60th Birthday Solo Tour - Press Kit
Award-winning guitarist Martin Taylor celebrates his 60th birthday and 45 years as a touring artist with a series of solo UK concerts. Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and fingerstyle guitar, Martin Taylor’s high-profile fans include Jeff Beck, Jamie Cullum, Pat Metheny, Bill Wyman and Sir Michael Parkinson. Taylor’s remarkable musical career has spanned five decades, wth more than 100 recordings to his name, an MBE, two honourary doctorates and many international awards. However it is his dazzling solo concerts, with a signature style that artfully combines his virtuosity, emotion and humour with a strong, engaging stage presence, that make this a show not to miss. Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument." – Pat Metheny "He out-shred’s all of us put together….I’ve never seen anything like it" – Jeff Beck "A rare talent and one to be not simply appreciated but treasured" - Sir Michael Parkinson www.martintaylor.com
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Martin Taylor - Full Biography
"Martin Taylor is one of the most awesome solo guitar players in the history of the instrument." – Pat Metheny
"He out-shred’s all of us put together….I’ve never seen anything like it" – Jeff Beck
"Martin's playing is rich with elegance, he is a great artist" - Stephane Grappelli
"One of the greatest guitarists in the world... I just love his playing" - Chet Atkins
"A rare talent and one to be not simply appreciated but treasured" - Sir Michael Parkinson
GRAMMY nominated musician Dr. Martin Taylor, MBE, is a virtuoso guitarist, composer, educator and musical innovator whom Acoustic Guitar magazine calls ‘THE Acoustic Guitarist of his Generation’.
Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and fingerstyle 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.
Taylor has enjoyed a remarkable musical career spanning across five decades, with more than 100 recordings to his credit. 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.
In addition to his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genres, including: Jeff Beck, Tommy Emmanuel, Bill Wyman, Chet Atkins, Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, George Harrison, Jamie Cullum, Bryn Terfel, Dianne Schuur and Gary Burton.
Taylor brings a rich and varied musical heritage to his play, to the extent that Tommy Emmanuel remarked that [Taylor] is “a portal into all that came before.”
Over his stellar career, Taylor has amassed a record 14 British Jazz Awards as a guitarist. Several of his albums have been in the Top 10 in the USA and Europe.
From 1979 to 1990, he toured the world and recorded over 20 albums with the French jazz violin legend STEPHANE GRAPPELLI. Their album with Vassar Clements “Together At Last” won a Grammy Nomination in 1987. Monsieur Grappelli described him as “A great artist, rich in talent and elegance.”
His ground breaking solo album ARTISTRY, produced by Steve Howe, was released in 1992 to much critical acclaim. It was #1 in the HMV Jazz Charts for a record 12 weeks and launched his career as an international solo artist.
After two very successful albums for Sony/Columbia, KISS AND TELL and NITELIFE, he went on to record several albums for The Guitar Label.
In 1999, Taylor was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of The West of Scotland, and in 2002, he was appointed MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) “For Services To Jazz Music” on The Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which he received personally from Her Majesty The Queen at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.
His autobiography “Martin Taylor- Autobiography of a Travelling Musician” was released in 2005.
In 2007, Taylor received the prestigious BBC Radio 2 “Heart of Jazz” Award in recognition of his career in music and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Wales Jazz Guitar Festival for his “Contribution to Jazz Guitar Worldwide”.
2010 was a landmark year for Martin Taylor. The year started with the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama presenting him with his second honorary doctorate. In April 2010, the Martin Taylor Guitar Academy was launched, an online guitar school that propelled Taylor into becoming one of the world's most recognized and beloved online guitar teachers. This innovative online learning program has been featured on NPR, BBC, Fox News and in the Los Angeles Times and today has students in over 60 countries.
