Winter is upon us. Which means long gone now are the days of summer festival staples: crocheted halter tops, moon-worshipping prarie twirls and charmingly muddy bottomed bare feet. Just because the white months are lesser known for festival lineups however, does not mean the festivals cease to exist. Though slightly different in rhythm and style than their Bonnaroo & SXSW-esque forerunners, the musical celebrations below are still worth the blasphemous festival crimes of veiled flesh and stifled toes.
1) New York Guitar Festival: January 10-29
Listen up shredders, this ones for you...This January will be the 13th year that the New York Guitar Festival performs to "[examine] every aspect of the guitar's musical personality." Beginning on January 10 at the Merkin Concert Hall, guitarists will perform original scores from silent comedies by the late filmmaker, Buster Keaton. Honorable mention thus far includes front man Dan Zanes from the popular 80's outfit, the Del Fuegos, Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, one-man wonder Keller Williams, and the experimental rockers Califone. The eclectic, multi-genre concerts, and radio broadcasts will run through January 29, culminating in an all day jam fest at the 92nd street Y. Tickets are officially on sale here.
Get 2012 off to a classy start with the NYC Winter Jazzfest. Jazz fans will recognize big names such as Cindy Blackman, (jazz and rock drummer, most known for collaboration with Lenny Kravitz, and recent marriage to Carlos Santana) Marc Ribot (no wave, free jazz, Cuban), Vijay Iyer, (in addition to his instrumental accolades, he's a co-collaborator with Dead Prez, DJ Spooky, Das Rascist) Steven Bernstein, (Grammy-nominated trumpeter, and musical director for Bill Withers, Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, et al.) Bill Laswell (bassist, producer, record label of Celluloid Records owner) and many more. Thaw out your winter curmudgeon with hot toddies and jazz at the NYC Winter Jazzfest Tickets are officially on sale here.
4) GlobalFest: January 8th
Dubbed the sneak peak at artists touring North America in years past, Webster Hall Global Fest promises "irresistible dance sounds, reflective beauty and singer-songwriter intensity." With roots in access to global music, stemming from the stalls that it suffered in the wake of 9/11, Globalfest remains a stalwart advocate on behalf of the global artist movement. Join artists such as Yemen Blues, (Yemeni-Israeli electrifying singer with emphasis on Mediterranean sounds) The Silk Road Ensemble, (sounds which draw from the legendary Silk Road) Debo Band, (Boston-based reincarnation of Golden Age-Ethiopian and East African funk and jazz notes) and M.A.K.U. Soundsystem (Queens based Afro-Colombian underground Latin flare) One night, three stages, and dancing which will transcend borders and space, GlobalFest will not be one to miss. Tickers are officially on sale here.
So enjoy a new winter blues at the turn of the year. And yes, it will be brutal, but dancing, especially at these events, will undoubtedly be the most fast and cultured way to stay warm.