Announcing the New Zealand Tour of Tommy Emmanuel, the acoustic guitar legend returns to New Zealand.

Announcing the New Zealand Tour of Tommy Emmanuel, the acoustic guitar legend returns to New Zealand.

With Two Grammy nominations, two ARIA Awards (Australian Recording Industry Association) and repeated honours in the Guitar Player magazine reader’s poll. Tommy has received several honorary degrees and shared a key moment with brother Phil on the world stage, including performing during the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sydney.

He captivates his audience as one of the most outstanding solo performers you will ever experience with a unique style. 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.

There’s a science to assembling the parts, and Emmanuel’s technical gift has earned him multiple awards including being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia. But the average fan could listen without even considering the precision behind the work, focusing instead on the artful tension and release of Emmanuel’s melodies. That’s how he intends it.

“I write as if I’m writing for a singer,” he explains. “I don’t think, ‘Ah, it’s just a solo guitar piece.’ I try to imagine I’m playing with a band or with a singer, but then I play the whole thing as a solo piece and look for ways to give it space.”

Emmanuel was destined, perhaps, to become a world-class musician. Given his first guitar at age four, he started working professionally just two years later in a family band, the Emmanuel Quartet. Tommy and his brother Phil were 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.

“When I play, I feel like I’m plugged into something,” he says. “I don’t know what it is, and I don’t really want to know. I just want to know that it’s there.”

Emmanuel’s technical precision, his virtuosic improvisations and his unusually broad repertoire, which encompasses not only country and bluegrass, but pop, jazz, blues, gospel, even classical, flamenco, and aboriginal styles makes for one of the most enjoyable music experiences you will not want to miss this opportunity.

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