This story concerns two musicians. By far the most well known is Haitian American singer & guitarist Guitaro 5000 (Reginald Guillaume). Guitaro5000 started playing the NYC subways in 2010. From the beginning, three characteristics stood out. First, his percussive playing techniques & general guitar skills are such that he can sound like a full band
Second, Guitaro 5000 is renowned for his inclusive approach. He encourages sing-alongs and he welcomes passers-by to sing a song with him. Third, Guitaro 5000 has a very large repertoire, which is handy when he asks volunteers which song they’d like to sing. In this video, Ryan Woodard chooses to sing Gravity by his favourite artist, John Mayer:
This video was filmed at the National Association of Music Merchants Conference, Anaheim, California, in April 2023. If you’ve watched the video, you would have heard that Ryan Woodward was in town for a John Mayer concert. You would have also heard that Woodward is on the autism spectrum and that it was immersion in music that helped Woodward to achieve verbal communication when he was ten. We are also told that playing instruments came easier to Ryan Woodward than talking.
At the age of 11, Woodward had sufficiently mastered the guitar to be invited on stage by Buddy Guy in Santa Rosa, California. The Press Democrat asked rhetorically (in 2018): “Did jaws drop and skin tingle when the ageless bluesman invited a boy from the audience onto the stage and handed him a guitar, and the kid absolutely and astonishingly rocked out?” Here is Ryan Woodward with his band playing the Allman Brothers’ Statesboro Blues in a video uploaded on 8 June 2023. Enjoy the ride.
Since being uploaded on 17 June 2023, the video of Ryan Woodward joining Guitaro 5000 for John Mayer’s Gravity has already received 4.1M views and Ryan Woodward has featured in a number of articles.
As the video of Statesboro Blues demonstrates, Woodward has already started on his journey to become a working musician. This does not detract from Guitaro 5000’s mission to approach “people on the street and asking them to sing with me, so I can encourage them (and you) to crush fear and express the self.” There are wonderful videos on Guitaro 5000s YouTube channel and his open-hearted approach to music making often results in viral videos. So a “big up” to both Guitaro 5000 and to Ryan Woodward.
For some time, 16-year-old Woodward has studied with School of Rock. No, not the movie with Jack Black nor the TV series with Gene Simmons – School of Rock is a non profit music education program that runs and franchises after-school music teaching around the world. In Santa Rosa, California, Woodward, who plays guitar, piano, drums, mandolin & harmonica, is the house band leader for School of Rock.
Woodward’s website states: “This last year Ryan was chosen from over 250 (School of Rock) schools worldwide to be an Allstar. Only 1% make it to Allstar status. To be an Allstar you get to record, tour and perform originals and covers.” Here is a video of the impressive guitar segment of Ryan Woodard’s 2023 School of Rock Audition:
If you would like to see more from Ryan Woodward, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook or Instagram. If you want to see more videos like this video Guitar5000, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel for more great moments.