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World Music Institute Presents the New York Guitar Festival 25th Anniversary | Latest Buzz | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

World Music Institute Presents the New York Guitar Festival 25th Anniversary

Hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer

World Music Institute is pleased to co-present the 25th anniversary of the New York Guitar Festival, and spotlight the wealth of international talent and diverse guitar styles that the festival has brought to NYC for over two decades.

The New York Guitar Festival’s 25th Anniversary begins with a typically eclectic event. The duo of Marc Ribot, the New York guitarist, and Leyla McCalla, the New Orleans cellist and banjo player, may seem unlikely at first. Ribot is known for his work with Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, his own avant-noise trio Ceramic Dog, and much more; McCalla writes songs that draw on the African-American string band tradition, Cajun music, and her own Haitian heritage. But Ribot was also a student of the Haitian classical guitarist/composer Frantz Casseus, and the two musicians share a strong genre-agnostic streak.

Joining them on this first of two nights celebrating a quarter century of the NYGF is Yasmin Williams. She has extended the “tapping” technique into a whole new way of approaching the guitar, and occasionally adds tap shoes and kalimba to the sound, becoming a literal one-woman band. And the NYGF has long presented related instruments from around the world; for this event, it’s sitarist Neel Murgai, co-director of the globally-inspired Brooklyn Raga Massive, accompanied by Jeff The Brotherhood guitarist Kunal Prakash.

Night One:
Marc Ribot & Leyla McCalla, Yasmin Williams, Neel Murgai & Kunal Prakash

Friday, June 14, 2024
Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th Street, Manhattan

Doors: 7:30 PM | Show: 8 PM
More Info

Headlining night two are Medicine Singers, a trailblazing collaboration between some of the world’s most forward-thinking powwow musicians and rock’n’roll, experimental and electronic music legends. On stage alongside Eastern Medicine Singers, an Eastern Algonquin powwow group from Rhode Island, will be Yonatan Gat, the wildly virtuosic New York-based guitarist, and Sonic Youth guitar legend Lee Ranaldo, with members of the band Swans.

Their self-titled 2022 debut album garnered universal acclaim. Pitchfork hailed it as a “vivid new context for the sound of the powwow drum” and The New Yorker raved “breathes fire, detonating cultural walls”. Their live show has become the stuff of legend – the Medicine Singers often set up in-the-round with the audience encircling the band, and go into a trance-inducing set where the walls between band and spectator, as well as between psychedelic rock and traditional powwow are blurred.

Joining Medicine Singers, Lee Ranaldo, and Yonatan Gat are ambient legend Laraaji and Guinean guitarist Mamady Kouyaté of the legendary Bembeya Jazz National band, playing as a duo. The night will also feature premieres of collaborations between Lee Ranaldo & Laraaji, as well as Yonatan Gat & Maalem Hassan BenJaafar from grammy-nominated Moroccan gnawa group Innov Gnawa of Daptone Records. The evening is curated by the label & collective Stone Tapes, with an overriding mission of manifesting a space for radical experimental and radical traditional musicians to collaborate. 

Night Two:
Medicine Singers ft. Lee Ranaldo & Yonatan Gat Maalem Hassan BenJafaar & Yonatan Gat Laraaji & Mamady Kouyate

Saturday, June 15, 2024
Kaufman Music Center
129 W 67th Street, Manhattan

Doors: 7:30 PM | Show: 8 PM
More Info

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