Celebrating the roads less taken on the guitar...
Greetings and welcome to year six of the most unusual, forward-thinking, open-minded guitar camp on the planet!
We have another round of extraordinary teachers this summer.
Back again are three of our core teachers, Julian Lage, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Gilad Hekselman – all of whom will be with us throughout the event. Rather than gush about them, once again, I will just say that these are three of the finest and most inventive improvising guitarists in the world. Their knowledge base is deep, and their music has changed many lives. We are thrilled to have them all return to AGS 2023.
And the sorcerer himself is back—Bill Frisell, a player of almost infinite resources who can yet make a simple “C” chord sound glorious and timeless.
Also, we’re beyond excited to introduce some wonderful new teachers next August.
For the first time, Wayne Krantz is joining us. Wayne is instantly identifiable— he’s developed a unique, highly percussive guitar style that shows us new pathways into the art of the guitar trio.
Back with us for the first time since our inaugural camp is the one and only Marc Ribot. From his explosive work with John Zorn, his lovely, raw accompaniment to Tom Waits, and his hilarious and grooving take on Cuban music, one could say that Marc personifies “Alt” guitar.
Another new face is Camila Meza. Camila is a jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter originally from Chile. Now recording for Sony Masterworks her writing blends South American rhythms and jazz harmony, and she tops it off with a gorgeous singing voice. Her sound conjures Milton Nascimento, Pat Metheny, and Joni Mitchell. And to top it off we have the extraordinary player/ teacher Rodney Jones. Rodney has played with artists as diverse as James Brown and Dizzy Gillespie. He is one of the most sought after guitar instructors in the country, and was the main jazz guitar teacher at Juilliard and Manhattan School for many years.
Once again Harvey Sorgen and Jerome Harris will be our “house” rhythm section.
In 1976, Jones began touring with Dizzy Gillespie. He joined the Maceo Parker Band in 1989. Jones’ albums include The Liberation of Contemporary Jazz Guitar, Articulation, (Verve) When You Feel the Love, The “X” Field, Right Now!, (Blue Note) The Undiscovered Few, Soul Manifesto, Soul Manifesto Live, Dreams and Stories, and A Thousand Small Things. He has collaborated with Ruth Brown, Lena Horne, Jimmy McGriff, Jaki Byard, Chico Hamilton, Lucky Peterson, Kenny Burrell, Lonnie Smith, Ray Brown, Billy Strayhorn, and others. In 2001, Jones began teaching at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2007, he joined the faculty of The Juilliard School as a professor of jazz guitar studies where he served for 12 years. Jones’ book Hip Guitar Lines: The Lines, Fingerings, and Ideas That Will Transform Your Playing was published in 2020. Jones owns New Tide Music.
Guitarist, composer, arranger, lyricist, writer, educator, and vocalist Joel Harrison has “created a new blueprint for jazz” (New Orleans Times-Picayune). A Guggenheim Fellow (2010) whose compositions have been commissioned by Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, New Music USA, the Jerome Foundation, NYSCA, and the Mary Flagler Cary Trust, Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Competition and has appeared repeatedly on DownBeat Magazine’s “Rising Star” poll.
Gilad Hekselman is one of the leading voices in jazz guitar. Only a few years after his arrival to NY in 2004, this native Israeli was already sharing stages with some of the greatest artists in the New York City jazz scene including Chris Potter, Eric Harland, Fred Hersch, Mark Turner, Anat Cohen, Ari Hoenig, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Ballard, Ben Wendel, Gretchen Parlato, Ben Williams, Avishai Cohen, Tigran Hamasyan, Aaron Parks and Becca Stevens among many others.
In May 2019, Hekselman featured his quartet at the legendary NYC venue The Village Vanguard. He has also been playing all other major jazz clubs in New York City, including the Blue Note, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy's Club and Smalls. He is constantly touring world-wide and has played most noteworthy jazz festivals and venues including Montreux, North Sea, Montreal & SFJazz to name a few.
