The words “I’m bored” haven’t crossed my lips since that time I was 16 years old, went to a party in the woods where everyone was doing nothing but drinking beer, and left after about three minutes to go home and practice. (Yes, it was a weekend. But time without a guitar in my hands is time wasted.)
Heaven forbid I sit still for one second. But that’s o.k., because it means that I have fun adventures. It also means fun adventures to share with you, my dear reader.
Here’s how it happened: there’s this great space in Queens called Single Cut Beersmiths. They’re the first micro-brewery to open in Astoria (Queens) since Prohibition, and they love guitar. (For those of you who aren’t big guitar fanatics, a Single Cut guitar has a body that has been “cut away” to make access to the higher frets of the guitar easier to reach.) Since I love guitar, and I love beer (even though yes, I did leave a party where there was beer drinking – it wasn’t good beer, and we were sitting on rocks in the woods) I thought, “the perfect combination!”
Sure enough, Single Cut has a stage in their tap room, complete with guitar amps, bass amps, and a big drum set. Members of the Queens Jazz OverGround met with the managers/owners of Single Cut, and a two-day jazz festival took place in October 2013. We had seven Queens-based jazz bands, including Mostly Other People Do The Killing and Safety Buffalo.
Now it’s time for a guitar festival! I’ve teamed up with my buddy and fellow Six-Stringer Mike Baggetta for a monthly concert series featuring some of the best (and our favorite) guitar players out there. We’ll be at Single Cut featuring three different FABULOUS guitar groups the third Friday in April, May, and June.
It’s a new thing for me to be curator of a concert series. I’ve had a little bit of experience with it through the Queens Jazz OverGround and our partnership with Flushing Town Hall, but this is all guitar. And you know me – I LOVE guitar. And Mike and I were able to get some of the best for this series: David Torn (April 18), David Tronzo (May 16), Nels Cline and Julian Lage (June 20).
Sometimes I think I’m crazy for doing something like organizing a concert series and all that goes with it: getting sponsors, getting the word out, etc. But then I think, “Wow, so much great guitar for three concerts over the course of three months” AND I get to be the opening band for DAVID TRONZO’s trio and I think: “Oh Yeah!”