New York Guitar Festival Announces Set Two of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of Harlem Street Singer

Article Contributed by LiveLoud | Published on Friday, July 10, 2020

Today, New York Guitar Festival (NYGF) announces Set Two of the festival’s 2020 online performance series Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer. Presented live on YouTube beginning July 13, 2020, Set 2 hosts musical performances by Jim James, Chris Thile, David Bromberg, Piedmont Blūz, Jontavious Willis, and more––to explore the music of blind blues musician Rev. Gary Davis. In addition, DJ Spooky will launch the festival on July 13 with a very special discourse constructing the historical and social context of Rev. Gary Davis’ life, and his cultural and musical influences that remain salient today. 

Set Two of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer will premiere one video performance each day (July 13-19) at 4pm EDT via the New York Guitar Festival YouTube channel.


Daily at 4PM EDT at

Discourse by DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller)  - Monday, July 13

Jontavious Willis - Tuesday, July 14

Chris Thile - Wednesday, July 15

Jim James - Thursday, July 16

Dave Bromberg - Friday, July 17

Piedmont Blūz  - Saturday, July 18

TBA - Sunday, July 19

Rev. Gary Davis performed on the streets of Harlem from the late 1940s until his death in 1972. 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.

The New York Guitar Festival first moved its distinguished musical curation online in May, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, commissioning a diverse group of stellar musicians to participate.  View Set One of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer––featuring performances by Bill Frisell, Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, Warren Haynes, Fantastic Negrito, Amythyst Kiah and many more––HERE.

Today, only 10 weeks since NYGF2020’s Set One premiere, sharing Rev. Gary Davis’ story is even more important and relevant than ever.

“We are incredibly grateful to the artists who have collaborated with NYGF to help shine a light on the authentic soul and humanity of Rev. Gary Davis’ music, and taken inspiration from his resilient life,” explains New York Guitar Festival’s Artistic Director David Spelman. “Heartfelt thanks, too, for the continued support of the Augustine Foundation, and for a special gift from the John and Joan D’Addario Foundation - for helping make Set Two of Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer possible.”

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: