6 pm, Sunday, February 12, 2012
Cornelia Street Cafe 29 Cornelia Street, NY NY 10014
212 989-9319
admission $10


With cognitive scientist Gary Marcus and guitar virtuoso Gary Lucas

A tale of two Garys whose lives have intersected over a musical instrument.

Nearly all musical virtuosos and athletes learn the fundamentals of their crafts as children. As his 40th birthday approached, NYU psychology professor Gary Marcus decided to try to learn the guitar and investigate the science of how people become musical. He will contrast how musical understanding and skills are developed by children and adults, described in the new book, Guitar Zero.

Then a short concert by one of our great American guitar virtuosos, Gary Lucas, who has for decades lived at the extreme end of ability. Gary performed in classic bands with Captain Beefheart and Jeff Buckley, and now works in various solo and small group contexts: he has carved out his own take on all the American guitar traditions from deep blues to Chet Atkins to Hendrix and Les Paul. He has an enormous repertoire, and many different instruments to choose from, so the music will be surprising, challenging, and beautiful.

Entertaining Science has since 2002 paired public lectures by prominent scientists with performances by artists who address the lecture's theme, as a monthly series at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village. The series runs at 6 pm on the second Sunday of each month, and is coordinated by founder, poet, and chemist Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University with composer and neuroscientist Dave Soldier of Columbia University. Past participants include scientists from a broad range of fields, including Oliver Sacks, Benoit Mandelbrot, Joseph Le Doux, Carl Djerassi, Paul Greengard, Roger Payne and Mark Moffet, paired with the likes of downtown musicians, actors, filmmakers, playwrights, choreographers and flamenco dancers, bluegrass bands, and photographers including Vitaly Komar, Elliott Sharp, Phoebe Legere, Mark Mitton, Pedro Cortes, and Nelida Tirado.
for additional information, email Dave at
Entertaining Science at Cornelia Street Café: The Entertaining Science blog

Gary Lucas website
Gary Marcus website