Kurt Rosenwinkel has been a distinct and prominent creative voice at the forefront of modern music for nearly three decades. The American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer has gained international recognition for his deft artistry and unabated individualism since he first appeared on the New York music scene in 1991. His legacy as the pre-eminent jazz guitar voice of his generation is plainly evident on his eleven albums as a leader, each one the inspiration for legions of musicians young and old across the globe. Kurt’s aesthetic vision and multi-genre facility has caught the ear of some of modern music’s most prominent stars; collaborations with Eric Clapton, Q-tip, Gary Burton, Paul Motian, Joe Henderson, Brad Mehldau, and Donald Fagen are but a few highlights from a remarkably diverse and extensive catalog of over 150 sideman recordings. In the winter of 2016, Kurt formed the independent music label Heartcore Records with the focused intention of signing and promoting a new generation of musicians whose exacting standards match his own. Heartcore has also allowed Kurt to flourish in yet another dimension of music making, that of the record producer. He self-produced his eleventh album, 2017’s “Caipi”, and was more recently involved as a producer and guitarist on Brazilian
multi-instrumentalist Pedro Martin’s 2019 release “Vox”.
As Julian Lage set out to record his leader debut for Blue Note Records, the virtuoso guitarist reflected on the label’s storied history and the way his own music connected with it. The result is Squint, a striking new album that weds incisive, expressive songwriting with the profound interplay Lage has honed over the past few years with his deft trio featuring bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King.
“I felt like this was an opportunity to present new music born out of the Blue Note tradition as I’ve interpreted it,” explains Lage, who previously recorded for the label with The Nels Cline 4’s Currents, Constellations and Charles Lloyd’s celebratory 8: Kindred Spirits.
“I absolutely love improvised music, and I've always been fascinated by singer-songwriter music. For me, the jazz that came out of Blue Note always engaged both sides of that. It had incredible improvisational vocabularies and performances, but when I think of albums from Grant Green’s Idle Moments to Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge to McCoy Tyner’s Time for Tyner with Bobby Hutcherson – all these records that I love so much also have such great songs.”
When the trio took the stage of the Village Vanguard for a six-night residency in January 2020, those ideas seemed ripe enough to explore as they planned to head into the studio. When those plans were upended by the pandemic, Lage took the opportunity to retool his new songs in light of the summer’s lockdown and protests over social justice. By the time he, Roeder and King finally set foot in Nashville’s Sound Emporium in August, the tunes had taken on a deeper, darker air of mystery and searching.
“Going into this album,” Lage recalls, “my first tactic was just to make positive, beautiful music – a beam of light from three cats who love each other. After the recording didn't happen, I started reflecting on the music’s intent. It was clearer than ever that art and music are platforms to influence and heal and facilitate conversations. It became really important to me to capture a certain sense of emotional complexity to the music, a little fuzziness. This record sits comfortably in the unknown.”
"Frisell has had a lot of practice putting high concept into a humble package. Long hailed as one of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, he has also earned a reputation for teasing out thematic connections with his music... There’s a reason that Jazz at Lincoln Center had him program a series called Roots of Americana." - New York Times
Recognized as one of America’s 21 most vital and productive performing artists, Frisell was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist in 2012. He is also a recipient of grants from United States Artists, Meet the Composer among others. In 2016, he was a beneficiary of the first FreshGrass Composition commission to preserve and support innovative grassroots music. Upon San Francisco Jazz opening their doors in 2013, he served as one of their Resident Artistic Directors. Bill is also the subject of a new documentary film by director Emma Franz, entitled Bill Frisell: A Portrait, which examines his creative process in depth.
