The New York Guitar Festival Returns On June 12 & 13 Featuring Members Of Stephen Colbert’s Band

The New York Guitar Festival returns to The Greene Space, WNYC’s ground floor performance venue, for a two-part series on Monday and Tuesday, June 12 and 13, 2023. For over twenty years, the NYGF has presented creative programs that feature some of the best-known guitarists of our time, as well as talents that the festival’s producers, David Spelman and WNYC’s John Schaefer, have uncovered. 

This year those producers have followed someone else’s eye for talent, in this case, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, as guitarist Louis Cato and drummer Joe Saylor of the Late Show Band will headline the first night. The plan last year was to present Bill Frisell and Luke Bergman in a duo setting, but the coronavirus interfered and Frisell did a solo set. This year the duo will hopefully play together.

Over the course of two evenings, the NYGF will present 7 acts reflecting the guitar’s diversity. 

The event runners explain:

The Korean guitarist Jiji made her reputation as a classical player; Steve Gunn is known for a kind of alt-folk sound; and Brandon Ross is a familiar name in jazz circles. But all three refuse to stay in their presumed lanes and will play sets that could go in any number of surprising directions. Sessa will bring the sounds of his native Brazil, but with a lean quality reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. And Yasmin Williams will upend your ideas of what a guitar is – and even how it’s held – when she plays her uniquely melodic inventions. 

All of the performances will be recorded for later broadcast as well, on WNYC’s long-running “New Sounds” program.  


Monday, June 12, 7:30 PM EST: Louis Cato & Joe Saylor, Steve Gunn, Jiji, and Sessa

Tuesday, June 13, 7:30 PM EST: Bill Frisell & Luke Bergman, Yasmin Williams, Jiji, and “For Living Lovers” featuring Brandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi

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