Transformative music event welcomes fans to sing and play live with acclaimed musicians and songwriters
Performers include John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), Dion, Amythyst Kiah, Tash Neal and Sammy Brue
Since 2012 Guitar Mash has presented Urban Campfires, live, participatory music events that allow audiences to perform along with renowned guitarists and singer-songwriters as they share the stories and songs that shaped them. Each Urban Campfire is a unique and immersive event that does away with lines between artist and audience, engendering a true collaborative community.
After seven years at NYC’s City Winery, Guitar Mash is excited to announce its move to New York’s (le) Poisson Rouge for the eighth edition of this special concert experience. Confirmed for Sunday afternoon November 17th, 2019, the NYC Urban Campfire will feature audience members singing and playing along with legends such as Dion and The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, and leading voices of today Amythyst Kiah, Tash Neal and Sammy Brue. There will be special appearances by Guitar Mash alums Jimmy Vivino and Scott Sharrard, as well as by Brandon “Taz” Niederauer joining the Guitar Mash teens. Guitars and musical training are not requirements – anyone and everyone are encouraged to join in the communal experience.
The Urban Campfire is the brainchild of founder and Executive Producer Rebecca Weller and Artistic Director Mark Stewart, who also serves as Paul Simon’s long-time music director and is a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Weller is a veteran producer and social entrepreneur who founded ground breaking participatory programs including Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing and Harmony in the Kitchen.
“Music making is a fundamental human ability as well as a source of joy and community and a requirement for life,” says Stewart. “To be human is to be a musician, a word too often used to discourage people from participating in their birthright.”
“Each Urban Campfire is something unique, shaped by the artists, the songs, the stories, and the audience in the house,” says Weller. “Mark Stewart likes to call our audience “the big band,” and every show is a running conversation and hang involving everyone in the room. Our times call for collective action — gathering people around our “campfire” is community building at its most joyous.”
Guitar Mash has enjoyed steady growth since the original New York City Urban Campfire in 2012, establishing an annual Nashville version in 2018 and spearheading the “My NYC Song Contest” for teens that same year. More unique participatory events in and outside of New York are being developed for the future, including a Queens Urban Campfire in 2020 with support from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
Guitar Mash presents the
8th Annual NYC Urban Campfire
Sunday, Nov 17 (le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012
Featuring YOU plus Dion, John Sebastian, Amythyst Kiah, Tash Neal and Sammy Brue. And more to be confirmed. Led by Mark Stewart, GM Artistic Director
Doors: 12:15 pm
Show: 1:00 pm
The Urban Campfire includes an optional brunch with cocktails, courtesy of Zucker’s Bagels and Smoked Fish and Magnolia Bakery.
GA Regular: $40
GA Student: $15
*VIP tickets beginning at $275 offer reserved premium seating and brunch.
Tickets may be purchased at bit.ly/UrbanCampfireNYC2019
Proceeds from VIP Event Committee tickets help underwrite Guitar Mash free programming for teens and support the growth of Urban Campfires in underrepresented and at-need communities. The 8th annual NYC Urban Campfire Event Committee is chaired by EJ Boyce, Kevin Galbraith and Abbey Gardner.
Hint ® and Fishman ® are official sponsors of Guitar Mash.
Guitar Mash also receives support from the D’Addario Foundation and GAMA.
The contributions of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Sebastian are a permanent part of our American musical fabric. His group, The Lovin’ Spoonful, played a major role in the mid-’60s rock revolution scoring numerous hits. He also performed at Woodstock in 1969 as a solo artist and has since continued to record and tour. Perhaps because it has been the product of heart and soul and history, the oldest song in the Sebastian catalog is as fresh and vital as the song he’s about to write tomorrow. A master musician, writer and performer, Sebastian remains one of the best ambassadors American music has ever had.
Dion is a legendary American singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member whose work has incorporated elements of doo-wop, rock and R&B styles—and, most recently, straight blues. He was one of the most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British Invasion era. He had more than a dozen Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 60s. Songs such as “Teenager In Love,” “Runaround Sue,” “The Wanderer,” “Ruby Baby,” and “Abraham, Martin and John” are woven into the fabric of American rock history.
Provocative and fierce, Amythyst Kiah’s ability to cross boundaries is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable. Her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past is accompanied interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band. Her eclectic influences span decades, finding inspiration in old time music, alternative rock, folk, country, and blues. Her recent collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell has delivered the acclaimed album Songs of Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways), co-produced by Giddens and Dirk Powell.
With influences spanning from Woody Guthrie to Nirvana, Utah-based Sammy Brue began writing songs and exploring his deep love for Americana and country-folk at the age of ten. By the age of 13 Brue was opening for Joe Fletcher, Lukas Nelson, Lydia Loveless, Asleep at the Wheel, and Hayes Carll, and by the age of 14 he had released two EPs and garnered praise from the likes of Lucinda Williams and Justin Townes Earle, the latter of whom took the young troubadour under his wing. In 2017 Brue released his John Paul White and Ben Tanner-produced full-length debut, I Am Nice (New West Records).
Tash Neal is a guitarist, singer and songwriter based in Harlem, NYC. As one half of The London Souls, Tash opened for such artists as The Who, Lenny Kravitz, Gary Clark Jr., The Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks. In the fall of 2018 Tash shared the stage with Slash at the ‘Across The Great Divide’ Benefit Concert. Tash is currently working on a new solo project, and has also teamed up with brothers Matt, Dave, and JoJo to form TASH and the GetBack which recently served as the house band for the T Bone Burnett-produced Easy Rider Live event at Radio City Music Hall.
ABOUT GUITAR MASH
Guitar Mash, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is leading a movement to change the way we experience music. Their signature participatory Urban Campfires, led by artists sharing their favorite songs and life stories, erase the boundary between stage and audience, connecting people of diverse backgrounds and all musical abilities.
“Playing guitar with someone else is a communal experience, and playing and singing together is an intimate thing, and it’s a joyful thing, and that is all captured at Guitar Mash.” – Buddy Miller, Urban Campfire Artist Alum, Nashville 2019