Phil Emmanuel is known as one of Australia’s greatest electric guitar players and has a resume of amazing performances with musical legends that any musical enthusiast would envy.
After almost 50 years of hard work, Phil Emmanuel deserves to receive Australian and worldwide recognition as one of our finest musical talents, and still after all these years Phil loves the job he was destined to do, and hopefully he will continue to enthral audiences worldwide for a long time to come.
“Phil’s musical prowess is so astonishing that there are times when the man becomes the guitar and the guitar becomes the man. His passion is illuminating; his ability is breathtaking “While his brother Tommy plays it sweet; Phil plays it from the street” Glenn A. Baker
KEVIN BORICH with LUCIUS BORICH
Kevin Borich recorded his first single with Astor Records at age 12 and his music career has now spanned 56 years Borich is a quintessential stalwart in the Australian and New Zealand music scene.
Penning hits such as 'Gonna See My Baby Tonight' and 'No Turning Back' Kevin Borich is a founding member of New Zealand's hit band the La De Da's, The Kevin Borich Express & Australia's legendary The Party Boys. He has recorded on and released over 20 albums with major labels & independently under his own publishing & has performed countless thousands of live shows during his career. Borich continually writes, records and releases new music keeping his live performance firebrand with rock music historian, Ian McFarlane describing Borich as "One of the most celebrated guitar players in the history of Australian rock."
STEVE EDMONDS BAND
The Steve Edmonds Band have wowed audiences across the country with their high-energy brand of funky blues, roots/rock.
Steve dazzles his audiences on every level - chops, soul, intensity, songs and the ability to deliver transcendental live performances.
Steve's passion, together with hard work and talent, has steadily
amassed a large following on the East Coast of Australia.
Australian-based musician Jeff Lang has earned worldwide acclaim as a virtuosic guitarist, a dynamic songwriter and a startlingly unique live performer.
With a back catalogue of 16 studio albums, Jeff has been featured at major festivals, pubs, clubs, arts centres and venues internationally for the past decade. Blending rock, roots, folk, blues, ballads, instrumentals, improvisation and a devastatingly high level of musicality, Jeff Lang is a singularly unique performer in our world.
Fiona Boyes, an Australian blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, has been recording and performing for more than 25 years, building a career that has taken her to major festivals and stages around the world.
A veteran recording artist with 15 releases, Australia’s first lady of the Blues has been honored with 7 USA Blues Music Award nominations in 5 different categories over the years, including 2 nominations in the 2017 USA Blues Music Awards - 'Acoustic Artist of the Year' and 'Acoustic Album of the Year' - for her latest release 'Professin' the Blues'. She's also received more than 30 Australian music awards, spanning the blues, folk, jazz and Americana scenes.
Fiona’s immersion in the wide musical and historical traditions that make up the Blues and her deep love of the art-form itself lends conviction and authenticity to her playing and songwriting.
A new face on the scene - 19 year old Tash Wolf will blow you away with her amazing guitar skills. Tash plays a mixture of blues and jazz, while mixing into her own pop sound!
From the streets and tapas bars of Spain and bustling Japanese live music venues, to Australian festivals, bars, and restaurants, Felicity Lawless has delighted many diverse audiences with her journey through sound and emotion.
Her music is characterised by a flashy, Spanish guitar style, soaring vocal melodies and hypnotic rhythms.
Felicity performs with an energy that elevates and inspires while infusing her crowds with enthusiasm and joy. Having honed her craft busking around Australia with nothing more than her guitar to feed her, it is little wonder that she has learned to capture and enchant audiences with virtuosity and sincerity.
Influenced by a broad range of artists including Of Monsters and Men, Katie Noonan, The Cat Empire, Ed Sheeran, and John Butler Trio, Ella's music crosses genres and incorporates elements from many styles.
Ella played at Bluesfest 2017 on the Busking Stage and won the 'Best Guitarist' award.
She won the 2016 Woodford Folk Festival New Years Eve Talent Quest singing Amy Winehouse's 'Valerie' as a duo with Ayla Kaan.
FERAL SWING KATZ feat. STUIE FRENCH
Musicians and friends Stuart French and Michel Rose built more than just the core of a unique band when they combined their talents in 1996. Stuart’s hot guitar blended perfectly with Michel’s harmony licks on pedal steel in a partnership meant to be – forming the signature sound of The Feral Swing Katz. Their music is a blend of 40’s Swing, Classic Country with a touch of Jazz otherwise known as “Western Swing”
The Feral Swing Katz have made more than an impact on the Australian music market, earning a coveted MO award in 2001 for Best Country Band; in 2002 they added a Golden Guitar to their trophy shelf; then in 2006 the Ferals won the ACE award for Country Group of the Year.
