Tommy Emmanuel, Monday, February 4, 2013

Tommy Emmanuel

Monday, February 4, 2013
At the Rio Theatre

“Emmanuel dazzles” – Guitar Player Magazine

Australian superstar guitarist Tommy Emmanuel plays his instrument like a pianist would a piano, utilizing all ten fingers. His dexterous “finger style” provides him with the ability to conjure up melodies, rhythm, bass and percussive elements simultaneously. With two Grammy nominations to his name and countless tours and collaborations under his belt, Emmanuel released the largely acoustic album Little By Little in 2011, featuring material recalling the likes of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. Emmanuel continues to inspire and awe with his playing, which is at once classic and groundbreaking.

He received his first guitar at age four and was taught to play by his mother, learning by ear.  By the age of six he was already working as a professional musician in his family’s band, variously named The Emmanuel Quartet, The Midget Surfaries and The Trailblazers. Young Tommy played rhythm guitar and his older brother Phil played lead guitar alongside brother Chris on drums and sister Virginia on slide guitar.  In 1962, the enterprising child prodigy heard Nashville guitarist Chet Atkins for the first time and was riveted by the country music icon’s playing. He spent hours trying to figure out Atkins’ style and ravenously consumed all of his albums.  In 1966, he wrote Atkins a letter and, to his delight, his hero responded and became a mentor to Emmanuel throughout his career.

Kicking off his solo instrumental career off with the 1988 release of Up From Down Under, his efforts blossomed through the 90’s, when he began to be recognized by the Australian music industry and set many Australian sales records.  Emmanuel’s versatility has taken him from shows with the Sydney Philharmonic all the way to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. Emmanuel’s lifelong dream of recording with Atkins came true in 1996 when the pair made an album titled The Day The Finger Pickers Took Over The World, for which Emmanuel received his first Grammy award nomination.

2011 saw the release of Emmanuel’s two-disc set Little By Little.  He described the album as “a joy to make” but says, “it took a lot longer than any other project I’ve ever done purely because the songs kept coming. With this album, I was really pleased that all these elements came together so I could…get a good positive message out there to people.”  Among Emmanuel’s many recognitions is his receiving of the prestigious CMA Global Country Artist of the Year Award, being named a Queens Member of the Order of Australia, and being the only non-American to ever be selected for the National Thumbpicker’s Hall of Fame in Muhlenberg, Kentucky.

Tommy Emmanuel

DATE: Monday, February 4, 2013
LOCATION: Rio Theatre
ADDRESS: 1205 Soquel Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
TIME: 7:30 PM
TICKETS: $25/General Admission
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Gina Mendello

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