VMF presents guitar titans Tommy Emmanuel and Mike Dawes

by Richard Newsham, VMF consultant

Tommy Emmanuel and Mike Dawes—“two of the greatest acoustic guitar players on the planet”—have teamed up for a USA tour and are touching down at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center (OPAC), 800 Hobson Way, on Thursday, January 20 at 8 pm.

It’s the 2022 opener for the 27th “Onward!” season of Ventura Music Festival, co-presented by OPAC/Canyon/Sterling Venue Ventures.

The two guitar giants discovered “good chemistry between us” when recording a spellbinding acoustic cover of the Gotye smash “Somebody That I Used to Know” that has gone viral with millions of YouTube viewers. Emmanuel’s liquid blues lines and Dawes’ mastermind percussive rhythms add solace to this anthem’s “certain kind of sadness” in sync with our current pandemic mood.

Hailed as “one of the world’s most creative modern fingerstyle guitarists,” 32-year-old Englishman Mike Dawes “slaps, taps, and caresses his way to brilliance,” says Guitar World Magazine.

A foremost guitar workshop teacher, music educator and touring and viral artist, he composes, arranges and performs multiple parts simultaneously live on a single instrument with an “innate melodic instinct and incredible guitar prowess.” Watch his amazing solo performances on YouTube of “Jump” (Van Halen), “One” (Metallica) and “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” (John Mayer).

Tommy Emmanuel—a child prodigy who became “the greatest guitar player alive” and “Aussie national hero”—is now a U.S. citizen recording in Nashville. He is known for his “needs to be seen maybe more than heard” charisma and unsurpassed technique, virtuoso articulation and breath taking grooves “full of grace, fire and chills.”

Emmanuel performs a gorgeous all melody repertoire that ranges over jazz, blues, bluegrass, folk, country and rock. He is one of only five guitarists anointed as “C.G.P.” or “Certified Guitar Players” by his hero Chet Atkins, joining the august ranks of such guitar legends as Django Reinhardt, George Benson, Larry Carlson and Eric Clapton.

Keep the high vibes of the holidays going in the New Year—don’t miss “today’s foremost acoustic guitar virtuosos” bringing their distinctive styles to “a collaborative concert of perfect equals” on January 20th in Oxnard.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster, or save fees by calling the box office directly at (888) 645-5006 for will-call-only tickets. For more information and to watch videos visit VenturaMusicFestival.org.

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