Here are the 2019 CAAS performers and presenters, in alphabetical order
Shane is a guitarist and singer songwriter. He is the winner of the 2003 Home of the Legends thumbpicking contest in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, and the 2005 Fingerstyle winner at Winfield, Kansas. He was influenced by the music of Mose, Merle and Chet.
Rick is a gifted and popular North Carolina picker and performer and a long time Chet devotee. He has a tone and technique true to Chet’s style.
Muriel is active in all facets of guitar, writing books, recording CD’s, touring and performing and is the creator of the “All-Star Guitar Night” series featured at NAMM.
Robert is a performer and teacher from Maryville, TN. He won the Home of the Legends thumbpicking contest in Muhlenberg County, KY in 1999.
Dan is a fingerstyle and jazz guitarist who was a winner at the 2013 Muhlenberg County “Home of the Legends” contest. He is a composer and arranger currently living in Nashville.
Daniele is a fine fingerstyle guitarist, arranger, and transcriber from Italy.
Zach is no stranger to the convention stage. He is at home with the music of Chet and Jerry and Django, and Doc Watson. He’s been a friend of Mark Pritcher’s for almost 50 years.
Denny is the younger brother of Lenny Breau, and he is coming to the convention to meet everyone and play a bit of his many guitar styles. Let’s give him a big Nashville convention welcome.
Instrumentalist, entertainer, TV performer, impressionist, recording artist, writer, and son of the legendary guitarist Merle Travis! A dynamic entertainer, his show is a must-see event!
Jonathan is a fine Nashville guitarist influenced by the styles of Chet, Merle and Jerry Reed.
Jonathan has been a touring musician for 35 some odd years, having started out backing up Roy Clark. But most of those years he’s spent playing in a group with his two brothers. Jon is well versed in Appalachian, Classical, Jazz, Praise, Worship, and Gospel music. This is his first time playing for us.
Bobby is a lead guitarist, singer, writer and producer, and was influenced at an early age by his uncle, ’50s superstar Eddie Cochran. He’s worked with many prominent groups, including Steppenwolf, The Flying Burrito Bros. and Leon Russell. He was recently inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Jason is the grandson of Floyd Cramer, who was Chet’s number one session pianist and Festival of Music co-star. Jason is a star now in his own right and he records and tours with Meagan Taylor as they carry on the family tradition!
Michael is an amazing player on the 9-string guitar. His early focus was on classical guitar and fingerstyle jazz but since playing here at the convention since 2004, he has added styles of Chet, Jerry, and Albert Lee into his playing.
Pat Corn is finger-style guitarist, writer, arranger, broadcaster, and music educator with a fifty-plus year history in the music industry. His educational series, "Concept Of Music" is serving musicians worldwide adding "musical sufficiency" to their instrumental proficiency.
Georgia's Wesley Crider won 1st place in the 2004 Home of the Legends guitar contest in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. He is an accomplished player, arranger, and composer.
Edgar was named Oklahoma's Best Performing Artist and Acoustic Guitarist three years in a row. He has many recordings and his showmanship is outstanding. His last CD featured his amazing arrangements of Beatles tunes.
Ray is a great Chet-style player. He toured for years with RCA artist Kenny Price, and has performed with symphony groups large and small. He is a versatile player with an emphasis on gospel guitar.
TOM & SANDY CORY DOYLE
Tom is a player from New York area. He was the sound engineer for Les Paul at the Iridium Club in Manhattan for many years. His love of Les' music has influenced his fingerstyle playing and arranging. Sandy Cory Doyle will perform jazz vocals with Tom.
Tanner was featured as one of the “young thumbs” just a few years ago on Saturday night. In 2017 Richard Smith produced Tanner’s first CD and he was Grand Champion of the ”Home of the Legends” contest.
Doyle is a traveling evangelist using his guitar talents across around the world as he sings and plays. He also is a master guitar clinician and guitar designer. He got his start in country music touring with Grandpa Jones. He is an author, composer and an exceptional musician.
Kirby Easler is a Nashville-based guitarist from Charleston, South Carolina, specializing in solo acoustic performance and fingerstyle arranging. Kirby is a protégé of John Knowles, CGP.
JOE & JAN EDWARDS
Joe has had a long career as a performer and sideman in country music, including a long run in the Grand Ole Opry staff band. He has toured and recorded extensively, and is known for his multitrack guitar recording adventures. He is a virtuoso on fiddle and guitar, and is joined by his wife Jan on vocals.
TOMMY EMMANUEL, CGP
Tommy has played many times here since recording “Fingerpickers Took Over the World” with Chet, over 20 years ago. His passion is “touring forever” as the Johnny Appleseed of the guitar world, and he always finds new talented players from far off places and guides them to Nashville. There are many fine new players from around the world who are here because of Tommy.
ENDLESS ROAD STRINGS
The Endless Road Strings are Julie Lastinger, violin, Tina Simpson, violin, Joanna Binford, viola, and Rebecca Kiekenapp, cello, all members of Kentucky's Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. Performing styles from classical to bluegrass, they have appeared with Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Julian Smith and Pat Kirtley, among others. This makes their 13th year at the convention and they are an important part of the CAAS musical team. Julie can’t be here this year, and Nashville’s David Johnson will be in her seat.
