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(4215) Cynthia Swidler
Thu, 24 July 2014 14:16:35 +0000

To Tommy and Antsy,
Thank you so much for the splendid and touching concert last evening in Missoula. You touched our hearts and souls with your music and artistry; as well, it is obvious how much heart and soul you manifest in your work! Your music is powerful, and we especially appreciated your contextual work with the Lewis and Clark Expedition and Trails-POWERFUL!!!
Tommy, if I was to run into you, I was to say hello to you from our friend, Linda Baker, but didn't run into you, so will say it here. She told me that you were from another planet, which after last night I might believe; however, I feel blessed that you were here on earth last night in Missoula. Please, please, please come back and perform here again! Happy Trails~ Cynthia and Barry Swidler

(4214) John Amaral
Thu, 24 July 2014 08:00:12 +0000

21 July 2014

An open letter to my brother and sister attendees, lovers of guitar-playing, on the occasion of the first Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp USA,

We've come a long way in a very short time.

We've come a long way since the mid-1700s when harpsichord maker Jacob Kirchmann, who was distressed at the many ladies of London who were "disposing of their harpsichords at auctions for one-third of their price, or exchanging them for guitars," bought some cheap guitars and "made a present of several to girls in milliners' shops, and to ballad-singers in the streets, whom he had taught to accompany themselves with a few chords and triplets, which soon made the ladies ashamed of their frivolous and vulgar taste and return to the harpsichord."

We've come a long way since the first great touring composers Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and the first great touring instrumentalists Paganini, Liszt and Segovia. They could never have dreamed of Tommy's achievement of hundreds of concert venues a year and meteoric world-wide recognition on the internet.

We've come a long way in a very short time since 1869, when Antonio de Torres Jurado, sold one of his enlarged (modern-size) 'concert' guitars to Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea, who could hold a parlor-sized audience spellbound.

We've come a long way since the 1920s, when Segovia, like his predecessors Fernando Sor ('the Beethoven of the guitar') and Tarrega, could hold an audience of any size spellbound with his Ramirez concert model. I was privileged to hear him do that twice. We've come a long way since Segovia held his, very formal, master classes.

We've come a long way since the days of Bing Crosby, when the only performer whose competition he feared was the father of jazz guitar, singer and self-accompanist, Nick Lucas (one guitar and one voice, a complete portable entertainer). Crosby had it written into his contracts that he would always have a great guitarist such as Eddy Lang or Les Paul with him. These were the same days when Horace Hatchett would hop a freight train and follow Lang from town to town, earning money as a dishwasher to pay for a lesson with Eddy Lang. Hatch told me that Lang "taught him everything he knew" in every lesson!

In fact, more than Les Paul's inventiveness, we have to thank Bing Crosby's grateful gift to him for his accompaniment on the biggest hit of 1946, "Kiss Me Once, and Kiss Me Twice, and Kiss Me Once Again" (there it was again: one guitar and one voice), for all the benefits and curses of modern multitracking. In the late 1940's Crosby presented Les with one of the first commercial tape recorders, after which Paul, experienced as he was in bouncing sound-over-sound from one lacquer disk-cutting lathe to another, pestered Ampex into making two and three track recorders with "sel-sync" or "sound-on-sound," known today as "overdubbing."

We've come a long way since the late 1940s, when Maybelle Carter hired a young innovative electric guitar player and occasional singer to accompany her and her daughters on radio shows and public appearances. When they finally got to the Opry and he played an up-tempo version of "Maggie," Minnie Pearl told Chet Atkins, "You're just what we need around here." Soon, he frightened, in anticipation of his moving to Nashville, its guitar players who tried to keep him from working because he would 'get all the recording gigs'.

We've come a long way since Oscar Peterson missed his plane in 1973, when a jazz guitarist who was not a singer, Joe Pass, stepped alone onstage at Boston's Symphony Hall and soon the disappointed audience of 2500 people was clamoring for more. More than recordings, on account of radio, young guitarists had been occasionally able to hear great players like George Van Eps, Les Paul, Charlie Christian and Django (in Europe), but until Joe Pass, there was no electric guitarist who could sustain a solo concert in a big venue.

