the Internet Braadcast link : heyjoe.ajctv.pl
2 pm + 1 GMT Rehearsol
4pm + 1 GMT the Main Hey Joe performance
May 1, 2009 saw 6,346 guitar players join together with festival founder Leszek Cichonski and Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse at the „Thanks Jimi Festival” to play the Jimi Hendrix hit „Hey Joe” and more than tripled the standing Guinness World Record for „Largest Guitar Ensemble” of 2,052.
The featured guest for the 2011 edition was to be Gary Moore. In tribute, his Still Got the Blues will be added to the songs that will be played together this year. Additional guests include Al de Meola, Ten Years After and Neil Zaza as well as many of the best known Polish musicians including the band Acid Drinkers.
This is a free event and open to all. Other guitar players from around the world join in online (though only those present in the Wroclaw center and registered count towards the record attempt). Please watch this space or check heyjoe.pl as we will post details shortly about how YOU CAN JOIN US ONLINE from wherever you are.
Additionally, there are partnered events that take place throughout the city. Notable this year is, on April 29, Leszek Cichonski will be leading a full symphony performing arrangements of Jimi Hendrix material. Featured guests at this performance will be Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett’s Acoustic Trio.
The free event takes place in the historic center of Wrocław, Poland (formerly Breslau) – a city which has taken on the title of „Wroclaw Guitar City” – a title that seems merited. In fact, the Mayor, Rafał Dutkiewicz, was among those guitar players who established the current record. Festival founder and director, Leszek Cichoński, is a well-known musician and music educator in Poland and the festival was an outgrowth of one of his educational programs and has taken place – and grown – annually since 2003. One of the objectives of the organizers is to establish May 1st as „World Guitar Day” and more coordinated simultaneous events are planed for next year and beyond (the date was moved this year due to the Beautification of Pope John Paul II taking place on May 1 this year).
Further information at:
„I always emphasize that in this event is not about just the record”, says Leszek Cichoński, originator of the event, „It is a unique group encounter with music, in which all participants are performers. You arrive with teenagers and hippies, parents with their children and children with their parents – and grandparents, to feel this amazing energy that carries the common edges. I would like to thank everyone who came to the Wrocław center, it’s them who create this atmosphere and them who put my heart in my throat, when they all raise their guitars at that moment at the end of the song.”
Not only has the Polish media been interested in the phenomenon of events in Wroclaw; Reuters released a live signal to foreign TV channels and Eurovision, which showed its viewers, the biggest guitar band to perform together in 2010, and the beautiful center of our city, to the world – we are touched to have had comments from those that watched from around the world. The event was also watched world-wide via our live internet connections and again saw others playing along with us including organized events in Norway, Australia, the USA and elsewhere.
A few words from Steve Morse’s blog about his participation in the 2009 edition:
Steve Morse tour blog
„We just got back, and I mean, JUST got back from our gig in Poland. It was so unusual in so many ways. The crowd was basically sold out, solid from the stage to as far as we could see, outdoors. And it wasn’t raining! Our opening act, Leszek Cichonski feat. Stan Skibby, was incredibly good. I had a great time reminscing with Stan, who does a Hendrix-like set with them, singing and playing. Everybody played so well, and was so down-to-earth.
Earlier today, I played onstage with them at a town square, for the Guiness book of World records. The most guitar players playing „Smoke on the Water”. For sure, if they don’t get the world’s record, something is seriously wrong, because there were 6,000 people in front of us, with guitars, playing it! At the end of the song, they all held up their guitars, mostly acoustic, and it looked like we were in a forest. Nothing but guitars for as far as you could see. We also played „Hey Joe”, which Stan sang, and everybody played along with that one. Last year, they had 1800 plus people playing along with that song. In the middle of the song today, they brought the volume way down, and you could only hear the background singers and the thousands of acoustics playing C,G,D,A,E
After that, I don’t know how the gig could be any more intense. But, it was. The crowd was totally into everything, and when they sang along on „Smoke” it was the loudest ever. A lot of them were at the town square earlier, and they knew it for sure! Fantastic crowd. Don played some Chopin, which they all seemed to recognize, and knew he had Polish roots.”
Thank you to everyone who took part!
You are welcome to join us in person in Wroclaw or online or contact us if you want to create a simultaneous event!