FutureFret: Episode One is the first event in what Vernon Reid and Chris Buono hope to be an ongoing series. The event is this Saturday, May 14th, 2022 and will include a collective of panel discussions, masterclasses and live performances centered around forward-thinking concepts for the modern guitarist. Here is my interview with Vernon about the idea, its possibilities and many other things. Below that is an introductory video and the details.
The American trumpeter and composer Jon Hassel’s sound influenced guitarists like Eivind Aarset and, well, me, as well myriad other musicians. He passed away on June 26, 2021. This year he would have turned 85 and to honor him Nasjonal jazzscene in Oslo, Norway put on a terrific memorial concert on his birthday, March 22.
The 2022 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition started with 26 semifinalists from 16 different countries. After an online showcase of the semifinalists, a committee of Georgia Tech faculty and public voting decided which creators would compete at the final stage. Nine advanced to the competition’s final round. They met on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 11 and 12, 2022, to compete for $10,000 in prizes. While none of these won, they do indicate some possible future directions for making music with guitar skills.
Joe and I go back decades. He is responsible for jump-starting my career as a music journalist. He has played guitar with PJ Harvey, Tracey Chapman, and Tom Waits, been an editor at Guitar Player Magazine and Premier Guitar, worked on guitar-based things for Apple’s Logic, and designed pedals. He just released his terrific first solo record, Falling Through Time: Music From The 1300s. A collection of ancient music played on modern instruments. We talk about everything under the sun.
Despite periodic lockdowns around the world, recordings continue apace. Lots of new names this month, which bodes well for the state of modern guitar.