“This is an important event because the Jazzmaster has always lived in the looming shadows of the Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars,” said Justin Norvell, Fender marketing director for electric guitars. “But under the radar, it became an underground icon in its own right and more than worthy of its own time in the spotlight. The artists who played it then and play it now are some of the musical prime movers who’ve kept the guitar relevant and have pushed it forward sonically.”
Fender introduced the Jazzmaster guitar in 1958 as a high-end alternative to its omnipresent 1950s elder siblings, the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars. Curvaceous, sleek and boasting an abundance of controls and chrome, the Jazzmaster became a hit with youthful players who were blazing new trails in surf and garage pop music. More than a decade later, the Jazzmaster was rediscovered by new generations of edgy new guitarists who loved its versatile sound and affordable price. The guitar continued to attract those who dared to be different; the boundary pushers and the up-and-coming fringe talent. A look at the instrument’s 50-year history shows that whenever rock music experiences major stylistic shifts, the Jazzmaster is always right there. 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.
New York’s Knitting Factory (located at 74 Leonard St.) is the perfect venue for this important musical occasion. The famous nightclub is a downtown music destination that pays tribute to the Jazzmaster guitar’s initial late-’50s jazz intentions, while 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.
For more information:
New York Knitting Factory
Jazzmaster 50th Anniversary