Alternative Guitar Summit

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The Alternative Guitar Summit, founded in 2010 by guitarist-composer Joel Harrison, is a yearly festival of daring, inventive players who emphasize new and unusual approaches to the guitar. The Summit consists of a Guitar Camp featuring Master Classes by notable guitarists, and a Music Festival with concerts by the best-known stars in alternative guitar as well as noteworthy young players.

Alternative Guitar Summit 2021 Music Festival

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March 20th, 2021 at 8 PM // Honoring Pat Martino

We’ll stream 11 guitarists as we honor one of the great living masters of the guitar, Pat Martino. Five sets of duos will play two of Pat’s compositions.

March 21st, 2021 at 2 PM // Virtual Visionary Solos

An afternoon of (mostly) solo guitar sets from around the world. Our artists are Nguyen Le, Nels Cline, Michael Gregory Jackson, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Mary Halvorson with Tomas Fujiwara, Henry Kaiser, and Anthony Pirog.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the Covid 19 pandemic has brought economic hardship to many in the U.S.A. and worldwide, and because we want to introduce innovative guitar music to the widest audience possible, the online 2021 AGS Music Festival is viewable for “Pay What You Wish." You can attend for free.  But if you can afford to pay, we ask you to donate whatever you can. There's a donation button when you sign up for the shows. All contributions go towards paying the production costs.

If you do not want to attend the Music Festival but still want to support visionary guitar music and guitarists, consider making a donation via the button below. On 3/20 your contribution will go towards the Pat Martino Go Fund Me Campaign.

Alt Guitar Summit 2021: Online Camp & Master Classes— March 6/7

AGS 2021 Summit Camp In-Person
August 23-27, 2021

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Our one-of-a-kind camp in August offers a rare opportunity to learn from true masters of the guitar. This summer's teachers include Julian Lage, Gilad Hekselman, Tim Miller, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Joel Harrison, and more.

New Book Out April 2021

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In Mid-April 2021,  a new book focusing on creative guitar music and guitar innovators - Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players - will come out on Terra Nova Press. Written by guitarist and composer Joel Harrison, the founder and organizer of the Alternative Guitar Summit, it represents years of intimate, musician to musician dialogues between Harrison and many of the greatest guitar exponents on the planet including Julian Lage, Ralph Towner, Vernon Reid, Wayne Krantz, Mike and Leni Stern, Brandon Ross, Miles Okazaki, Mary Halvorson, Rafiq Bhatia and more.

Latest From the Podcast

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Episode 10: Anthony Pirog

Talking about D.C. roots, the crossroads of jazz, country, noise, and rockabilly, The Messthetics, The Spellcasters, string bending, and avant banjo rolls. Duos with Joel Harrison.

We Need Your Help.

Donate to Life Force Arts, a 501 c-3 non profit public charity founded by Joel Harrison in 2013 with the purpose of advancing greater knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the arts. All funds go directly to the artists we present and towards scholarships for our educational offerings.