Tony Cox brings acoustic craft to Vail Valley |

Tony Cox brings acoustic craft to Vail Valley

Taylor L. Roozen
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado “-In the 1970s, before he began performing, South African Tony Cox was an acoustic guitar instructor with his own studio.

While he is now an international performer, the award-winning fingerstyle guitarist continues to teach his craft to youngsters who are only exposed to electric guitars, he says.

It is both a service to his students and the acoustic guitar itself, he says, because he inspires the future artists to remain unplugged. He is motivated to instruct by his love of teaching, and his love of the acoustic guitar; it is the only instrument he plays.

His own growth as a guitarist started at age nine with his first instructor, Archie Pereira. Guitarists like Jannie Hofmeyr and Leo Kottke have inspired him along the way.

Fingerstyle is a “polytonal and…highly complex approach to the guitar,” Cox says. The result is music that is warm and violent, aggressive and gentle, hectic and dreamy.

Cox says challenging himself creatively is why he continues to enjoy both playing and composing.

Cox has lived in East Sussex, England since August, 2008, when he moved there from South Africa. He moved so he could perform in Europe and America, which he says “is pretty dismal if your living in South Africa,” because of travel costs.

He describes the music industry as “myopic,” because the radio doesn’t play very much acoustic music. It is more interested in commericalism and Image, he says.

Even while one part of the industry congratulates him with awards, the other stubbornly excludes him altogether. He says he must perform to spread his music, though web sites like Myspace help a lot.

He will be in the states for three weeks, performing shows in California, the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, plus one show in Avon.

Vail Valley musician Justin Allison considers Cox’s performance at such a small venue as Loaded Joe’s, “a rare opportunity.” “Tony is a world class fingerstyle guitarist and an engaging story teller,” Allison says. Cox suggests those who attend his show, “can expect to smile and laugh and allow themselves to be taken on an aural journey that they might not have been on before.”

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