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 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.
Hands down, the best part of Summer NAMM was running into Benn Jordan. A candidate for The World’s Most Interesting Man, He plays guitar upside down, has a great YouTube channel, performs in front of thousands as Flashbulb, and is a Mixed Marshal Artist. He recently posted this video describing his laptop-free setup for performing his music, a mixture of jazz, metal, electronica, and beats.
The traditional product release cycle is a thing of the past. Thanks to the internet and YouTube, companies are no longer bound to the standard of unveiling major releases at the January NAMM show. Though Boss was not at the Summer show, they picked a time that coincided with the Nashville exhibition to unveil two new products that should be of special interest to modern guitarists: a guitar with their SY synth technology built in, the EURUS GS-1 Electronic Guitar; and a bluetooth expression pedal, the EV-1-WL Wireless MIDI Expression Pedal.
Here are a couple of comprehensive looks at these innovative devices:
If anyone has ever advanced the guitar it would Maestro McLaughlin. He has a great new record out, Liberation Time, made all the more amazing by being recorded remotely. While making the Zoom press rounds, he graciously agreed to talk to my humble publication. We talk Miles, Mustangs, and my favorite band of his with Joey De Francesco and Elvin Jones/Dennis Chambers.