Alternative Guitar Summit 2019

Alternative Guitar Summit 2019

Alternative Guitar Summit 2019

Every year the Alternative Guitar Summit honors living improvisers and composers who have changed the world of guitar for. Ralph Towner is our 2019 honoree. Six very different performers will play their own versions of his compositions and Joel Harrison will interview Towner from the stage.

Towner is one of the only improvising players to have focused specifically on the nylon string guitar, and as such has developed a signature language. He combines background in classical, jazz, and folk idioms with uncommon grace. His compositions are gorgeous, lyrical, packed with subtle drama and cagey surprise. His career spans more than forty years. and he is best known as the lead composer, guitarist, and keyboardist for the acoustic jazz ensemble "Oregon." Towner has also had musical collaboration with Gary Burton, John Abercrombie, and Keith Jarrett. His groups, such as Oregon, essentially defined "chamber jazz" before the term existed.
For more on Towner go to

Nels Cline
Gyan Riley
Leni Stern
Ben Monder
Brad Shepik
Vic Juris

Each artist will play in duo or trio settings with a variety of accompanists. Stay tuned for a full lineup.
For more info see
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 music we present celebrates the guitar's enormous range, beyond style or genre.


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