Tommy Emmanuel

Give a listen to “Old Photographs,” the closing track on Tommy Emmanuel’s It’s Never Too Late(2015), and you’ll hear the distinctive squeak of finger noise as he runs his hands across the frets of his MatonSignature TEguitar. It’s an imperfection in the performance that players typically try to eliminateinpractice, and in the hands of a less-secure musician, that sound could easily be edited from the recording with Pro Tools recording technology.

But in their own way, those imperfections are perfect. For all of the masterful technique and flashy ability that’s brought Emmanuel recognition among the world’s greatest guitarists, that finger noise lets the audience know he is one of them. The same approach was taken with Tommy Emmanuel’s latest offering, the 15-track LIVE! At The Ryman(2017), a “genuine ‘had to be there,’ no fix ups, no frills recording,”says Emmanuel. “Each of my guitars has pickups and microphones included when you buy them, so the soundyou hear from this recording is exactly as it sounds in the hall.”

LIVE! At The Ryman—recorded in frontof a sold-out audience at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in February 2016—highlightsEmmanuel’s fervor as a master guitarist and also encapsulates a landmark moment for the musician as he is joined on stage by Steve Wariner and John Knowles, the only other two living CGPs(Certified Guitar Players: the honor and moniker Chet Atkins assigned not only to himself but four other guitarists he admiredand felt contributed to the legacy of guitar playing) for a performance of “San Antonio Stroll.”An accomplished fingerstyleplayer, Emmanuelfrequently 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.That expert layering is exemplified duringLIVE! At The Ryman, notablyon“Eva Waits,” a new song from Emmanuel that has not been released on a previous album.

Given his first guitar at age four, he started working professionally just two years laterin a family band, the Emmanuel Quartet.He never learned to read and write music, but he and his brother Philwere dedicated students of the instrument, creating games that helped them identify chords and patterns. They became adept at picking out the nuances of complex chords, a talent that takes most musicians years to develop.

Emmanuel pursued it with a passion and after graduating, Emmanuel becameone of Australia’s most in-demandrock musicians, playing guitar in a succession of bands, including one of Australia’s best-known acts, Dragon. He supplemented that with a side job as a studio musician, playing on albums by the likes of Air Supply and Men At Work,and on commercial jingles. Eventually Emmanuel ventured out on his own and began to treat his shows like a jazz musician would, eschewing set lists, improvising his way through many of his songs to capture and shape the mood of the room.He could certainly sense the support. In addition to the standing ovations from his audiences, the recognitions rolled in, includingtwo Grammy nominations, two ARIA Awards from the Australian Recording Industry Association (the Aussie equivalent of the Recording Academy)and repeated honors in the Guitar Playermagazine reader’s poll.He’s also been named a Kentucky Colonel, received severalhonorary degrees and shared a key moment with brother Phil on the world stage, performing during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sydney.Emmanuel alsoearned the opportunity to work with the likes of Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, John Denver and the incomparable Atkins. Emmanuel teamed with Chet on a 1997 project, The Day Finger Pickers Took Over the World, which proved to be Atkins’ final project. Atkins practically handpicked Emmanuel as his creative heir, thoughhe never intended for Tommy to be a simple clone

Martin Taylor

‘Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument. He’s unbelievable’ – Pat Metheny

‘He out-shred’s all of us put together….I’ve never seen anything like it’ – Jeff Beck

Multi award winning guitarist and composer MARTIN TAYLOR has established a unique musical career as an internationally acclaimed musician, and his inimitable style has seen him recognized as the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar playing.

Although completely self taught, he has enjoyed a remarkable musical career spanning across five decades, and during that time has invented and developed a way of playing the guitar that is admired, and often imitated, by guitarists all over the world. As well as being a true guitar innovator, he is also a master concert performer, dazzling audiences with his solo shows, which combine virtuosity, emotion, humor, with a strong stage presence.

He spends much of the year traveling the world, playing in concert halls in Europe, North America, Japan, Asia, and Australasia as well as presiding over the uniquely innovative Martin Taylor Guitar Academy Online.

As well as his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genre including, Stephane Grappelli, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, Bill Wyman, George Harrison, Dionne Warwick, Diane Schuur and Jamie Cullum.

From 1979 to 1990 he toured the world and recorded over 20 albums with the French jazz violin legend STEPHANE GRAPPELLI. Their album with Vassar Clements “Together At Last” won a Grammy Nomination in 1987.

Monsieur Grappelli described him as “A great artist, rich in talent and elegance”
His ground breaking solo album ARTISTRY, produced by Steve Howe, was released in 1992 to much critical acclaim. It was No 1 in the HMV Jazz Charts for a record 12 weeks and launched his career as an international solo artist.

After two very successful albums for Sony/Columbia, KISS AND TELL and NITELIFE, he went on to record several albums for The Guitar Label.

In 1999 he was made an Honorary Doctor of the University of The West of Scotland and in 2002, was appointed MBE “For Services To Jazz Music”, in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which he received personally from Her Majesty The Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.
In 2007 he received the prestigious BBC Radio 2 “Heart of Jazz” Award in recognition of his career in music, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Wales Jazz Guitar Festival for his “Contribution to Jazz Guitar Worldwide”

He has also received a record 14 British Jazz Awards as a guitarist, and as a composer he was nominated for “Best Contemporary Song” in the BBC Folk Awards in 2009.
The prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama made him an Honorary Doctor of Music in 2010.

When not touring he divides his time between Scotland and California, where the Martin Taylor Guitar Academy is based.

His film credits include the French comedy “Milou En Mai” directed by Louis Malle, and more recently his composition “Green Lady” is featured in the Andrew Piddington movie “The Killing of John Lennon”

His many TV credits include the theme music for “After You’ve Gone” featuring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Celia Imrie, and the cult “Nicole-Papa” TV commercials for the Renault Clio.
Outside of his work as a musician he is also involved in several charities including the Child Bereavement Charity, is Patron of the My Wish Foundation of Sri Lanka, and is a Trustee and Vice President of Scotland’s Buddhist Vihara.


2010 saw the launch of the uniquely innovative Martin Taylor Guitar Academy online. As one of the world’s most recognized online guitar teachers his innovative online guitar school with its headquarters in Napa, CA has been featured on NPR, BBC, Fox News and the LA Times and is subscribed to by guitarists in over 58 countries.

His recent collaboration with Guy Barker saw the debut of their “Spirit of Django Orchestral Suite” which they performed at the 2012 BBC Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
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“Europe’s finest guitarist” – JazzTimes
“The man is no less than a guitar genius” – Martin Bashir (MSNBC Anchor)
“There is a touch of genius in his playing” – Classical Guitar Magazine
“No matter how complex or daring, Taylor’s interpretations never short change the melodies; indeed, his remarkable fluid touch embues a seamless beauty. Martin Taylor is something to behold.” – The Washington Post
“Taylor is the finest British guitarist of his generation” – The Times of London
“Martin Taylor is one of the greatest and most impressive guitar players in the world.” – Chet Atkins

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