Casper is one of Denmark's best fingerstyle guitarists. He has played and performed with Sungha Jung, Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee and Joe Robinson and others around the world. With more than a million views on Youtube, he is quite the accomplished player!
Eddie is a long time CAAS convention attendee, practically from the beginning, and a fan of Jerry and Chet. He will perform in a duo with Audie Wykle and wow you with some great picking.
DAVIDE FACCHINI & ANITA CAMARELLA
Davide and Anita are visiting from Italy and we’re glad to see old friends here with us. They know many of the artists here from touring the world for many years singing and playing some great music. Their passion is in performing classic Italian Swing music from the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, and they do it very well!
Ben took 1st place in the National Thumbpicking contest in Mt. View, Arkansas in 2005 when he was 16 years old. He has toured with the late Charlie Louvin and has released a solo CD featuring his singing and playing. He has a wonderful day job now, as part of the team at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Todd is a fine fingerstyle picker, and winner of the 1997 National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Now based in North Carolina, he is an arranger, an entertainer, and crowd pleaser.
Kirk Hanser and John McClellan have performed together as the Hanser-McClellan Guitar Duo since 1996 they have toured the world individually and together. They have garnered much praise for their classical / chamber music performances.
Parker is another of the young thumbpickers, and hails from Richmond, Kentucky. He enjoys all styles from jazz to bluegrass. Richard Smith recorded and produced his last CD, “Breezin’ Through Life” and in 2018 he won first place in the Wayne Henderson Festival Guitar Competition and is a Home of the Legends thumbpicking champion.
Shane is a fine guitarist from Ireland who was noticed by Tommy Emmanuel and has played on stage with him. He writes great tunes, arranges the standards and will entertain you greatly during his second appearance at the convention.
Colin is another young man who emerged from the internet/youtube world and about to be discovered. He has written some good tunes, and is a great arranger. He does a nice job with classic thumbstyle music as well. He moved to the Nashville area from California and just released a new album of his tunes.
Richard is a retired college professor and Chet aficionado who has studied Chet’s life and music in depth. He will again present his multimedia show about Chet. He has assembled a wealth of information and is sure to show you something about Chet that you didn’t know.
Joe is the president of the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame and a great friend to thumbpickers in general and specifically to the pickers of Muhlenberg County. He is fine thumbpicker and will teach a workshop on intermediate thumbpicking.
WAYNE WESLEY JOHNSON
Wayne Wesley who comes to us from Santa Fe New Mexico is a master of the rumba flamenco style. By combining samba, bossa nova, fingerstyle and jazz, he created his own style - “jazzamenco.”
Don is a fingerpicker strongly influenced by Chet and Merle, who is left handed but plays a regular guitar "upside down and backwards". In 1997 he won the "Home of the Legends" contest, and the 2000 National Thumbpicking contest.
FRED KELLY THUMBPICKS
Fred is the king of thumbpicks. He is not able to with us this year, but he sends greetings and gratitude for your support of his picks. He has given each of you the pick in your registration packet and his full line of picks will be available for sale in the lobby.
1995 Winfield National Fingerstyle Champion Pat Kirtley is a prolific recording artist, performer, teacher, and composer in a range of styles, from Bluegrass to Bossa Nova. He is an international touring artist, and a member of the Thumbpicking Hall of Fame. He has released much of his recent and existing recorded work (6 albums) through online streaming and his music can be heard 24/7 on Pandora and other online services.
Richard is a native of Roanoke, Va. and has a full time gospel music ministry. His awards include "Instrumentalist of the Decade" from the Int’l Country Gospel Music Association. He will host a gospel guitar showcase.
JOHN KNOWLES, CGP
We all know John through his years of association with Chet. He has taught us all with his guitar transcriptions in Frets, Guitar Player, and Hal Leonard Music. He is constantly in demand as instructor and performer, and he published the John Knowles "Fingerstyle Guitar Quarterly" for years. He has a new album with Tommy Emmanuel, “
After 25 years as a session guitarist and producer, he fell in love with fingerstyle acoustic guitar. His arrangements have a big band vibe, but they are rooted in the style of Chet Atkins and Tommy Emmanuel. He has made complex arrangements of Italian and American classics.
After a brief absence, Jerome has returned to us from France where he helps to continue the legacy of fingerstyle music abroad. He has played here many times. He is a Jerry Reed connoisseur, and he will be accompanied by Jim and John Nichols.
John is a wonderful fingerstyle player who comes to us from the classical guitar world. His contributions to Chet’s music have been enormous. He was the co-author of three volumes of “Chet Atkins In Three Dimensions” and “Solo Sessions.” He will also play with Kirk Hanser. Kirk and John have performed together as the Hanser-McClellan Guitar Duo since 1996. They have toured the world individually and together and have garnered much praise for their classical / chamber music performances.
