The Jazzmaster Turns 50!
September concert in New York celebrates one of the coolest guitars ever …
To celebrate the rich five-decade legacy of the ultra-cool Jazzmaster guitar, Fender is throwing an ultra-cool 50th Anniversary Jazzmaster Concert on Friday, Sept. 12, 2008, at New York’s famous Knitting Factory nightclub. The artist lineup that evening is as cool as the guitar itself, with performances from acclaimed Jazzmaster masters Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Nels Cline (Wilco) and Tom Verlaine (Television), with special guests Norton Wisdom and Edison Glass. Additional special guests are always an exciting possibility, too.
The event will also feature Fender guitar displays and graphics, videos and a Jazzmaster guitar giveaway. And rather than being an invitation-only event, Fender’s 50th Anniversary Jazzmaster Concert is open to the public on a club-capacity basis.
New York’s Knitting Factory, located at 74 Leonard St., is the perfect venue for this auspicious musical occasion. The famous nightclub is a downtown music destination that gives just the right nod to the Jazzmaster guitar’s initial late-’50s jazz intentions; it also provided a welcoming home to the experimental scene of the ’70 and ’80s that spawned great Jazzmaster-wielding groups such as television and Sonic Youth.
Fender introduced the Jazzmaster in 1958 as a high-end alternative to its omnipresent 1950s elder siblings, the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars. Curvaceously sleek and boasting an abundance of controls and chrome, the Jazzmaster became an unexpected hit with youthful players who were blazing new trails in surf and garage pop music. Well more than a decade later, the Jazzmaster was rediscovered be new generations of edgy new guitarists who loved its great looks, versatile sound, affordable price and subversive cool. The guitar continued to attract those who dared to be different; the boundary pushers and the up-and-coming fringe talent.
Even a brief look at the instrument’s 50 years shows that whenever rock music experienced major stylistic shifts, the underdog Jazzmaster was always right there—be it surf, punk, new wave, goth, shoe-gaze, grunge, indie or any other subgenre in which the guitar was prized. The guitar remains a star instrument in the Fender galaxy, with three new models—the J Mascis Jazzmaster, the Elvis Costello Jazzmaster and the Classic Player Jazzmaster Special—introduced in 2007-2008.