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David Ippolito

David Ippolito in Central Park, October 2008
Background information
Also known as "That Guitar Man from Central Park"
Origin New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Folk, rock
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Years active 1992–present
Labels self-produced

David Ippolito is an American singer/songwriter who lives in New York City. He has self-released eight albums and is best known for his weekly summer performances in Central Park, which are attended by thousands of people. He styles himself as "That Guitar Man from Central Park."[1]



In 1992, intending only to make a little lunch money, Ippolito unknowingly began a fascinating journey and an unusual career by performing an impromptu concert on a hill in Central Park in front of a few people who gathered. Among those present was Jack Rosenthal from the New York Times, who the next day published an editorial about the performance [2]. The next week, Ippolito played again, and began to gather a following. For the last 18 years, he has performed almost every summer weekend to large crowds of passers-by and regulars, including visitors from around the globe, and has become a beloved New York icon.[3][1]

Ippolito sings covers by James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Harry Chapin, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, and more.

Yet it is his original music that impresses fans all over the world. There are songs about lost love ("Wedding in Danville," "Another 15 Years," "Did You Fall in Love Again," "Some Wounds Never Heal"); romance ("I Can't Wait"); sex ("Internet Angel"); trust ("Just Hafta Trust Me," "Tired of Being Lied To"); religion ("The Religion Song"), and topics of social conscience ("Where's the Voice?", "Common Ground"). Ippolito also writes clever, satirical songs about celebrities ("Tom Cruise Scares Me," "Free Paris (Hilton)"); politicians ("Don't Know Palin"); pundits ("Bill O'Reilly: The Big Talking Head"); white-collar criminals ("Where'dat Money Go?"); TV personalities ("A Special Kind of Friendship" about Stephen Colbert, and "Glenn Beck Scares Me"); and obnoxious people ("The Cell Phone Guy: Talk Louder").

His newest CD, "Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way," released in September 2009, includes the song "Resolution," which seeks investigation of U.S. government officials who approved water-boarding and other torture. This song's powerful music video, which was posted pre-release of the album on YouTube, inspired a series of prime-time TV ads urging Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor. The album also features "Keep Hope Alive," which was co-written with Sid Bernstein, the famous music promoter who brought the Beatles to America.

Ippolito, known for his storytelling skills and sense of humor, has funny conversations with audience members during his show and sometimes tosses granola candy bars into the crowd. On special holiday weekends, he also gives away hundreds of free hot dogs and slices of pizza. Just-married couples often stop by after their wedding to share their first dance, as Ippolito serenades them with a romantic song and the crowd sings along.

Ippolito also performs at venues throughout New York City, including an annual December performance at Merkin Concert Hall, at The Red Lion on Bleecker Street, and at The Cast Party, held at the famous Birdland Music Club.

Press coverage

Ippolito's performances have been covered by the New York Times on several occasions, the New York Post, The Daily News, Parade Magazine, PBS, CBS-TV, ABC-TV, and WB-11 news. He is also prominently profiled in Following Dreams, a one-hour documentary film released in 2009 from Iron Zeal Films. It is currently airing nationally on American Public Television. Director Susan Polis Schutz and her crew traveled across the United States and South America to explore the lives of ordinary Americans with extraordinary dreams.

Central Park

Ippolito's concerts are a well-known draw in Central Park. However, in 2000, the Parks Department ordered him (and all other musicians in the park) to unplug his small speaker, which led to public outcry and letters to the New York Times by supportive audience members. [4]The current arrangement is that he has to select a month in advance which dates he wants to play, as well as pay for each permit, rain or shine.[5] On the Sunday after the September 11 attacks, approximately 1,000 of his fans filled his guitar case in Central Park with more than $7,000, which Ippolito, the son of a retired New York City firefighter, delivered to Ladder Company 25 and the 9/11 Fund.

I Love the Company

During 2006, Ippolito hosted a daily podcast called "I Love the Company," which was broadcast globally via The podcast featured new works by Ippolito and music by singers and songwriters around the world, which was joined by an "I Love the Video" videocast.[6]

Other work

Ippolito's song, "City Song," was used to close NBC's television coverage of the 2001 New York City Marathon. He has appeared on ABC's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", winning $64,000. [1] As an actor, Ippolito has had roles in national TV commercials and musical theater productions. A playwright and storyteller, his work has been performed at The Soho Playhouse and The Actors Studio.


  • The People on the Hill (1997)
  • That Guitar Man from Central Park...In Person (1998)
  • Just a Thought for Christmas (1999)
  • It's Just Us (2000)
  • Crazy on the Same Day (2002)
  • Talk Louder (the Cell Phone Song) (2003)
  • Common Ground (2004)
  • I Love the Company (2007)
  • Crazy on the Same Day (re-mastered in 2008)
  • Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way (2009)


  1. ^ a b c Blumenthal, Ralph (July 28, 2003). "Just Happy to Be a Central Park Troubadour". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-08.  
  2. ^ "Concert in the Park". New York Times. June 15, 1992. Retrieved 2008-06-08.  
  3. ^ David Ippolito: That Guitar Man from Central Park (WhatISee)
  4. ^ "The Ballad of 'Guitar Man' in the Park", Letters to the Editor, The New York Times, May 17, 2000. Accessed June 8, 2008.
  5. ^ David Ippolito |
  6. ^ I Love the Video,

External links

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