They have three albums released over the last 10 years. All five musicians in the band are the best in their field and when not performing live, they make their living as Studio Musicians.
Jim Kelly established himself as a gifted contemporary guitarist and composer when he formed Australia's leading jazz-rock fusion band Crossfire. Crossfire recorded seven albums and performed in the USA, UK, Europe, India,South-East Asia and Japan. Jazz greats Randy Brecker, DonGrusin and Lee Ritenour also collaborated with Crossfire to tour Australia.
Kelly is a local in the Byron / Lismore shire and has taught a plethora of talented guitarists that will be also performing at the 2017 BBGF.
"MARTINEZ" It is said... “Victor Martinez is one of the greatest Avant Garde guitarists ever” Victor, Andro and Dauno are father and sons. Victor, an extremely accomplished composer, teacher and leader in his field, leads the Martinez family. Born in Chile they all play six string acoustic and electric guitar, bass and also use their instruments as percussion and vocal beat box.
One minute they play in unison, the next in harmony, then across and against each other, it is calm then chaotic, beautiful then forceful. It is difficult to fully describe them until you’ve heard them. The interplay and understanding that flows through them is inspiring, endearing and infectious.
They truly captivate their audience as they stretch each other’s ability with a flourish here and an astonishing variation there. Anyone who plays a guitar, anyone who aspires to playing guitar, anyone who enjoys listening to guitar must see these incredible players.
The trio has been performing professionally since 1997 since then they have played a large number of venues around the country.
Kallidad combines flamenco, rock and mariachi music into an intoxicating instrumental mix.
Together with the band's infamous 'Day of the Dead' face paint, the result is a live spectacle that has been drawing audiences across Australia, Asia and Europe, including major festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival and events as diverse as bush doofs, metal gigs and family folk picnics.
Somehow, the three amigos have created a sound and energy that touches literally all demographics- without compromising their sound one iota.
BLACK RABBIT GEORGE
From the wellspring of childish fantasy and a lifetime of musical evolution emerges folk singer/songwriter Black Rabbit George, another incarnation for Paul A George, the musician whose guitar drives the unique sounds of Tijuana Cartel, one of the tightest and most sought-after bands on the Australian festival circuit.
Craig Atkins’ sincerity is the foundation of his music. Hailing from Adelaide SA, now calling the Northern Rivers region of NSW home, Craig draws upon the traditions of fellow blues and roots multi-instrumentalists Xavier Rudd, John Butler and Ben Harper, with his music underscored by a textural combination of acoustic and lap slide guitars, percussion and didgeridoos.
Lyrically, he possesses a keen sense of intellect and justice, but what is most striking is how comfortable he is with simplicity. Winner of the 2014 Adelaide Blues & Roots Association’s (ARBA) ‘Best Solo Roots’ category and a finalist for ARBA Roots Album Awards 2015.
Deliberate shifts of tone punctuate the eleven tracks, finding Atkins’ equally at home channeling folk- song sensibilities, downright dirty foot-stomping blues and roots melodies that explore contemporary Australian culture.
Kit Bray is a fresh, individual young musician that has emerged from Byron Bay.
With the recent formation of a new 4 piece band, he's been earning his stripes at shows with a smooth, dynamic, indie soul sound. With the January 2012 release of their Debut EP "The Time He Waits" and a national tour coming up, the future looks bright for Kit Bray.
Whilst Kit exudes classic Pacifica heart and effortlessness, there's something else going on here, hard to define but absolutely unmissable.
FERGO & THE BURDEN
Fergo & The Burden is the creation of the charismatic front man and funky bass player Luke Ferguson.
Blessed with an amazing 5 octave vocal range and a love of all things soulful, Fergo, along with his band 'The Burden’
Fergo is putting the funk back in dance, the bump back in sexy and the groove back in soul.
GREG LYON & THE HIP OPERATION
Greg Lyon and the Hip Operation are one the funkiest bands in the land. Based on the simple concepts of fun music, great grooves and fine musicianship , the band has been operating around the famed Byron Bay area since 1999 .