One of Nashville’s most recorded session players ever, Charlie has appeared on hundreds of major artist releases, and for years was one of Chet’s favorite sidemen in the studio. He will appear with Richard Kiser
Paul is a fine picker from Kentucky who is well known in Muhlenberg county for his pure approach to thumbpicking. He was the second-year winner of the Kentucky's Home of the Legends contest.
Jim Nichols' brother John is our staff bassist, and is a fine singer and solo guitarist as well.
MORNING & JIM NICHOLS
For years, Jim and Morning have been a powerful addition to our stage and to the society. Jim is a great jazz and thumbstyle player who loves to play behind and beside other players, and shows us the value of a truly great accompanist, as well as virtuosic performing in solo and lead roles.
Morning adds a gifted and powerful voice to Jim's guitar. She will teach a workshop on vocals and singing technique.
Nishi is a young player from Japan fluent on many styles and also is a composer. He was “discovered” by Tommy Emmanuel in Japan and has played here at the convention for several years.
Larry is a wizard at digitizing old video clips from obsolete formats, and he also maintains and repairs the vintage machines that allow him to do the work. He also is a great player and is well known on YouTube playing obscure guitar arrangements that he learned from Chet’s ‘50’s playing on the Grand Ole Opry.
Michael is a thumbpicker, performer, composer and teacher. His yearly assignment is teaching a Merle Travis tune. He is excited to premier his new book from Mel Bay focusing on “killer techniques” for thumbstyle guitar.
Katelyn has been a student here in Nashville at Belmont College and is an accomplished player, to be sure. She was the grand champion of the 2016 Home of the Legends contest.
No one has been more successful than this man at keeping alive the complex musical style of the late Buster B. Jones and has played and recorded with John Standefer. He recently completed studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston and is teaching and playing full time.
Joe won the 2008 season contest on “Australia’s Got Talent” and appeared at our convention in 2009. Since then he has been busy touring the world playing fingerstyle guitar with his own twist and energy. He is a great picker, composer, vocalist and stylist.
Allan is an accomplished fingerpicker, and for many years has been our resident teacher, helping new players get a handle on this wonderful style of guitar music.
Julian is a great Chet-style player from Georgia. He is a former winner of the Home of the Legends, and won 2nd place at Winfield in 2000. He is a composer and arranger, a favorite player around the convention, with a great CD to his credit.
She also is one of the “young thumbs” and in 2016 at the Home of the Legends contest she was winner contemporary thumbpicking contest.
Winner of the 2002 Winfield national fingerstyle guitar championship, John is a teacher, performer, composer and arranger. He plays a wide range of styles-sacred, jazz, Latin, and fingerstyle classics.
Meagan is a wonderful talent on fingerstyle guitar, and takes after her great-uncle Chet Atkins. As well as being a fine guitar player, she is now raising a family. Her young children are starting to perform alongside their mom! She will perform with pianist Jason Coleman, (grandson of piano stylist Floyd Cramer) with whom she has recorded and toured.
Scott was a dyed in the wool rock player for years until he discovered the playing of Pat Kirtley and Tommy Emmanuel. He was grand champion at the “Home of the Legends” contest in 2012.
Connor is a “young thumbs” player from Great Britain who was inspired at a young age by watching Tommy Emmanuel. He is now arranging and playing like a pro. This is his first year with us.
TIM & MYLES THOMPSON
Tim is a Nashville based fingerstyle picker and was the 2008 Winfield grand champion in fingerpicking. He is a session player, and a frequent contributor to guitar journals. He performs with his son Myles on violin and mandolin, incorporating improvisational jazz, folk and world music.
Mark played guitar in Jerry Reed’s touring band and is no stranger to the group at CAAS. He will be joined by his own band The Sidekicks to bring us some of Jerry’s music.
Shohei was born in Japan, raised in Ohio and currently lives in Japan. He studied at Berklee College of Music, and is an award winning fingersyle guitarist. He won 3rd place in fingerstyle at Winfield in 2013 and he was grand champion at the “Home of the Legends” contest in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky in 2011.
Evan is another proud member of the young thumbs at the convention. He won the traditional category at the Home of the Legends in 2015. He is a fine singer, picker, and composer.
GUY VAN DUSER
There are many milestones in Chet's career. One of the best remembered was his recording of Guy's arrangement of Stars and Stripes Forever. Guy is a superb player we love to hear. He is an arranger, entertainer, and professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Sean has attended the convention since he was a young teen. He is a graduate of Belmont College in Nashville, and was a first place winner of both the thumbstyle and open division contests at the Home of the Legends contest, and also is well versed in blues guitar. He is a session player and artist accompanist in Nashville, and also is recording and teaching through online projects.
Audie has been a road musician and studio player and has extensively studied the music of Jerry Reed and Chet. He will play in a duo with Eddie Estes.
Eli has been singing and playing guitar since he was 10 years old, but when he heard Tommy Emmanuel. And by 2017 he had a stage set at MerleFest before an audience of 9,000. Performing Arts Live of Iredell, NC has selected Eli for sponsorship to attend the convention and perform for us.