Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Joel Harrison with Henry Kaiser and Nels Cline

July 14, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

celebrating the book launch for

Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players

by Joel Harrision

from Terra Nova Press/The MIT Press

Hear the secrets of master musicians, revealed in conversation.


This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the CROWDCAST platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet.


Event is free, but registration is required.

(CLICK HERE) to register.

Guitar Talk offers interviews with fourteen of the most creative guitarists of our time. The book celebrates the enormous range of approaches and sounds that exist in the modern guitar. The instrument can howl, scrape, scratch, scream, sing, pluck, and soothe. What stands out in this book is not so much the instrument itself, rather the wonderful and idiosyncratic personalities of these bold souls, their sometimes wild, often zigzagging, and ultimately profound journeys toward beauty, meaning, and excellence in their work.

We find out that jazz icon Bill Frisell won a high school band contest playing R&B tunes, beating out future members of Earth Wind and Fire. We learn which of Nels Cline’s compositions he wishes to have played at his funeral. Michael Gregory Jackson recounts painful episodes of racism as he stretched between the chasm of avant jazz, rock, and R&B in the 1980s. Many more revelations, amusements, and philosophies abound from maestros like Ralph Towner, Pat Metheny, Ben Monder, Nguyen Le, Fred Frith, and Mary Halvorson.

Henry Kaiser is a guitarist, ethnomusicologist, and composer. Recording and performing prolifically in many styles of music, Kaiser is an influential figure on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. In 1977, together with Rova Saxaphone Quartet’s Larry Ochs and Greg Goodman, Kaiser founded Metalanguage Records. He has travelled around the world recording roots music and collaborating with such artists as the Malagasy Musicians. His other musical collaborators have included Fred Firth, John French, Richard Thompson, David Lindley, Wadada Leo Smith, Nels Cline, Mike Keneally, Steve Smith, John Medesky, Elliot Sharp, and many others. Kaiser has appeared on more than 300 albums and scored dozens of TV shows and films, including Werner Herzogs Encounters at the End of World . He has been nominated for both Grammy and Academy Awards for his work.


July 14, 2021
6:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
View Organizer Website