Guitar Moderne Festival XXVII

Guitar Moderne began as a place to curate videos of live performances by modern guitarists. During Covid, with touring shut down, I posted many imaginary festivals comprised of shows on You Tube. Festivals are back, though not until the spring, and some of us are still wary of crowded clubs, so here is another virtual festival featuring legend Eivind Aarset, as well as legends in the making Julien Desprez, Liberty Ellman, Susan Alcorn, Ava Mendoza, and Mike Baggetta.

Quatuor IXI, Jan Bang, Eivind Aarset, Michele Rabbia—live at Chamber Remix Cologne

Julien Desprez—at Angelica Festival Internazionale di Musica 2021

Vijay Iyer, Liberty Ellman, Reggie Workman, Tyshawn Sorey—The Stone, NYC – Jan 22 2015

Morphic Resonance 8 Livestream (the first 50 minutes is guitarist Nick Robinson.)

Susan Alcorn and Ava Mendoza at the Cunneen—Hackett Arts Center

Ava Mendoza and Mike Baggetta duo—at First Street Green

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Guitar Moderne Festival XXII

It is still looking like summer festival season will be cancelled. But fear not; you can count on Guitar Moderne to continue to supply virtual, germ-free festivals like this. Pandemic is creating new paradigms for performance. Solo looping, already popular, ensures social distancing from band members. Those musicians brave (or foolhardy—you be the judge) enough to play together in an enclosed space are often doing so without an audience save for a skeleton camera crew.

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Guitar Moderne Festival XIX

With the holidays coming, you may have some extra time and/or need to retreat to another room while the family argues about politics. These should keep you busy. Featuring Nick Reinhart playing jazz?!), Ava Mendoza, Bob Lanzetti, Keisuke Matsuno, and others.

David Binney Nick Reinhart Justin Brown Eric Revis Chris Fishman Blue Whale 1st Set Full

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Guitar Moderne Festival VIII

Thanks to Nasjonal jazzscene we have a couple of amazing sets for this version of the Guitar Moderne Festival. One, a new set from the amazing duo of Stian Westerhus and Sidsel Endresen, and a second from the Hedvig Mollestad Trio. Add full concerts from from Ava Mendoza, Marc Ribot and Fred Frith and you have a great way to end the summer.

Stian Westerhus and Sidsel Endresen

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Spotlight: Ava Mendoza

Let’s face it: the world of electric guitar can often seem like a sausage fest; when it comes to improvisational soloing women are conspicuous by their absence. Amid a wealth of brillliant female drummers, bassists, and keyboard players is a gaping hole in the guitar category. (Exceptions that prove the rule: Jennifer Batten, Sheryl Bailey). That is the only reason we notice Ava Mendoza’s sex as she improvises in duo with Nels Cline, adds extra musical girth to Fred Frith’s large ensemble, or tears it up solo and with her trio Unnatural Ways. But enough about that. She has too much to say about the art of modern guitar to waste any more time on gender issues in the six-string world.

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