Connor Thomas is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist based in Durham, North East of England. Connor began his guitar journey at the age of 11 when his grandfather handed him an old battered guitar, found damaged in his garage. He had repaired this for Connor and this was when his passion was born. His teen years were not easy for Connor, a long time of this spent on crutches following surgical operations on his feet and hips. It was the love for music and learning that helped him through this difficult time.
Connor would look to other famous guitarists for direction at this young age and spend hours watching others playing and it wasn’t long after, he was performing at local open mic nights. Connor was fascinated by the art of fingerstyle and therefore drawn towards the famous Chet Atkins very closely followed by Tommy Emmanuel – today he plays many covers from these artists such as the famous ‘Classical Gas’.
Audiences can often think prerecording backing sections are used when connor is playing and there is often a need to explain: Fingerstyle is a unique way of playing the guitar and leaves no room for a voice. Connor is able to play the rhythm, drums, base and melody all on one instrument – often described as a one-man band.
While growing into the fantastic fingerstyle player he is, Connor has worked with both National and International artist such as the aforementioned Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Robinson, Anthony Snape, Ben Hughes, Rory Evans, Andrea Valeri and Shane Hennessy. Working with these artists have only him even more inspiration and motivation in the fingerstyle field. Key events since age of 13 include:
· Opened an Albert Lee show
· Performed at various music venues such as Tuned In, Empire Theatre, Cluny and the Sage
· Performed with Tommy Emmanuel at the Sage in Gateshead
· Performing in Downtown Nashville TN and Kentucky
· Performs regularly as a guest artist at guitar shows including the London Acoustic Guitar Show, North East Guitar Shows Thirsk and Cumbria where he has also led a workshop
People are often shocked to learn that Connor is completely self-taught. This makes Connor even more unique as he has achieved excellence through his own dedication and self-discipline. He has always had a keen ear for music, labelled as ‘fussy ears’ at home, which is why more recently he has developed skills in recording, producing and editing – a logical progression and next steps in his career with close relationships with companies in this area. With support from friends and family, he has built a studio and is passionate develop these skills and progress in his knowledge while still maintaining his high standard of playing.
Connor is becoming a well-known artist in both the North East and further afield. Connor currently works hard to organise and promote monthly live music across several venues in Durham City Centre. In doing this he supports other local musicians by providing them work and networking opportunities and he himself has developed many contacts within the music industry. Connor has gained a great reputation for helping others as is well respected by local businesses and musicians alike.
When he is not in his studio (rare) and doesn’t have either his laptop in front of him or his guitar on his knee, he can be found eating burgers (most meal times) or asleep (if after 2 am) but will always, most definitely have a pick on his thumb!
Connor can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org