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Shetland Arts has announced that from Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 November this year, it will present the Shetland International Guitar Festival 2014. The 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. This year Martin will also be basing his famous Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat in Shetland from 5-7 November.

Martin said: “I'm already enjoying my first year curating the festival, and looking forward to the years ahead. As the Festival continues to evolve, it's still dedicated to the memory of my good friend Peerie Willie Johnson. This year, audiences can look forward to some world-class concerts and soaking up the atmosphere in the Festival Club afterwards. Plus, we’re hoping to announce one more special festival event later in the year... Watch this space!”

Tommy & Martin

Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel is one of Australia’s most respected musicians and will open the Festival with a concert onThursday 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.

And Saturday 8 November will see Shetland Guitar Heroes - a packed line-up of the finest home grown guitarists that Shetland has to offer. The first part of the night will showcase young and up-and-coming guitarists, from Primary School age and up. The second part of the night will showcase a mixed line-up of Shetland guitar-greats. The concert will then culminate with a special collaborative, genre-spanning set, featuring several of Shetland’s most accomplished players. Many of those confirmed to perform are no strangers to the limelight, but others will be stepping from their usual roles as accompanists for the evening. The full line-up for this concert will be announced soon.

The Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat 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, said: “Shetland Arts is pleased to announce this excellent line-up for the Shetland International Guitar Festival 2014, curated by Martin Taylor. Martin’s Retreat is booking up fast, and there’s already been a lot of interest in the concerts, which are on sale now. We’re also happy to be able to offer a Festival Package Deal to those who want to see all the concerts, the cost of which also includes a branded Festival t-shirt. We’re advising early booking to avoid disappointment.”

• For more information on the Shetland International Guitar Festival, see Shetland Arts’ website here. • For more information the Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat, see Martin Taylor’s website here. • Booking for all Festival concerts and/or the Martin Taylor Guitar Retreat is via Shetland Box Office at Mareel and/or Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, or online at shetlandboxoffice.org and/or mareel.org. • 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.

Shetland International Guitar Festival Curated by Martin Taylor. 6 - 8 November. 2014 Programme

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