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UCSB Arts & Lectures Presents Australian Virtuoso Finger-Picking Guitarist Tommy Emmanuel

Tommy Emmanuel (Allan Clarke photo)

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents the Santa Barbara debut of Australian virtuoso finger-picking guitarist Tommy Emmanuel on his It's Never Too Late Tour with special guest wisherkeepers Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, at 8 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall.

Australian native and prolific instrumentalist Emmanuel is considered a master of many genres, including jazz, rock, blues and folk music, though his country fingerstyle playing is at the core of his technique, described as the most charismatic, soulful and technically brilliant fingerstyle guitarist today.

With a career spanning five decades, he is driven by his pure love for the music and delight in sharing it with the world, which he does with humor, passion and infectious joy.

The late, great Chet Atkins (known for his signature picking style and Nashville sound) said it best: “Tommy Emmanuel is probably the greatest finger-picker in the world today. He’s a great showman, too. You can’t watch Tommy perform and not feel happy.”

Emmanuel’s unique 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, Emmanuel simultaneously plays all parts on one guitar, even using his hands or a drum brush against the guitar body create percussive sounds.

The battered appearance of his guitars is a testament to his dynamic performances.
While Emmanuel remains one of Australia’s most respected musicians, he has garnered hundreds of thousands of loyal fans worldwide and currently resides in Nashville. 

He has played with notable artists including Eric Clapton, John Denver, Les Paul and Doc Watson and continues to intersect with some of the finest musicians throughout the world.

A self-taught artist, Emmanuel is a two-time Grammy Award nominee, has been named “Best Acoustic Guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine and was designated a Certified Guitar Player, a title given by his hero Chet Atkins to only 5 guitarists in the world.

Emmanuel is an honorary Kentucky Colonel, an Order of Australia Medalist and the holder of both an honorary master’s degree and honorary Doctor of Arts from Charles Sturt University in Australia in recognition of his commitment to rural Australia and his contribution to music education.

Tickets for Tommy Emmanuel presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures range from $25-35 for the general public and $15 for UCSB students with a valid I.D.

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or purchase online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu

KCSB 91.9 FM and Santa Barbara News-Press are media sponsors for the event.

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE for its major corporate support of the 2015-16 season.

Caitlin O'Hara is a senior writer and publicist for UCSB Arts & Lectures.

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