Virtuoso guitarist – Celtic music and beyond
Nominated ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’– Scots Trad Awards 2016
“Tony McManus is the best Celtic guitarist in the world” John Renbourn
“Tony McManus is the Jeff Beck of the acoustic guitar“Paul Reed Smith, PRSGuitars
“McManus’s playing is rave-worthy. Loaded with flawless ornamentations, most of which should only be attempted on a very well set-up fiddle, his playing is wild and delicate, passionate and tender” Premier Guitar
To find a voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable. Scots born and now Canada based, Tony McManus has come to be recognised throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art.
Through Tony’s hands the emotions of celtic music are transferred to the guitar and the listener is drawn into the driving energy of a reel or the timeless atmosphere of a lament – each finding an authentic voice through his interpretation. That emotional connection lifts McManus’s playing beyond mere virtuosity to a place where new listeners worldwide – from the Hebrides to Connemara and from Bogota to Tokyo – are won over to this music. In addition to his solo albums, there have also been groundbreaking recordings with musicians as diverse as Scots fiddler Alasdair Fraser, bluegrass legend Dan Crary and French bassist Alain Genty, to name but a few.
Whatever the context, Tony’s presence is unique and driven by a passion for the music. His engaging personality on stage has taken him to five continents, and his contribution was recently recognised with a Gold Medal, voted by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine – fellow recipients were John Williams, Paco de Lucia and Tommy Emmanuel. Tony’s 2009 recording, The Makers Mark, won universal acclaim even in the rock guitar press, where jigs and reels would have been unheard of prior to its release.
Tony’s most recent album, Mysterious Boundaries, took a different path altogether, exploring the music of Bach, Couperin, Monteverdi, Satie and Granados. You can hear the story of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC9MFUv_Wdw
Fellow guitarists were wowed! “This music is beyond beautiful, it’s….PERFECT”- Tommy Emmanuel “It’s a masterpiece. I’m reeling”- John Renbourn. “World class. Masterful playing as usual”- Steve Howe.