Blazing, flawless, and spectacular are how you describe a Tommy Emmanuel performance – it’s what has taken him from the wild Down Under to the world’s most charismatic, soulful and technically brilliant fingerstyle guitar player. His unique “finger style” is akin to playing guitar the way a pianist plays piano, using all ten fingers. Rather than using a whole band for melody, rhythm, bass, and drum parts, Tommy plays all that – at once – and on one guitar.
Tommy Emmanuel is a household name in his native homeland of Australia. His music and his life have become part of Australian legend. Through hard work and endless tours, he has earned a success unequalled by any instrumental artist ever in Australia. With 4 platinum & 3 gold albums and many awards, he sets the standard for others to emulate. As a songwriter (co-writing with 1960s star Steve Kipner), his compositions have been recorded by Olivia Newton-John, AI Jarreau and Sheena Easton. His career has spanned 4 decades and continues to forge on into the 21 st century with a new CD titled “ONLY” his first solo acoustic album, with a mission to expand his audience and take his music to the rest of the world.
“I’ve spent all my life from the age of 4 playing music and entertaining people, I never wanted to do anything else” he says… “Music brings people together.”
As a child prodigy during the 1960s, Tommy and his brother Phil formed their own bands like The Emmanuel Quartet, The Midget Safaries and The Trailblazers (completed by siblings Chris on drums and Virginia on slide guitar). Tommy commenced his session career during the 1970s; some of his most notable appearances were on the Air Supply hit singles ‘Lost in Love’, ‘All Out of Love’, ‘Every Woman in the World’ and ‘Now and Forever’.
Tommy’s presence was felt in the USA when his album “Midnight Drive” was in the top 5 for 16 weeks, which made him the “most added artist” on the NAC radio charts in 1997.
In Nashville in 1999, Tommy was honoured by his mentor, Chet Atkins, receiving the Certified Guitar Player (CGP) award, for his contribution to finger style guitar. It was a crowning moment for the “Kid from Down Under.”
His versatility has taken Tommy from international Jazz Festivals to special events at The Sydney Opera House, The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, performing for the King of Thailand and the Australian Prime Minister and going to remote areas in Peru and Africa to name a few.
Tommy has toured and worked with; Sir George Martin, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Michael Bolton, Olivia Newton-John, Tina Arena, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, James Burton, John Denver, Albert Lee, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Dave Koz, Martin Taylor, Leo Kottke, Hank Marvin, Joe Walsh, Warren Hill, James Morrison, John Farnham, Roberta Flack, Randy Goodrum, David Hirshfelder, The Chieftains and many more.