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Mike Dawes and Yasmin Williams
February 4 at 8:00 pm
Mike Dawes is an English guitarist known for composing, arranging, and performing multiple parts simultaneously on one instrument. He is hailed as one of the world’s most creative modern fingerstyle guitarist with a repertoire spanning solo viral video hits alongside mainstream chart success performing with Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues. Dawes was named “Best Acoustic Guitarist in the World” by Total Guitar Magazine/ Music Radar in both December 2017 and 2018 readers polls.
Dawes’ recent solo album, ERA, spawned a viral hit with his arrangement of “One” by Metallica that has over 4 million YouTube views. His debut record, “What Just Happened?”, featured the fan favorite original, “Boogie Slam” and another viral hit with the Gotye song, “Somebody That I Use To Know” with almost 5 million YouTube views. Dawes is also featured on multiple Justin Hayward live releases such as Spirits…Live, which debuted at #2 on the US Billboard Chart. Dawes also a strong reputation as a music educator, acting as a columnist for Guitar World and Acoustic Guitar as well as teaching multiple guitar workshops all over the world. In addition to touring North America and Europe with Justin Hayward, Dawes has also toured with fingerstyle guitarists such as Andy McKee and Tommy Emmanuel. Dawes has also been a part of several ‘International Guitar Night’ tours.
Yasmin Williams is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist with an unorthodox, modern style of playing. Her music has been commonly described as refreshing, relaxing, and unique and has been called some of the most imaginative guitar music out today. She utilizes various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping in her music to great effect. She has won various local talent shows, was a finalist in the Rolling Stones Young Gun guitar competition, was the Grand prize winner of New York University’s Ultra Violet Live talent show, and won the Gold Prize in the Instrumental category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. She has been featured on several radio and television programs including New Sounds Soundcheck Podcast, NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday show, NPR Night Owl, NPR All Songs Considered, Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, and WUSA9, along with high profile magazine features such as Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Vintage Guitar Magazine.
She grew up in northern Virginia where various genres of music from smooth jazz to hip-hop were played in her household. She was introduced to the guitar after playing the video game Guitar Hero 2 and became interested in playing the guitar in 2009. She begged her parents to buy her a real electric guitar and once she received her first guitar and amplifier, she taught herself how to play the guitar by ear. After a few years of playing the electric guitar, she taught herself how to play the bass guitar, 12 string guitar, and classical guitar before eventually deciding to switch her focus to the acoustic guitar because of the instrument’s versatility. While in high school, she released her first EP Serendipity in 2012, which she recorded and mixed herself.
She graduated from New York University with a BM in Music Theory and Composition in December 2017. Her first album, Unwind, was released on May 4, 2018 and is available on all major streaming services and Bandcamp. The album has charted highly on several Amazon and iTunes charts including top paid albums, including charting at #7 on Amazon’s top paid albums and #1 on iTunes‘s Folk chart, and charted at #15 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Her second album, Urban Driftwood, was released on January 29, 2021 and has received high praise from numerous major publications including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, NPR Music, No Depression, Bandcamp, Paste Magazine, and other outlets.