Bio

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Hailed by NBC News for making “…the guitar sing like it was invented only to be in his hands,” native Oregonian Tye Austin (age 30) is a classically-trained solo guitarist, vocalist, and composer currently based in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. Within a decade of picking up the instrument, Tye has performed solo all over the world from NYC’s Carnegie Hall to London’s Royal Albert Hall, Spain’s Andalusian Cave Theaters, Shanghai’s Lidoway, the US French Embassy, and many other prestigious venues. In October, 2017, he was invited to perform for more than 300 world leaders at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, NY. One year later, Tye was asked to perform for the former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, on the 73rd floor of the World Tower, located on the UN Plaza. Tye has been interviewed by NBC News, National Public Radio, The Boston Guardian, and Psychology Today. He has won first prize in numerous international music competitions including NYC’s American Protege International, the Forte International, and London’s Grand Prize Virtuoso International.

In addition to his solo guitar work, he frequently collaborates with his Latin jazz trio and string quartet. Tye performs a wide range of music genres from classical to flamenco, bossa nova, jazz, Top 40 pop, reggae, folk, hip-hop, original compositions, and many more. He also sings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese while accompanying himself on the guitar. As a prodigious composer with more than seventy original works and several commissions to his name, he is dedicated to expanding the classical guitar repertoire. As a prolific singer/songwriter, he often writes about love, nature, philosophy, and his concerns about the future of humanity.

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 a quartet of 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 and my best friend,” says Tye. Unaware of his Spanish ancestry at the time, Tye has recently learned about his thrice Great-Grand Uncle, Jean Lafitte, who was the most famous and successful Pirate of the Caribbean during the early 19th century. Lafitte was born a sephardic jew in Orduna, Spain (a small region near Barcelona). His family joined a gypsy caravan and fled to Bordeaux, France seeking refuge during the Spanish Inquisition. Setting sail off the coast of Southwestern France, Lafitte, along his family and a crew of misfits, gypsies, and pirates, eventually charted a course for New Orleans, Louisiana. Jean Lafitte ran a successful smuggling outfit with his brother, Pierre. In fact Pierre’s Blacksmith Shop & Bar is the oldest remaining structure in the US today. Jean Lafitte always admired the Spanish guitar and insisted on employing a guitarist during his oceanic exploits. Not only was Tye inexplicably attracted to the Spanish guitar despite being raised in a family of country music fanatics, but his first cruise ship contract with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will sail through the South Caribbean, the same waters his uncle once sailed.

Within six months of formal guitar lessons, Tye was accepted as a full-time music major at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University (OCASOU), and began in the autumn of 2008. After completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree in classical guitar performance and music composition at OCASOU, he received a scholarship to pursue his Master of Music Degree in classical guitar performance at the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, MA. While at NEC, Tye studied with Andres Segovia’s last direct pupil, Eliot Fisk. Tye furthered his classical guitar studies with Grammy-winner, Sharon Isbin at The Juilliard School. He also studied flamenco guitar performance for a summer with David Martinez at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Granada, Spain.

His debut studio album, Andalusia: Spanish Guitar Music, was released in December, 2017. His sophomore album, Syncopado Americano, will feature obscure Latin guitar music and is set to be released this Fall, 2020. In his spare time, Tye enjoys hot springs, archery, traveling, fishing/hunting, and hiking through Oregon’s old growth rainforests. Contact info@tyeaustin.com for more information.