Hailed by NBC News for making “…the guitar sing like it was invented only to be in his hands,” native Oregonian Tye Austin (age 32) is the most accomplished guitarist, vocalist, and composer to come out of the Beaver State. Since he began his formal guitar studies in 2008, he has won multiple international music competitions including the American Protege 2013 and the UK’s Grand Prize Virtuoso 2016. Tye has performed solo all over the world from NYC’s Carnegie Hall to London’s Royal Albert Hall, Spain’s Alhambra Palace, Shanghai’s Lidoway, and many other prestigious venues. 

In 2017, he was invited to perform for over three-hundred world leaders at the United Nations Headquarters. The same year, he was commissioned to compose and perform French renaissance music for guitar and string quartet at the US French Embassy during the premiere party for the Netflix original series, Versailles. One year later, Tye was invited to perform for the former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, on the 73rd floor of the Trump World Tower in NYC. In 2019, he moved to Shanghai, China for an exclusive music performance and teaching residency at the iSchool of Music. Subsequently, he was the only new-hire out of a thousand applicants to be selected as the principal classical guitarist for Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines in 2020. He has been interviewed by NBC News, National Public Radio, The Boston Guardian, and Psychology Today.

Tye performs a variety of genres from classical to jazz, flamenco, bossa nova, modern pop, and more. He also sings in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. In addition to his solo guitar work, he frequently collaborates with various jazz trios, string quartets, symphonic orchestras, and other chamber music ensembles across the US.

As a prodigious composer with several commissions to his name, Tye is dedicated to expanding the classical guitar repertoire. He has composed liturgical music for churches, secular music for recording artists, and commercial music for television. His chamber works for guitar and string quartet have been performed and recorded by faculty musicians at the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, Austria. In 2019, he was selected to be featured in Classical Guitar Magazine’s top 10 guitarists and composers in the world. As a prolific singer-songwriter, he has written over 100 songs about what it means to be a spiritual being having a human experience.

Tye bought his first guitar at a pawn shop after attending a Spanish guitar concert for the first time in 2007. “I will never forget that magical night. I witnessed one guitar being played like four guitars simultaneously. An epiphany washed over me and suddenly I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I had found my passion, my purpose, and my best friend,” says Tye.

He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor of arts degree in classical guitar performance and music composition from the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University (OCASOU) in 2013. The following year he was awarded a full-ride scholarship to attend the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, MA, where he received his master of music degree in classical guitar performance under the tutelage of maestro, Eliot Fisk. During the summer of 2015, Tye moved to Spain to study flamenco guitar performance with David Martinez, guitar dept. chairperson at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Granada. Tye furthered his classical guitar studies with Grammy-winner, Sharon Isbin, guitar dept. chairperson at The Juilliard School in NYC.

His debut studio album, Andalusia: Spanish Guitar Music, was released in December, 2017 as an homage to his solo journey across Spain. Tye’s family ancestry is rooted in present day Orduna, Spain (former Basque Country). Born Sephardic Jews, his ancestors fled Spain for Bordeaux, France in 1765 in order to escape religious persecution during the Spanish Inquisition. His great-granduncle, Jean Lafitte (c. 1780-c. 1823), would eventually become the most famous pirate of the Caribbean in history. After successfully migrating to New Orleans by way of present day Haiti (former St. Domingue), Jean and his brother, Pierre Lafitte set up Louisiana’s most successful smuggling operation out of their blacksmith shop and bar in 1805, which is still the oldest standing structure in US history.

Coincidentally, Tye’s first performance contract and itinerary with Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines was scheduled to visit the same islands his great-granduncle once conquered. His sophomore album, Musica de Piratas, featuring Afro-caribbean and Latin American guitar music, will be released in the summer of 2023. Tye is currently living at his off-grid property on the Oregon Coast in between cruise ship contracts. His longterm goals involve founding Oregon’s first music conservatory and summer camp for homeless and fostered youth. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, surfing, snowboarding, Mt. biking, kayaking, fishing/hunting, and foraging for gourmet mushrooms in coastal rainforests.

If you’d like to book a concert or guitar lesson, please email

Tye Austin performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City.