Navigate Our Site
Search Site

McNally Smith Taps Eclectic Mix of Talent For Free Lowertown Guitar Festival

McNally Smith College of Music is honored to host the first-ever Lowertown Guitar Festival — a free day of live music happening SaturdayAugust 10th 2013 in Mears Park, downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. As a proud partner in many other major music events (Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Lowertown Roots Music Festival, Concrete and Grass), McNally Smith is excited to introduce the new Lowertown Guitar Festival to the diverse programming taking place in the heart of St. Paul’s vibrant arts district.

Unlike other music festivals that often cater to a specific genre, the Lowertown Guitar Festival celebrates one of America’s most beloved instruments — guitar — and the artists who play it. The Festival promises something for all tastes, with an eclectic line-up featuring six-string virtuosos like Scott Henderson of seminal jazz fusion group Tribal TechMarc Ribot, who has worked with everyone from Elvis Costello to Tom Waits to T-Bone Burnett, accomplished Fender clinician Greg Koch, and National Fingerpicking Guitar Champion and A Prairie Home Companion regular Pat Donohue. Beloved St. Paul-based singer/songwriter and guitar tech extrodinaire Molly Maher will emcee the festivities.


Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar and Summit Brewing. Multiple food trucks will be setting up shop at Mears Park to service hungry Festival attendees as well.

Free Guitar Workshops  

In continued support of artistry and education, McNally Smith is also hosting free guitar workshops on its nearby campus the morning of Lowertown Guitar Festival. These workshops are open to the public and feature guest clinicians Koch and Jacob Hanson (of Mason JenningsHalloween Alaska and Haley Bonar fame). Hanson’s workshop begins at 10:15 a.m., followed by Koch at 11:00 a.m. Workshop space is limited — click here to register in advance and reserve your spot.

Clash Of The Teen Guitar Titans 

Guitarists aged 15–19 are encouraged to enter the Clash of the Teen Guitar Titans — a fun and friendly guitar competition taking place after the workshops. A panel of esteemed judges will award prizes courtesy of McNally Smith and retail partner Guitar Center to a few talented teens. Click here for complete Clash of the Teen Guitar Titans details and registration.


Support for the Lowertown Guitar Festival 2013 comes from St. Paul Cultural STAR, the Lowertown Future Fund of the St. Paul FoundationMcNally Smith College of MusicMN Guitar SocietyWillie’s American GuitarsElectro-VoiceFender Musical InstrumentsMartin GuitarsReal-Phonic Radio Hour,Capitol Guitars and Summit Brewing.