Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 8:00 PM at the Garde Arts Center
Acknowledged as the international master of the solo acoustic guitar, Tommy Emmanuel started professionally at age 6, rising through the ranks as a studio player and member of several Australian rock bands before he set off on a solo career.
One of only five musicians handpicked by his mentor, Chet Atkins, as a Certified Guitar Player (CGP), he’s piled up numerous accolades, including one Grammy Award and two nominations, two ARIA Awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association and repeated honors in the Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll.
A noted fingerstyle guitarist, Emmanuel frequently threads three different parts simultaneously into his material, operating as a one-man band who handles the melody, the supporting chords and the bass all at once. His talents, which translate in any language, carry him to the far corners of the globe, but Emmanuel never plays the same show twice, and he improvises big chunks of every date. Today, he plays hundreds of sold-out shows every year from Nashville to Sydney to London.
Influenced by the Merle Travis/Chet Atkins fingerstyle of guitar picking, Tommy developed a style of solo guitar playing that encompasses the range of a whole band– covering drums, bass, rhythm and lead guitar and a vocal melody simultaneously. No loop pedals, no overdubs, just one man and ten fingers. While some artists take ten-piece bands on the road and still fill out the sound with backing tracks, Tommy builds a complete sonic world entirely on his own.
His idols are not just the great players, but also the great pop songwriters and singers–Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, The Beatles and their ilk. While thousands of fans have spent years trying to unpack and imitate Tommy’s technique, for him it’s just the delivery system. His approach is always song and emotion first, his music the embodiment of his soulful spirit, sense of hope and his love for entertaining.
“When I was a kid, I wanted to be in show business. Now I just want to be in the happiness business–I make music, you get happy. That’s a good job.”
Mike Dawes (opener) U.K. native Mike Dawes is hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers. His acclaimed solo music has gained over 80 million hits on popular video sharing sites and since the release of his debut album in 2013 he averages 150 concerts per year. Mike was named ‘’Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World Right Now’’ in both 2017 & 2018 by Total Guitar Magazine/MusicRadar.