on your itinerary. One of the most eclectic and interesting guitarathons around, it is made by guitar players for guitar players. Covering the gamut from traditional classical repertoire to cutting-edge guitar sound, it is without peer in the field. Highly recommended.”
“A series that examines virtually every aspect of the guitar’s musical personality.”
—The New York Times
“a veritable guitar orgy” —Jazz Times
“Fret heads from around the world will converge... for a series of concerts and concluding marathon devoted to the most important instrument of the 20th century’s back end.” —The Village Voice
“This guitar marathon strikes all the right chords.” —New York Post
“The sixth installment of the New York Guitar Festival turned the Big Apple into Guitartown, USA”
—Guitar Player Magazine
“A Comprehensive celebration of all things picked, plucked and strummed... a guitar hound’s paradise” —Time Out New York
“Love guitars? This is the 10-hour marathon for you. Not only do you get axe-wielders ranging from Andy Summers to Bill Frisell to Bucky Pizzarelli, musicians from around the world will introduce you to the guitar’s ancestors such as the lute, the Chinese pipa and the Balkan saz.” —Newsday