For me, we've come a long way, since the memorable moment I first heard Irving Ashby's Stromberg in mid-March of 1950 as he played a simple melody in thirds to introduce Nat Cole's gorgeous voice and soon everybody in the Los Angeles basin, including my grandfather, was whistling and singing it. Shortly, I became aware of guitars everywhere and was dying to have one. I had to wait a long time but the guitar was everywhere in the infant media of TV: there were singing cowboys, folk singers, bands who played hawaiian, pop, rock and roll, western swing and on and on. In 1946, there began an exponential growth in the number of guitar players, fueled by Segovia, Elvis, Belafonte, the Kingston Trio, The Ventures, The Beatles, and on and on.

We've come a long way since Johnny Smith's first modern guitar seminar in Colorado Springs in 1969. Many notables were in attendance and the surprise! guest was Johnny's favorite guitarist whom he had flown in from Hollywood: Howard Roberts ( HR looked at me and said, "Don't I know you? What are you doing here?"After several years of lessons with Hatch (who taught Carol Kaye, Billy Strange and HR), I had met my hero when I was working daily on the other side of the glass from the greatest lineup of Hollywood guitarists you could imagine (check out the picture of CA in Hollywood with HR right in back of him (, or the Beach Boy's sessions on YouTube). HR said to me that he really loved the idea of seminar teaching because it was so efficient. I said "Why don't you do it also?" and so he did many of them and founded the Guitar Institute of Technology (Musician's Institute). I organized three of his seminars. Prior to that, the packed HR seminar I attended in the shadow of the Capitol Record building had Joe Pass as the guest artist ( HR was one of the best teachers I ever encountered, with an ability to inspire each and every student. Here he is at Berklee ( JS and HR shared one thing that TE also has: extraordinary humility.

I'm sure we can't begin to imagine the sacrifices Tommy has made and the efforts he makes daily to achieve his remarkable touring schedule and visibility. Just imagine his techniques for passing through all those check points in what is a potentially very dangerous world; to brave the perils of the road and shield all his efforts and troubles from his fans. This, I feel, is greatness and we are attracted to it.

When I got the initial email for this TE Gtr Camp, I registered within seconds; it might be a bit of a sacrifice but how could I not? How could I use the opportunity to improve and learn? Borrowing the words of Guy Kawasaki, Tommy's knowledge is "simple, hot and deep"– the more we learn from him, the more there is to learn.

I hope you have found these remarks entertaining and useful. I honestly feel that Tommy's work is some of the most important in the world today – beyond mere music. As the first universally influential guitarist in a long time, Tommy is helping to effect a quantum shift in the number of fingerpicking guitar players. This is important because fingerpicking is a means of focusing our efforts to increase attention and consciousness; it tends to deliver us from the grave consequences of our instant-gratification, first-person-shooter-video-game, American-Idolizing, gun-happy, dumbed-down, sports-and-fashion-crazy world.

I'm really impressed with Tommy as a person; he promotes the simultaneity of solid 'show up and do your best' work-ethics, second-brain emotional/social experience and third-brain creativity; values for which many of us are very hungry today.

At one time and for many years, Louis Armstrong was the United States' unofficial but very effective ambassador for peace and good will to the world. Aware of this, Tommy closes with "Wonderful World." As we know, Louis' music was foundational to our culture and a strong social unifier for the Western world; a movement which eventually brought down the Berlin Wall and inspired self-government. Tommy has adopted the music of the United States' 'salt of the earth' people and makes a home with us. He has become our de-facto best, most accessible ambassador for higher peacemaking qualities in American musical culture and therefore the high qualities of a hopeful world culture.

Am I making too much out of this? I don't think so; I firmly believe that more good musicians = fewer soldiers. I hope that Tommy will share my observations and that they will be motivational for your guaranteed one-in-a-lifetime experience at Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp.


