New York Guitar Festival Kicks off today with Set Two of ‘Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of Harlem Street Singer’ with Jim James, Chris Thile and more

New York Guitar Festival (NYGF) has announced Set Two of the festival’s 2020 online performance series Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer. The series focuses on the music of blind blues musician Reverend Gary Davis.

Rev. Gary Davis performed on the streets of Harlem from the late 1940s until his death in 1972. Overcoming poverty, racial discrimination, and blindness, Davis made numerous influential recordings and festival appearances, and also taught students including David Bromberg, Stefan Grossman, Dave Van Ronk, and Bob Weir.

Set Two of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer will premiere one video performance each day from July 13-19, at 4pm EDT daily via the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel. There will be musical performances by Jim James, Chris Thile, David BrombergPiedmont Blūz, Jontavious Willis, and a special discourse by DJ Spooky to launch the festival. The schedule for the program can be seen below:

Discourse by DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller)  – Monday, July 13

Jontavious Willis – Tuesday, July 14

Chris Thile – Wednesday, July 15

Jim James – Thursday, July 16

Dave Bromberg – Friday, July 17

Piedmont Blūz  – Saturday, July 18

TBA – Sunday, July 19

Access to Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer is free. The New York Guitar Festival and performing artists are asking viewers to make donations to MusiCares. You can learn more about charitable foundation of The Recording Academy’s MusicCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, and donate here.

The New York Guitar Festival first moved its distinguished musical curation online in May, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, commissioning a diverse group of stellar musicians to participate.  Watch Set One of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer – featuring performances by Bill Frisell, Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, Warren Haynes, Fantastic Negrito, Amythyst Kiah and many more below.

“We are incredibly grateful to the artists who have collaborated with NYGF to help shine a light on the authentic soul and humanity of Rev. Gary Davis’ music, and taken inspiration from his resilient life,” explains New York Guitar Festival’s Artistic Director David Spelman. “Heartfelt thanks, too, for the continued support of the Augustine Foundation, and for a special gift from the John and Joan D’Addario Foundation – for helping make Set Two of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer possible.”

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