A fluidly inventive Chilean jazz guitarist and singer/songwriter, Camila Meza makes ambitious, lyrical music that combines progressive fusion, post-bop, and Latin American folk traditions. It's a sophisticated sound born out of her love for artists like Pat Metheny, Milton Nascimento, and Joni Mitchell. Meza first garnered attention with her 2007 debut, Skylark, before moving to New York. Since then, she has collaborated on projects with other boundary-pushing artists like Ryan Keberle, Aaron Goldberg, and Fabian Almazan. Applying her distinctive approach to jazz and pop standards, as well as her own emotive original pieces, Meza has garnered widespread acclaim for her genre-crossing albums, including 2009's Retrato, 2016's Traces, and 2019's ebulliently orchestral Ambar.
Throughout his decades-long career, New York-based guitarist and composer Wayne Krantz has never rested on his laurels. From his early sideman days with artists such as Billy Cobham, Michael Brecker, Steely Dan and others, through his numerous live and studio solo recordings, Krantz has consistently pushed his stylistic roots in rock, jazz, fusion and blues beyond their boundaries.
A world-renowned improviser, Krantz’s singular approach to his instrument combines rhythm-centric phrasing with a dynamic attack in a style that is distinctly his own. His cutting-edge status has been further established through his use of unique harmonic vocabularies (which Krantz details in his highly-regarded 2004 instructional book “An Improviser’s OS”), and a strong focus on bold group improvisation. All of these elements combined equal a genre-defying artist who is firmly positioned at the vanguard of his craft.
Marc Ribot, who the New York Times describes as “a deceptively articulate artist who uses inarticulateness as an expressive device,” has released 25 albums under his own name over a 40-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez. His solo release, “Silent Movies” (Pi Recording 2010) has been described as a "down-in-mouth-near master piece" by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best of 2010 lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board, and 2014 saw the monumental release: Marc Ribot Trio Live at the Village Vanguard (Pi Recordings), documenting Marc’s first headline and the return of Henry Grimes at the historical venue in 2012 and included on Best of 2014 lists such as Downbeat Magazine and NPR’s 50 Favorites.
Jerome Harris has had a notable decades-long presence in the music world as an incisive stylist and a valued versatile collaborator on both guitar and bass guitar.
Harris’s first major professional performing experience came as bass guitarist with iconic jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins in 1978; from 1988 to 1994 he was featured on guitar with Rollins. He has performed on six continents, working with Jack DeJohnette, David Krakauer, Bill Frisell, Paul Motian, Leni Stern, Martha Redbone, Ray Anderson, Julius Hemphill, Amina Claudine Myers, Ned Rothenberg, Oliver Lake, Joel Harrison, and many others in jazz and jazz-adjacent contexts.
In sound, motion and beauty….so to lays the groundwork for truth. All that I am becomes a part of my own way of communication. In striving for a lifestyle unfettered by my own limitations, I am eternally grateful to have created honest music with some of the greatest artists of our time. It’s almost like I have to pinch myself sometimes to not forget how fortunate I am to have the love of my family, and the spirit to be open to what may appear to be right in front of me!!
Our one-of-a-kind camp in August offers a rare opportunity to learn from true masters of the guitar. Students will have up-close, personal contact with these folks. Every year we provide support for many of our summer camp attendees who can't afford tuition. To make a tax-deductible donation to our scholarship fund, click the button below.
Featuring Julian Lage, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gilad Hekselman, Bill Frisell, Wayne Krantz, Marc Ribot, Camila Meza, and Joel Harrison.
The benefits of attending our camp extend beyond the strengths of the teachers. Of equal import are the connections you will make with other dedicated students in this gorgeous setting.
You can participate in any number of organized and impromptu jam sessions, share insights and ideas, and perform with the teachers as well.
There is MUCH more info on the registration site.
You’ll walk away from your stay with enough inspiration to last the whole year.
1) Rhythm boot camp- developing your inner groove no matter the time cycle
2) Finding your own sound in any style
3) Free improv
4) The art of accompaniment in any style
5) Ways to approach jazz tunes
6) The new landscape of electronic effects
7) Playing a great solo
8) Jazz fundamentals: theory and practice ideas
9) Funk and jazz-rock guitar
10) Business boot camp- how to make a living