Hailed by John Renbourn as ‘the best Celtic guitarist in the world’ Tony McManus has been listed as one of the 50 transcendental guitarists of all time by Guitar Player Magazine. Conjuring a unique but universal language from that most ubiquitous of instruments, the acoustic guitar, Tony McManus has both extended and transcended the parameters of contemporary Celtic music. Ranked by peers and predecessors alike alongside the guitar world’s all-time greats, his fiendishly dexterous, dazzlingly original playing draws on traditions from the entire Celtic diaspora – Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, Cape Breton, Quebec – along with still further-ranging flavours, such as jazz and east European music.
Long applauded for his uncanny ability to transpose the delicate, complex ornamentation characteristic of traditional bagpipe or fiddle tunes – even the phrasing of a Gaelic song – onto his own six strings, McManus is increasingly being acknowledged also as a pioneering figure in bridging the realms of Celtic music and other guitar genres. After rapidly making his name as an unusually fluent and sensitive accompanist, he took the solo plunge with a triumphant main-stage debut on the final night of Glasgow’s inaugural Celtic Connections festival in 1994, supporting Capercaillie in front of a 2500-strong crowd.
Tony plays often in a duo with Julia Toaspern, a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music. She has released two albums of original songs and has performed in both classical and singer/songwriter modes on both sides of the Atlantic. On top of all this her skills as a guitarist are prodigious and make an exciting fit with Tony’s work.
“"Tony McManus’ music is beyond beautiful, it’s perfect.” Tommy Emmanuel
“Julia Toaspern’s bell like voice and her filigrane fiddle playing are thrilling. She moves effortlessly from fiddle to guitar, her solo is impressive.” SalonFestival
Tony's website: https://www.tonymcmanus.com/
More videos: https://youtu.be/MmiWlMJiq1s Gnossiennes
https://youtu.be/2l59hQbhfaI What a Wonderful World
https://youtu.be/p53HSQNVi0w Star of Munster w/ Julia
https://youtu.be/OLSC8Tjb_HA Humors of Kiltyclogher w/ Julia