About Alt Guitar Summit

“It has been exciting to watch the Alt Guitar Summit emerge as one of the most interesting and distinguished forums for our instrument on the planet. The work that Joel has done with this festival to showcase the development of the guitar and the expanded role that it has taken in music is a testament to the almost unlimited sonic dimensions the word 'guitar' can invoke in the imagination of musicians and fans alike.”

- Pat Metheny

Vic Juris with Mary Halvorson: 01-19-14 SubCulture (2014 The Alternative Guitar Summit)

Our Mission

The Alternative Guitar Summit, founded in 2010, is a yearly festival of daring, inventive players who emphasize new and unusual approaches to the guitar. The music we present celebrates the guitar’s enormous range, beyond style or genre.

The AGS seeks to commission new work, whether improvised, notated, or both, and is devoted to promoting new music through education and performance in the New York City metropolitan area and beyond. We specialize in creating opportunities for lesser known, non-commercial musicians.

Lifeforce Arts Inc., a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Joel Harrison in 2013, is the fiscal sponsor for the Alternative Guitar Summit

Board of Advisors: Pat Metheny, Vic Juris, Elliot Sharp, Dave Tronzo, Bill Milkowski, Ben Monder, Nels Cline, and Fred Frith.

Goals For the Future

1) Build solo repertoire, whether nylon string, steel string, or electric.

2) Create unique pairings of players whose primary focus is improvisation, hopefully leading to long-term collaboration.

3) Commission work for multiple electric and/ or acoustic guitars.

4) Commission work for individual jazz guitarists in unusual instrumental combinations where the focus is not on the typical bass/drums/guitar format.

5) Commission fully-notated works for guitar in chamber music settings and orchestras.

6) Commission work that combines guitar and non-western string instruments such as kora, sarode, sitar, ngoni, oud, etc.

The Resophonic Guitar Orchestra (Joel Harrison, Elliott Sharp, Brandon Ross, James Moore, Will Bernard, and Pete Matthiessen): 03-15-17 National Sawdust (2017 Alternative Guitar Summit)