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The Village Trip GuitarFest III – Finding Beauty in Small Things – Mel Powell to Chester Biscardi

September 16, 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 9:45 pm EDT

$25 – $30

Among the finest guitarists of all time” (American Record Guide), David Leisner will perform works written for him by Laura Kaminsky, Bun-Ching Lam, and Chester Biscardi’s “Finding Beauty in Small Things”.

Guitarist Xingxing Yao, from Hangzhou performs Mel Powell. Chilean guitarist Sebastian Molina, Bowers Fader Duo, and more, do works by David Loeb, Martin Rokeach, Richard Cameron-Wolfe. Neil Beckmann will perform “Bailarin”, by Pulitzer Prize winner Tania Leon.

Mel Powell’s path forward through the postwar decades led him to his gutsy 1955 soundscape for Gumbasia, the ground-breaking claymation movie by Art Clokey. At the end of Mel Powell's career, the jazz all but evaporates out of his music and Powell is in the universe of Chester Biscardi, Bun-Ching Lam and Laura Kaminsky.

Mel Powell’s guitar solo, “Setting”, was written for David Starobin in 1986. ”Setting” will be performed on GuitarFest 3 by Xingxing Yao, a 17-year-old from Hangzhou, who is a student of David Starobin and Jason Vieaux at the Curtis Institute.

Martin Rokeach is a Bay-Area composer who loves New York. “Odd Couple of Prince Street” (premiere) refers to the wedding of the banjo and the piano.

The Bowers Fader Duo will perform Richard Cameron-Wolfe’s “Gazelle in my garden”, from his 2016 “Breathless–Cantata on Ancient Mystical Texts”. The poem is by Quasmuna bint Isma'il, whose Jewish father was court poet to the 11th-century Moslem King of Granada.

David Loeb is one of our most remarkable musical mavericks. He countered the International Stye with his own international style, his own unique World Music, in a career spent between New York and Japan, where he absorbed Japanese musical idioms. Mariano Aguirre, Carlo Valte, Scott Jackson Wiley will perform Loeb’s “Between Sea and Sky”.

David Amram, The Village Trip’s resident composer, occupies an absolutely unique place in American music, straddling everything — jazz and classical, US and Europe. He knew all the jazz legends, wrote unforgettable films scores for Elia Kazan and John Frankenheimer. The Village Trip GuitarFest concludes with Amram’s songs for Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park, arranged for guitar orchestra by Noam Beili.


  • Mel Powell
  • Laura Kaminsky
  • David Loeb
  • Richard Cameron-Wolfe
  • Bun-Ching Lam
  • David Amram
  • David Leisner
  • Chester Biscardi
  • Martin Rokeach


  • Mariano Aguirre
  • Carlop Valte
  • Scott Jackson Wiley
  • Xingxing Yao
  • Jack Ward
  • David Leisner
  • Oren Fader
  • Bowers-Fader Duo
  • Sebastian Molina
  • Daniel Conant and Ema Tufekčić - guitar & viola duo
  • Adriana Valdez

Guitar Ochestra Members

Dan Lippel
Noam Beili
David Chidsey
Kevin Robert
Adam Negrin

Daniel Conant
Neil Beckmann
Alejandro Castellano
Pascual Araujo
Diego Andrade

Ebin Samuel
R Mision
Chris Rispoli
Oren Fader
John Chang

Jack Ward
Neil Beckmann
Daniel Zapata
Peter Argondizza
Kyle Miller


September 16, 2023
8:00 pm - 9:45 pm EDT
$25 – $30
Event Category:


St John’s in the Village
218 W 11th St
New York, NY New York, 10014 United States
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