Chris is "a brilliant English master of the acoustic guitar" (THE DAILY TELEGRAPH) and the UK’s premier flatpicking guitarist. A "dazzling player” (ACOUSTIC GUITAR, USA), he is one of the very few guitarists who excel in Celtic, European swing jazz and American bluegrass styles.
He began to play guitar at the age of four and at fourteen played his first paid gig in a folk club. He’s toured and recorded worldwide with luminaries of many musical worlds: folk (harper Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Boys of the Lough, Aly Bain etc.), jazz (Stéphane Grappelli and Diz Disley) and comedy (Fred Wedlock).
His fifth solo album, Breaking Bach, featuring his arrangements for steel-strung flatpicked guitar of sonatas and partitas written by JS Bach for solo instruments, was released in July, 2021. The project is quite groundbreaking - a recording of this music on steel-strung flatpicked guitar has not been attempted until now.
* * * * * FOLK WALES "Dazzling... utterly breathtaking... a triumph.”
* * * * THE SCOTSMAN “Audacious and eminently enjoyable”
* * * * RnR MAGAZINE "Life-affirming... (Newman's) achievement is colossal... Elegant, stylish and unmistakably from the heart.” An interview with Chris appears in the January - February 2022 issue of RnR Magazine. In it he discusses the new album and his musical journey.
THE LIVING TRADITION “A ground-breaking project… a magnificent tour-de-force… a toweringly-impressive achievement”
Fretwork, his 1998 solo CD was “a stunning and stylistically-varied album, heaving with good tunes, from one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” fROOTS (UK). “Revered” TAPLAS (Wales)
“Spectacular” TIME OUT.
2010 saw the release of the fourth solo album Still Getting Away with It, a celebration of a 40-year career.
* * * * SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY “Astonishing - a joy- filled romp through blues, back-porch pickin', Quebec reels, Django swing jazz chording, bluegrass, African high- life, ragtime, latin, Irish jigs and beyond, and a must-buy for any guitar player”
Mike Harding, BBC RADIO 2 “Amazing... One of our greatest musicians”
* * * * MAVERICK "Beauty and virtuosity from a master craftsman at the peak of his abilities... I couldn’t recommend an album more highly"
* * *THE IRISH TIMES “Precision-engineered, lovingly crafted tunes... Playful and incredibly dexterous”
* * * * * ROCK N REEL “Dazzling... A genuinely uplifting album of some of the most remarkable - yet accessible - guitar playing you're going to hear all year."
THE LIVING TRADITION “A triumph... I'm fully conscious that I'm in the presence of greatness here... one of the top guitarists of his ilk anywhere”
Chris has been principal guitar tutor for Newcastle University’s Folk B.Mus. course since its inception in 2001, a regular visiting tutor at the University of Limerick, the University of Ulster and the Carl Nielsen Institute, Denmark, and is a popular instructor at guitar festivals and camps around the world.
His partnership with Máire Ní Chathasaigh has made seven critically-acclaimed duo and two quartet albums. They’ve toured in twenty-two countries worldwide in venues ranging from the tiniest of village halls and historic European churches to palaces in Kyoto and Istanbul, London’s Barbican, Sydney Town Hall and Cologne's Philharmonic In addition to his work with Máire, Chris toured 1994 - 1997 as a member of Boys of the Lough in North America, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Denmark, China and Italy. His book of guitar compositions and arrangements Adventures with a Flatpick was published in 2001.
“His playing boggles my mind” FLATPICKING GUITAR MAGAZINE (USA). “Nothing short of brilliant” DIRTY
LINEN (USA) “Guitar players don’t come any better than Chris Newman. I’d blithely cross snow-capped mountains and ford raging rivers to see him play” THE LIVING TRADITION (UK)
Further information at www.maireandchris.com/aboutchris.html and www.oldbridgemusic.com