Vin Downes

Artist of the Month | January 2016


I bought a used parlor guitar that had a K&K Pure Mini already installed in it. When I plugged it in, I instantly knew that I had to replace the pickups in all my other guitars with Pure Minis. I am amazed by the rich, warm, crystal clear and natural acoustic sound you can achieve with this system. It is simply the best.

Vin Downes began studying guitar at the age of eleven. His early interests were in electric guitar, but this all changed when he heard the opening notes of David Cullen’s “Along the Way” on a Windham Hill Records guitar sampler. He immediately immersed himself in the fingerstyle music of Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges, David Cullen and Leo Kottke.

Greatly influenced by the music of artists on Windham Hill Records in the late 1980′s, Downes furthered his interest of fingerstyle technique and composition by earning a degree in classical guitar performance and music education from William Paterson University. While at WPU, he studied classical composition and had several of his compositions performed by soloists and ensembles, including the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Helix Ensemble and members of the Composer’s Guild of New Jersey.

Downes has also studied and performed Indian tabla with Ustad Kadar Khan, Celtic Music at the Irish Arts Center of Manhattan, American roots music and has developed a love for jazz and all improvised music.

Vin Downes is a recording artist, solo performer, active freelance guitarist and a public school music teacher in New Jersey, where he currently teaches classical guitar at Bayonne High School. He has recorded and performed with musicians including Will Ackerman, Liz Story and Tony Levin.

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