On February 7, Guitar Mash and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment will bring an audience as diverse as Queens itself to “mash” with some of the music industry’s most acclaimed guitarists and singer/songwriters when Flushing Town Hall hosts the first-ever NYC Urban Campfire: QUEENS.
Guitar Mash Urban Campfire breaks down the wall between stage and audience. Everyone in attendance is encouraged to bring their guitars, other stringed instruments, their voices and energy to perform along with the evening’s featured talent. The concert will be led by Guitar Mash’s Artistic Director, Mark Stewart (Musical Director with Paul Simon since 1998) and his special guest, Carlos Alomar (known for his work with David Bowie) and will also feature renowned artists and singer-songwriters sharing the songs and stories that shaped them.
At every Urban Campfire, Guitar Mash projects lyrics and chords for easy follow-along, and “Chord Coaches” help attendees to get seated and tune up. A chord warm-up will take place at 7 PM for attendees who want a little extra time, and a limited number of loaner guitars will be available for those who need to borrow one, courtesy of Recording King.
The NYC Urban Campfire: QUEENS will feature a number of acclaimed musicians, including Mark Stewart. A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and instrument designer, Mark is the founding Artistic Director of Guitar Mash and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars and the comic duo Polygraph Lounge.
Since 1998, he has recorded, toured and been Musical Director with Paul Simon. Mark has performed and recorded with Steve Reich, Sting, Ornette Coleman, Bob Dylan, Meredith Monk, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Jimmy Cliff, Elliot Goldenthal, and David Byrne. Since its founding in 2012, Mark has helped a wide diversity of Guitar Mash artists share the songs and stories that have shaped them.
We asked him about the upcoming event!
At Guitar Mash, what will audience members experience?
They will join with the band & guest artists as fully vested members of the musical performance.
How is Guitar Mash different from other concerts?
See the above. At other concerts, they are called the audience. At The Mash, we call them the Big Band. And that is just what they are.
What audience members will Guitar Mash appeal to?
All folks, all ages, all walks of life. Music and singing are a human birthright. We celebrate just that.
What do you want people to take away from your event?
That they themselves as individuals are powerful music makers. And that community singing and playing are one of life’s great joys.
Is this your first time presenting at Flushing Town Hall? What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?
I have played at the Town Hall once before. It was an honor to join the historic echos of so many remarkable folks & occasions. I have no doubt that this time will be as special in that regard. For all folks present!
You can purchase affordable tickets—only $10 for Non-Members, or $8 for Members and Students—to the event here, or by visiting www.flushingtownhall.org or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222. In 2020, Flushing Town Hall will continue to open its doors to teenagers for free. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-olds (whether members or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free
Flushing Town Hall can be reached by car, bus, and subway. It is located a short distance from the 7 train—at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility is available.