Published on Sep 6, 2012
In August 2012 we were lucky enough to have Tommy Emmanuel perform here at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM). He also brought 2 very special guests Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo from New York.
Here Tommy, Frank and Vinny perform a fantastic "Hot Club" -style medley. The first song is Hungarian Dance No.5 by Johannes Brahms. The second song is Swing 39 Swing 42 by Django Reinhardt.
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Tommy Emmanuel -- http://www.tommyemmanuel.com/
Frank Vignola - http://www.frankvignola.com/
Vinny Raniolo - http://www.vinnyraniolo.com/
Emmanuel's unique style — he calls it simply "finger style" — is akin to playing a guitar the way a pianist plays a piano. While Tommy has many imitators, few approach his mastery. He even has his own annual guitar festivals, "Tommy Fest," in Newport News, Virginia, Louisville, KY and Dortmund, Germany.
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 honour shared by only two other people in the world (Jerry Reed and John Knowles). "I think he's probably the greatest finger-picker in the world today," Atkins said a few months prior to his death in 2001. "He's inventive, fearless and has a flawless sense of rhythm. You can't watch Tommy perform and not feel happy."
"I've spent my whole life from the age of 4 playing music and entertaining people. I never wanted to do anything else," says Emmanuel. "Playing the guitar is much more than a career for me. It's a passion ... my life. The best thing in the world is to make people happy and bring them together through my music. Because I'm touring so much these days, the whole world has become my home."
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, EricClapton, Sir George Martin, Hank Marvin and Joe Walsh. Olivia Newton-John, Al Jarreau and Sheena Easton have also recorded songs written by Emmanuel.
The consummate musician was voted Rolling Stone (Australia) Magazine's "Most Popular Guitarist" for two consecutive years 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.
In Australia, Emmanuel's music and life are legendary.
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