Who we are and what we do...

The Steel Guitar Unconvention...

...the brainchild of New York based steel guitar players John Eichleay and Raphael McGregor, has been bringing steel guitar players from all over the world to perform with the backing of some of the most talented musicians that New York City has to offer. In 2018, the festival’s inaugural year, featured performers included the legendary Doug Jernigan and Lucky Oceans, MacArthur genius grant winner Susan Alcorn, lap steel wizard Mike Neer, and sacred steel master Kashiah Hunter. In 2019, with support from the Brooklyn Arts Council, the lineup expanded to include pedal steel virtuosos Dave Easley and Murnel Babineaux from New Orleans and Lafayette, Louisiana, sarod player Anupam Shobhakar, and an incredible sacred steel finale featuring Kashiah Hunter and young gun Terrell King. Our 2020 virtual edition featured workshops and performances from Debashish Bhattacharya and Alan Akaka, and our plans for 2021 include a call for composers to produce new works for steel guitar, virtual performances, and hopefully a return to the Jalopy Theatre with a limited live audience.

Why New York City?

The depth of musical talent in New York is absolutely unmatched.A big part of the unique appeal of the Unconvention is the carefully-curated pairing of fantastic local musicians with visiting artists.  Many times, the artists and the musicians haven't met until a few moments before their set, and it's this spontaneity and verve that make the festival such a unique and memorable experience.