Ards International Guitar Festival welcomes International Sensation Jon Gomm

International guitar sensation Jon Gomm is set to headline the Ards International Guitar Festival when it rocks into Newtownards next month from 7 – 10 April.

Based in Leeds, Jon Gomm is an acoustic singer-songwriter with a revolutionary virtuoso guitar style, where he uses one acoustic guitar to create drum sounds, basslines and twisting melodies all at the same time.

Jon wrote his first song at the age of six and was soon accompanying his father to gigs in his hometown of Blackpool. Touring musicians would often stay at the Gomm household on the understanding that Jon would get a guitar lesson – which meant he had one-to-one instruction from such blues legends as BB King and Jack Bruce of Cream.

Nowadays, Jon tours worldwide. In January 2012 his song Passionflower went viral online, with the video passing six million hits, resulting in national TV appearances in the UK, Portugal, Holland, Brazil and Turkey. His debut CD Hypertension has sold over 50,000 copies at the time of writing, and his second CD Don’t Panic sold out within 3 days of appearing on Amazon. His videos are watched tens of thousands of times within minutes of appearing on YouTube.

The festival is delighted to also welcome Carlow-born virtuoso Shane Hennessy back to this year’s line-up. Shane who is supporting Jon Gomm at his Queen’s Hall gig, is known for high energy and variety at his live shows – listeners can expect anything from Bach to Beyoncé! Irish Music Magazine also referred to him as “one of the most exciting live performers of his generation”. Coming from a background in Irish traditional music, Shane has been captivating audiences globally for the past few years, with sell-out solo tours in Europe, Russia, and the United States under his belt, as well as regular appearances at major international music festivals. He has released four albums of original music, with the most recent Rain Dance being hailed as “a triumphant reaffirmation of his virtuosity and compositional excellence” by Irish Music Magazine.

Over the years Shane has collaborated with Tommy Emmanuel, worked with Grammy-winner Bill Whelan (composer of Riverdance), and was named Male Musician of the Year at the 2021 American Listener-Supported Radio Awards.

Jon Gomm and Shane Hennessey will play at The Queen’s Hall, Newtownards on Saturday 9 April. Tickets cost £15 and are on sale now.

For the full programme and bookings visit: