Schedule / Past Festivals

Debashish Bhattacharya in conversation with John Schaefer

The world is full of great guitarists, and India is full of gifted classical musicians. But in both worlds, Debashish Bhattacharya cuts a singular figure. Playing a specially-designed slide guitar, he has made his instrument an extraordinarily versatile and emotive purveyor of India's ancient raga tradition, while attracting fans from around the world.

The Life of a Luthier

The Life of a Luthier: How visibility can create the next generation of guitar builders. Local repair women and luthiers Rachel Rosenkrantz, Mamie Minchand and Chloe Swantner discuss their experiences in starting, maintaining and inspiring the humble career of guitar building.

The Ruts of Performance

The Ruts of Performance: Guitarists Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, Erika Anderson (EMA) and Ava Mendoza share and explain their methods of moving past creative walls. Moderated by Fabi Reyna, founder and editor-in-chief of She Shreds Magazine.



It’s a first in Festival history: A marathon devoted entirely to... ragas! The Winter Garden at Brookfield Place will host this FREE-ADMISSION all-day event. In Hindustani classical music, melodies and modalities are thought to reach full potency at a particular hour, in tune with the Earth on its axis.

Sharon Isbin and her Juilliard protégés

Building on last year’s sold-out event, the New York Guitar Festival and WNYC’s New Sounds present a four-week series that features a diverse cast of guitar slingers performing newly commissioned works and special collaborations.

Saul Koll in Conversation with Ed Keller

Renowned luthier Saul Koll will present a keynote talk about his guitars and design process. Koll is known both for his ‘Glide’ electric guitars, which hybridize many attributes of classic instruments, and his innovative custom instruments, the RE 7 and 8 String ergonomic archtop jazz guitars, played by artists such as David Torn, Elliot Sharp, Bill Frisell, and Lee Ranaldo.

New Ergonomics in Guitar Design; with Saul Koll, Ola Strandberg,Harvey Valdes, Joe Ravo, Jeff Doctorow and Ed Keller

In recent decades an increasing number of luthiers have addressed the challenges surrounding ergonomic guitar design. Shape, weight and playability are part of this; the greater availability of new materials and manufacturing processes have played a substantial role also as builders use carbon fiber, synthetic materials, laminates and aerospace glues, and CNC milling machines for fabrication.

Creation: A panel discussion on trends in composition,  commissioning,  performing and publishing new music for classical guitar. Featuring Robert Cuckson,  Marco Cappelli and Andrew McKenna Lee. Moderated by Michael Newman and Laura Oltman, of the Newman Oltman Duo.

A Conversation with Kid Millions, Don Bikoff + Jeff Conklin

A discussion on American Primitive presented by Tompkins Square, featuring Don Bikoff, Jeff Conklin and and moderated by Kid MillionsThe Tompkins Square Label has released many essential recordings by first-gen cosmic guitar players like Harry Taussig, Michael Chapman, Peter Walker and Max Ochs, as well as young gun slingers in t

Contemporary Improvisation and The Electric Guitar

Liberty Ellman, Grey McMurray and Gyan Riley in conversation with Alternative Guitar Summit founder/curator Joel Harrison. A loose, wide-ranging discussion on the incredible breadth of guitar styles and approaches that have proliferated in new music and jazz in the 21st century. 

Hosted by the Center for Transformative Media at The New School, with Mannes College of Music.