Guitar Extraordinaire Tommy Emmanuel returns to Niswonger PAC for performance

Published 4:20 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

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GREENEVILLE — The Niswonger Performing Arts Center welcomes back internationally acclaimed acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, with special guest Gareth Pearson, Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Widely considered to be among the world’s greatest guitarists, Emmanuel is known for his stunning fingerpicking with which he often plays three parts simultaneously. Tommy’s unique style (he calls it simply “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 (and more) on one guitar.
Although his expression is instrumental, he comes to the guitar much more like a vocalist, positively singing melodies through the strings. He inhabits the tunes he performs, delivering every nuance and turn of phrase. His own songs are also illuminated always with lyrical melodies that go right to the heart, such as his beautiful ode to his daughter, “Angelina,” or his great ‘story without words,’ “Lewis & Clark.” That they resonate so deeply without words makes sense, as words only go so far. But music, coming from a genuine and joyful source, can go so much farther. Now with The Best of Tommy songs, he brings us a complete collection of his own songs, all rich with ripe melodicism and rendered with joy in real-time.
Jazz legend Chet Atkins was one of the first people who inspired Emmanuel to pick up a guitar. Decades later, Atkins himself became one of Emmanuel’s biggest fans, and is responsible for declaring Emmanuel a “Certified Guitar Player,” an honor shared by only a few others. In his storied career, the Grammy-nominated Emmanuel has set sales records that have yet to be broken and performed alongside hundreds of other musical legends including Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Sir George Martin, Hank Marvin, and Joe Walsh. The consummate musician was voted Rolling Stone (Australia) magazine’s “Most Popular Guitarist” for two consecutive years, twice voted “Best Acoustic Guitarist” by readers of Guitar Player Magazine, a four-time winner of his native Australia’s “Best Guitarist Award,” and has earned four Platinum and three Gold albums. When his album Dare to be Different went Platinum, it was the first instrumental album to do so in Australia in more than 25 years and has not been topped since its release.
Tommy is joined by special guest, Gareth Pearson. Pearson is referred to as “The Welsh Tornado” which is particularly appropriate, seeing as this special talent combines fingerstyle pyrotechnics, with explosive lead runs making Pearson one of the most exciting acoustic musicians gigging today. Gareth has a distinctive style that can be heard through his creative and innovative arrangements which cover a wide spectrum of genres, including country, folk, classical, pop, rock, jazz, swing, and bluegrass music, along with his own beautiful and often intricate original compositions.
Tickets start at $30 and are available online at, in person at the NPAC box office, or by phone at 423-638-1679.

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