New video: The best street guitarist you’ve ever heard

New video: The best street guitarist you’ve ever heard


norman lebrecht

January 07, 2014

We don’t know where or when. We don’t eve know the guy’s name. Anyone recognise him?

The video was posted in France last month. Start playing after warm-ups at about 1:00. Be amazed.

 guitarist anon

h/t Mary Finnigan


  • The ‘secret’ of his name is the first thing you see in the YouTube clip: Estas Tonné. He has a website under construction at, and you’ll find him on Facebook, too, where he already has close on 45,000 ‘likes’.

    • Merci, Martin. Someone ought to sign him.

    • Martin says:


      Story from his website:

      As a modern-day Troubadour Estas Tonne’ travels countless places and finds himself in several cultural references without identifying himself with a single nation or country, rather with the cultural richness of the world. His music is therefore a reflection of many approaches. A fusion of classical structure, technique of Flamenco, roots of Gypsy, characteristics of Latin and Electronic Soundscape – a variety of styles flowing into each other almost unnoticed and showing up as surprises in a harmonious structure of sound to which the guitar is producing its wavelength – reaching out differently in each performance, yet always uniquely formed in melody.

      His music is getting shaped by emotional expression and a wide range of audible elements, coming not from various music genres only, but from the access to emotions itself. They weave the sparkle of joy into the music, the tension of challenges, the gentleness of openheartedness, the grace of divine connection and the fire element springing from human’s anger, from doubt or from the passion that life has to offer. Two opposites are the fields from where the music is formed. It is the underlying structure of “I know“ and the additional uniqueness of improvisation with the starting point of “I don’t know“. This particular approach of creating music encompasses both, the foundation and freedom in the same time.

      Estas Tonne’ performs at concerts, conferences, Street, Yoga, Art or other Festivals etc., yet he is involved in collaborations that range from different film projects, poetry, meditation to dance, circus or bubble art. In his recent involvement in the film project “Time of The Sixth Sun“ he is featuring the traveling musician and the Troubadour‘s co-creational meaningful impact in society and in the world.”

  • robcat2075 says:

    The incense stick burning on the head of his guitar is an unusual addition.

  • Alan Penner says:

    Females “Ooo..the renegade artist. He’s so cute!”

    Males: “I need to get that guitar of mine out of the closet.”

    Other guitarists: “He’s just playing the same chord progression over and over with the occasional hair-flip. I don’t get it.”

  • Angelika Legde Jaskolla says:

    In all likelihood the city is Munich, where they have a “Hofpfisterei” and a shoe shop “Lipp”. Yet, even if I am right, that does not lead us to the name of this impressive musician……….

  • Stuart Mathieson says:

    Eat your heart out Alan.

  • paulkelly20 says:

    I agree with Alan. A bit of a one chord wonder. I remember seeing Niebla and Forcione playing Camden Lock (and gigs) back in the 1980s. Similar concept but far superior.

  • archer says:

    what alan said

  • Chas Reskin says:

    I appreciate his passion and effort, and he has good right hand technique, but it’s true he’s basically staying on the same two chords in e minor (easy key) with lots of open strings to help resonate. He should continue studying with a master.

  • Kris Helsen says:

    Amazing indeed

  • Roy Lisker says:

    The finest street guitarist I ever came into contact with is Elliot Gibbons, fully professional classical guitarist who regularly played in the subways of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Every now and then he would set off to Europe with a trunk full of Baroque costumes, and do all the hot spots of Germany, Italy and France. I haven’t seen him around for years. Apparently life on the concert stage didn’t agree with him, or, perhaps, that’s where he is now. Boston has more than one such person.

    • Al Lawrence says:

      Roy–I agree.

      Elliot was my best friend our first year of college at Missouri U. in 1966. He used to play everything from Leadbelly to Bach in our dorm, Donnelly Hall. The VN war separated us, but quite by chance I found him playing at the Harvard Square metro station in 1990. He then played at my wedding but disappeared again. I miss him terribly and found this message by googling his name.

  • James Louder says:

    I agree with Chas. Reskin. Speaking as an erstwhile classical guitarist (without a tenth of this young man’s talent), I can see he is taking the easy way out, with a simple harmonic structure and a style of playing that derives essentially from flamenco, with a lot of crossover elements. This is not to gainsay his obvious passion and musicality. He has a lot of rhythmic imagination, and the authenticity of his musical gift is beyond dispute. But as Chas says, I too hope that he will find a master to work with who will show him how to mold his marvelous talent into the form of greatness.

  • Dominic Stafford Uglow says:

    Really? He’s not playing anything terribly advanced here. It sounds very impressive because of the sheer weight of notes; but the guitar is a notoriously easy instrument to play fast on and hide all your defects. It’s much harder to do something like this:

  • Incredibly good!

    Reminds me of Lindsey Buckingham at his best, but more classical.

  • Well, it is funny cause is on the street. So I think he really worths while you are walking. But I find more interesting this four hands guitarrists:

    Don’t you think so?

  • Dario says:

    i agree with Alan and Dominique, a good guitarist, but if you know Tuck Andress, Tommy Emmanuel (Jeff Beck yes) or a bassist like Victor Wooten ( ) etc etc you won’t stop ti listen to him

  • m2n2k says:

    For a street musician, this man is certainly good and his right hand work is quite impressive. But his left hand is very ordinary which is why he uses open strings so much and is limited to not more than 3 or 4 simple harmonies. His name should never be mentioned in the same sentence with those of true masters such as Tommy Emmanuel: check out, for example,

    as well as dozens of his other videos available on YouTube.