John Amaral

(4213) Patty Rossi
Thu, 24 July 2014 02:52:44 +0000

Hi!!! I purchased tickets for your performance at the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio on Friday September 12th!! I had hoped to purchase a "Meet & Greet" ticket but the Ohio Theatre said none were for sale so I bought the "best available" seats then found a similar page on your website. This will be a surprise for my boyfriend who, like you, has played the guitar his entire life since childhood. Joe has no idea I am taking him to this concert and will be thrilled when he finds out. With that in mind it would be an honor if I could set up a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for Joe to meet you at the Cleveland show. If this works out I would be very thakful! If not I know we will at least enjoy your performance. It has been a challenge dating an accomplished musician but I must say it's been a joy being introduced to great music and talent like you! :)

(4212) Deb Hefner
Tue, 22 July 2014 19:22:32 +0000

Hello Tommy,
Last night it was my good fortune to attend your concert in Rapid City, South Dakota. I was accompanied by my two grandsons, ages 10 and 6. This was a birthday gift to both of them.
All I could say after several of your numbers was, "WOW!" You did everything but ride your guitar across the stage. Absolutely stunning. I you appeared to be in a state of Nirvana the entire time. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
Right now I am your number one fan.

(4211) Todd Hicks
Tue, 22 July 2014 18:37:51 +0000

We recently saw Tommy in Atlanta at the Variety Playhouse and the concert was off the charts. As a guitar player myself, this was one of the most motivating musical events I have ever attended.
Thanks so much for the soul and energy!

All the Best!
Todd Hicks

(4210) Greg DuBois
Mon, 21 July 2014 23:22:14 +0000

Hi Tommy,

My daughter, Karina Lissi-DuBois will be attending your camp next week. I was fortunate enough to win a contest through Lagunitas to win her a free 'scholarship' to the camp. She is going to be auditioning to attend Berklee College of Music on July 26 and when I saw the contest I thought the timing was perfect and it worked out! She is thrilled to be attending.

I truly enjoy your music, your skill earned through hard work and appreciate your connection to your audience and people in general. I believe my friend Mike has been contacting you as well in an effort to bring you to Alaska. I hope we are successful in that endeavor. Take care.

(4209) Justin Madden
Mon, 21 July 2014 11:18:10 +0000

Hey Tommy,

Love your music, just been listening to Determination. Love the album and the track of the same name.

Keep up the great work.

Cheers, Justin.

(4208) Tyler Hansen
Mon, 21 July 2014 03:37:34 +0000

Hello there! Just wanting to thank you for the magnificent performance you did here in Sioux Falls last evening. My brothers and I listen to your music all the time and were blown away! You are a big inspiration to each one one of us. Really hope you enjoyed your stay here in South Dakota and pray that you will visit us again in the near future!

Have a great rest of your summer!


P.S. - Give Antsy a high five from us too!

(4207) Dennis Wroblewski
Sun, 20 July 2014 22:42:49 +0000

Tommy. Thanks for being you and doing what you do. Whenever I get a little bit down I put on one of your CDs or go to YouTube and watch some of your magic. Thanks man for helping me out. I play guitar and you are an inspiration. Thanks. = Dennis

(4206) chuck tarinelli
Sun, 20 July 2014 19:47:20 +0000

THE BEST musical day - a thrill of my 71 year old life - was when you visited Gibson Guitar in Bozeman and played for the setup crew of which I am the foreman. I was standing about 6 feet from you, and I can't tell you how many times I've told the story of that day. My greatest hope was that you'd return some day.
As soon as I discovered that you would be at the Peach St. Studio in Bozeman on July 22, I tried to get tickets but to my utter disappointment, I learned that the concert was sold out. I'd have gotten tickets to your show in Missoula the next night, but that is a much larger auditorium than the intimate Peach St. Studio, and as I am losing my hearing (in spite of hearing aids) that wouldn't work for me. Is there any chance for "standing room" on July 22? Or perhaps you would play a song or two for me after the concert in the parking lot or where ever. I've heard you do things like that for fans. Before I go completely deaf, I'd like to hear you in person one more time. It would be such a thrill... again!