Schedule / Past Festivals


Marc Ribot did such a fabulous job with Chaplin's classic The Kid at the 2010 Festival,” NYGF Founder David Spelman remembers, “bringing out not just the humor, but the deep humanity of the film, that I knew we wanted to have him back, but this time with a film that might summon up an even wider emotional palette.” This season, Ribot returns with a new score for Josep

Co-curated by William Kanengiser + Badi Assad

FREE for the first time in our Festival's history, this six-hour Marathon (taking place on MLK Day) celebrates the classical guitar in North and South America, contrasting rich traditions with bold experimentation.

The Music of Paul Motian, curated by Joel Harrison

When drummer, bandleader, and composer Paul Motian died at age 80 in the autumn of 2011, it was, for jazz critic Steve Futterman writing in The New Yorker, “like waking to find that your favorite neighborhood bookstore—the one that stocked the edgy stuff that no one else would touch—had closed overnight.” Motian’s music lives on in duo performances by Steve Cardenas and Jacob S

Ben Monder, Steve Cardenas,Vic Juris, Liberty Ellman + Joel Harrison

Five modern masters discuss new approaches to jazz guitar through the lens of Paul Motian's music. Ben Monder, Steve Cardenas (both Motian alumni), Vic Juris, Liberty Ellman, and Joel Harrison will talk about comping, ensemble playing, linear improvisation, band-leading, electronics, philosophy, and more, using Paul Motian's singular opus as a starting point. All levels invited.


Dave Tronzo w/ Stomu Takeishi + Ben Perowsky, and Fred Frith meets Nels Cline

"Feel the Noise!" – curated by Joel Harrison.

•Dave Tronzo with Stomu Takeishi, electric bass, and Ben Perowsky, percussion.

• Fred Frith meets Nels Cline

Nels Cline will demonstrate how he achieves his unique sound world where all conceivable musical roads converge. This is Cline's first such class in New York City. All levels invited.

For advanced tickets/reservations to masterclasses please email Joel Harrison at:


An evening of trios that explore evolving concepts of rhythm, curated by Joel Harrison.

• Jazz/funk electronica with Will Bernard and the Pleasure Drones.

• Miles Okazaki with James Hurt (percussion) and Sergio Krakowski, pandeiro (Brazilian frame drum).

• Liberty Ellman, master of contrapuntal rhythms, with Matt Brewer, bass, and Gerald Cleaver, drums.

2014 Opening Night Concert

Pepe Romero’s distinguished career, both as a solo performer and charter member of the "Royal Family of the Guitar," encompasses some 60 albums, multiple White House invitations, Carnegie Hall concerts, and world premieres by Rodrigo and Moreno Torroba, in addition to receiving a Knighthood by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

A day-long celebration of Italian guitar music, from the Renaissance to music of today.

The warmth and splendor of Italy has inspired guitarists and composers for five centuries.

Califone + Howard Fishman premiere scores to Buster Keaton silent films

Groundbreaking guitarists premiere original film scores for silent films by Buster Keaton.

Califone & Buster Keaton's Go West (1925)

Howard Fishman & Buster Keaton's The Frozen North (1922)