The New York Guitar Festival (NYGF) brings its distinguished musical curation online amid the COVID-19 pandemic with Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer. Presented live on YouTube beginning May 4, 2020, the twelve-song series commissions a diverse group of stellar artists––including Bill Frisell, Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, Fantastic Negrito, Amythyst Kiah and others––to explore the music of blind blues musician Rev. Gary Davis.
Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer will premier one video performance each day (May 4-15) at 4pm EDT via the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/guitarfestival.
Full programming schedule listed below. In partnership with the New York Guitar Festival, WNYC’s “New Sounds” will debut audio recordings of the full collection on May 4. Tune in at 11pm EDT on May 4th – on the radio dial at 93.9FM or at www.newsounds.org.
Rev. Gary Davis performed on the streets of Harlem from the late 1940s until his death in 1972. WNYC’s John Schaefer explains, “Rev. Gary Davis is one of those curious figures in music history who should be famous, but who’s also a lot better known than you might think.” 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.
His songs have been covered by The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary, and Bob Dylan. New York Guitar Festival’s Artistic Director David Spelman adds of the project, “Listening to, and sharing, music has been a lifeline for so many people during this period of social isolation. We hope this project will spread the joy, and shine a light on the remarkable music and resilient life of Reverend Gary Davis.” 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. Learn more about charitable foundation of The Recording Academy’s MusicCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, and donate to help the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, here: www.grammy.com/musicares/get-help/musicares-coronavirus-relief-fund
PROGRAM SCHEDULE Daily at 4PM EDT at https://www.youtube.com/user/guitarfestival
- Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal – Monday, May 4th
- Amythyst Kiah – Tuesday, May 5th
- Fantastic Negrito -Wednesday, May 6th
- Bill Frisell – Thursday, May 7th
- Dom Flemons – Friday, May 8th
- Sonia de los Santos – Saturday, May 9th
- Jorma Kaukonen – Sunday, May 10th
- Kaia Kater – Monday, May 11th
- Brandon Ross – Tuesday, May 12th
- Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams -Wednesday, May 13th
- TDB – Thursday, May 14th
- Larkin Poe – Friday, May 15th