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Shetland Arts has announced the line-up for its Shetland Guitar Heroes concert on Saturday 8 November, happening as part of the Shetland International Guitar Festival 2014, which runs from 6-8 November this year. It has also announced the addition of a festival fringe event on Wednesday 5 November: Tommy Emmanuel & Martin Taylor in Conversation.

The Shetland International Guitar Festival is curated by Martin Taylor and will feature concerts at Mareel by Tommy Emmanuel (on Thursday 6), Martin himself (on Friday 7), and a line-up of Shetland Guitar Heroes (on Saturday 8), followed by a Festival Club in Mareel Cafe Bar after each concert. Martin is also basing his world-famous, and now sold-out, Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat in Shetland from 5-7 November.

Shetland Guitar Heros SBO

The line-up of the Shetland Guitar Heroes concert, presented in partnership with High Level Music Centre, was revealed this week and includes Arthur Nicholson, Ewan Nowak, Alan McKay, Robbie Walterson, and special guests. Support on the night will come from The High Level Music Students - a selection of young guitarists currently learning guitar (and perhaps even a little ukulele!) in the High Level Music Centre practice spaces - and Martin Taylor’s Guitar Retreat Students. All the guitarists will be backed up by the on-stage rhythm section: Bryan Peterson on bass and Archer Kemp on drums.

Shetland Arts’ Marketing Officer Lisa Ward said: “The Shetland Guitar Heroes concert will be a genre-spanning musical collaboration between some of Shetland’s finest home-grown guitarists, supported by the next generation of talented players, and showcasing the incredible talent that Shetland has to offer. It’s bound to be very popular!”

Tommy & Martin In Convo SBO

Shetland Arts also announced the addition of a festival fringe event on Wednesday 5 November: Tommy Emmanuel & Martin Taylor in Conversation. The audience is invited to join these two legendary guitarists as they chat on stage about how they first got into music, playing the guitar, performing, collaborating together and any other topics that come up. There will also be an opportunity for a Q&A with the audience.

Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel is one of Australia’s most respected musicians and will open the Festival with a concert on Thursday 6 November, with support from Norman ‘Girsie’ Goudie & Friends. With a professional career spanning five decades, Tommy has garnered hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide. Performing live is extremely important to him and he has played over 300 concerts every year for the last seven years! His live shows are known for their humour, performance, passion, and infectious joy. Chet Atkins honoured Tommy with the title of Certified Guitar Player (CGP) for his contribution to guitar music, a very rare distinction shared by only four other people in the world.

Dr. Martin Taylor, MBE is a multi-award winning guitarist, composer, educator and musical innovator. As well as curating the Festival, Martin will play a headline concert with support from Brian Nicholson & Friends on Friday 7 November. Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and finger-style guitar playing, Martin possesses an inimitable style that has earned him global acclaim from fellow musicians, fans and critics alike. He dazzles audiences with a signature style that artfully combines his virtuosity, emotion and humor with a strong, engaging stage presence. Completely self-taught beginning at the early age of 4, he has invented and developed a unique way of playing the guitar that is greatly admired, and often emulated, by guitarists all over the world.

The Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat, now sold out, will also take place in Shetland this year, from 5-7 November. Players of all levels and styles are welcomed on Martin’s Guitar Retreats. From fingerstyle to acoustic to jazz and more, Martin gives insight into the techniques, styles, and tips to inspire and improve playing. The retreat is designed to gather guitarists of all levels from around the globe with a common goal – learning, playing, eating and sleeping music.

Shetland Arts’ Marketing Officer, Lisa Ward, added: “The concerts are booking up fast now that we’re into Autumn, and the Festival Package Deal, which includes tickets to all the concerts at the festival and a branded t-shirt, is particularly popular. Make sure to book your tickets soon!”

View the Shetland International Guitar Festival 2014 Programme online here.

Booking for all Festival concerts and events is via Shetland Box Office at Mareel and/or Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at and/or

The Festival Package Deal is only available to book via Shetland Box Office over the phone or in person; online booking is not available for this Package Deal.

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