Horn section , backing vocals , amazing soloists - this is music to make you feel good, and dance.
Combining elements of RnB ,Soul , Funk and Jazz.
THE INVISIBLE NUMBERS feat. MATT ENGELBRECHT
The Invisible Numbers are creating a musical experience which is an alluring mix of Jazz, Gypsy, Folk and World Music based around free form improvisation.
Both are extremely accomplished musicians. Salliana plays the 5 string fiddle and Nyckelharpa with equal parts grace and gusto. Matthew brings steel string guitar and looping pedal into the mix with skill, style and dexterity.
Josh Needs is a young singer, songwriter and virtuoso guitarist with a musical brilliance far beyond his years. His career highlights have already included collaborations with some of the greatest names in Australian music.
The story of the young singer, songwriter and extraordinary guitarist began as his eleven-year-old self picks up his instrument of choice for the first time after aspiring to play like one of his older brothers.
He began playing professionally at 13, writing songs at 14, and throughout his later teens, performing solo, and in bands wherever he could, honing his craft and developing what would become the dynamite live show that he is known for today.
JUKE JOINT WAY
Father and son locals Steve and Al McLeod join forces to bring you a night of Old School Blues and Rock ‘n Roll.
Dishing up spicy southern Cajun with a good dose of Chicago mud, this band is bound to get your toes tappin’ and your hips jivin’. Steve and Al – guitar/vocals, John Hill – keys, Luke Davies – bass and Ben Cox – drums.
Lennox Head-based indie-rock quartet, WHARVES, are currently on the beach basking in the success they have had in 2017.
Matt Collins (lead vocals guitar), Mike Watson (lead guitar), Scott Finch (bass and synth) and Fraser Perrott (Drums) formed just 2 years ago whilst studying music at Uni in Lismore and Byron Bay. In May 2017 they dropped their single “Man You Want Me To Be”.
Since their 2015 inception, the band have continually released critically adored songs.
Over the years Michael Dolce has established himself with a solid career as a session guitarist by playing and recording for many Top 10 national and international artists.
This includes countless appearances on TV shows such as Sunrise, The Today Show , The Kerri Anne Show, Rove ,The Morning show, MTV ,Video Hits, Live at the Basement, The Disney Channel, The Teen Choice awards , Nickelodeon Awards, Australian Idol with the house band and also special guest performances with various artists, Live at the Chapel and Max Sessions.
He has also appeared on various live recordings and DVDs with Delta Goodrem, Deni Hines and Mica Paris.
However Michael is probably best known as the house guitarist for the Australian version of the world wide hit TV show “THE VOICE".
GANG OF BROTHERS
A musical assault thatcrosses over genres, deeply funky and seriously Phat.
Their culturally diverse and influential style digs deeper and deeper in the pocket of groove and rock!
Gang of brothers were born into music. Brothers Andro , Dauno, Fenix and Banel Martinez hail from the prestigious musical Martinez Family (Martinez Akustica). Joining them on drums and lead vocals is brother Buddy Siolo, whose talents have taken him around the globe.
Together they are GANG OF BROTHERS.
Hailing from regional Victoria, Indigenous singer/songwriter Benny Walker is the real deal. His love songs and epic tales are mixed with passion for the land, the people, summer vibes and deep grooves are the elements that reach the soul.
An accomplished solo performer, Walker is regularly joined on stage by
his band, where he replaces his acoustic guitar with a Telecaster and indulges his passion for the big blues-rock sound.
Over the past several decades you would have heard Louie Shelton’s signature guitar riffs and solos on more hit records than any other session guitarist in history.
While there are too many to mention, some of his classics include, Lionel Richie’s “Hello”, Neil Diamond’s “Play Me”, The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back”, “ABC” and “I’ll Be There, The Monkees’ “Last Train To Clarksville” and “Valerie”. Some of the other artists Louie recorded with include John Lennon, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Carpenters, Joe Cocker, Kenny Rodgers, The Mamas & Papas, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and many others.
Not only did Louie play guitar on Seals & Crofts greatest hits, “Summer Breeze”, “Diamond Girl”, “We May Never Pass This Way Again” and “Get Closer”, he produced their many Gold and Platinum albums. Some of Louie’s other production credits include Art Garfunkle, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Dan Seals, Cory Wells (of Three Dog Night), Jane Oliver, The Southern Sons, Mother Hubbard and Nashville Guitars.