Another milestone was reached in 2010 with the world premier of an exciting new work for guitar, orchestra and big band with the creation of Martin Taylor's 'Spirit of Django Suite'. Based on themes by Martin Taylor and arranged by Guy Barker, the debut featured Martin Taylor, his group Spirit of Django, the Guy Barker Big Band, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Later that year, Taylor was invited to perform a special private concert at Windsor Castle for Prince William on the eve of his engagement to Kate Middleton.
2011 featured extensive touring of the Far East, USA, Europe and UK as Martin's new online profile introduced his music to younger and more international audiences. Taylor also launched the first two models in his own guitar range with Korea-based guitar manufacturer Peerless. The 'Maestro' and 'Virtuoso' have gone on to achieve both critical and commercial success globally.
With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics in 2012, the BBC made a special performance of the 'Spirit of Django Suite' by Martin Taylor and the Britten Symphonia part of their Proms concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall. Later that year, Taylor joined the International Guitar Night for a three-month tour of the US and Canada.
In 2013, Martin played over 120 shows, as well as finding time to release a new duo album with Tommy Emmanuel and guest on a second album with British actor and blues musician Hugh Lawrie. At the year’s end, Taylor received the BrandLaureate International Brand Personality Award in Asia. Previous recipients have included Steve Jobs, Hillary Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Mark Zuckerberg. 2014 sees Taylor undertaking extensive touring, both solo and with his new group, The Great Guitars. Film/TV Credits
His film credits include the French comedy “Milou En Mai” directed by Louis Malle, and more recently his composition, “Green Lady” is featured in the Andrew Piddington movie “The Killing of John Lennon”.
His many TV credits include the theme music for “After You’ve Gone” featuring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Celia Imrie, and the cult “Nicole-Papa” TV commercials for the Renault Clio.
When not touring, Martin Taylor divides his time between Scotland and California, where the Martin Taylor Guitar Academy is based.
What The Press Are Saying....
"Europe's finest jazz guitarist" - JazzTimes Magazine
"The man is no less than a guitar genius" - Martin Bashir, MSNBC
“There is a touch of genius in his playing” – Classical Guitar Magazine
“No matter how complex or daring, Taylor’s interpretations never short change the melodies; indeed, his remarkable fluid touch embues a seamless beauty. Martin Taylor is something to behold.” – The Washington Post
“Taylor is the finest British guitarist of his generation” – The Times of London
“Martin Taylor is one of the greatest and most impressive guitar players in the world.” – Chet Atkins
“Put quite simply I think Martin Taylor is not only a very fine guitar player I think he might just be the best one I have ever come across. His technique is breathtaking and he moves with equal ease through every musical genre you can imagine. His truly is a rare talent and one to be not simply appreciated but treasured.” - Sir Michael Parkinson
Honors and Awards
- 2013 - International Brand Laureate Award
- 2012 - Lifetime Achievement Award, Ards International Guitar Festival
- 2012 - Scottish Jazz Awards, Best Live Jazz
- 2010 - Honorary Doctorate Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- 2008 - International Association For Jazz Education, Outstanding Service to Jazz Education
- 2007 - Lifetime Achievement Award NWJS
- 2007 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 2007 - BBC Radio 2 ‘Heart Of Jazz’ Award
- 2005 - Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, City of London
- 2003 - Pioneer to the Life of the Nation, awarded by HM the Queen
- 2002 - International Guitar Foundation, Best Album: Solo
- 2002 - Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), awarded by HM the Queen for Services to Music
- 2001 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1999 - Honorary Doctorate University of the West of Scotland
- 1999 - British Academy of Composers and Songwriters ‘Gold Badge of Merit’
- 1999 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1998 - Freedom of the City of London
- 1997 - British Jazz Awards, Best Small Group: Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django
- 1997 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1995 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1993 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1991 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1990 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1989 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1988 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1987 - Grammy Nomination: Best Country Instrumental, ‘Together At Last’ (Grappelli-Clements)
- 1987 - British Jazz Awards, Best Guitarist
- 1985 - Music Retailer’s Association Award For Excellence