Dan Bankhurst Spotlight 2

"Travis Train" from his CD Tradition Pickin'
TGS Spotlight Player from July 17, 2015

Dan Bankhurst Spotlight

"Moondance" from his CD At First Sight
TGS Spotlight Player from October 24, 2013

I was eleven years old when I took my fatherís old ES-335 out of the closet and started to play for the first time. Inspired by my older brother, an accomplished electric guitarist in his own right, and by my father, I quickly became enamored with the guitar and have since dedicated myself to becoming the best player I can be. In September I won the 2013 International Home of the Legends Thumbpicking Competition at the Merle Travis Center in Powderly, Kentucky.

My earliest influences were mostly rooted in blues, so I initially set out as an electric guitarist playing in the styles of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, and Jimi Hendrix. As a teenager I began to branch out into jazz, and acknowledge George Benson, Joe Pass, and Django Reinhardt as major influences to this day.

It was about two years ago that I heard Chet Atkins play for the first time and I was immediately hooked! I immersed myself in learning as much as I possibly could about Chetís amazing technique, phrasing, and beautiful arrangements, which then led me to discover the great Tommy Emmanuel. One of the highlights of my career has been playing with Tommy, and I've also had the pleasure of sitting in with renowned jazz guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinnie Raniolo. Other influences of mine are John Knowles, an exceptional guitarist that received the honorary Certified Guitar Player (CGP) award from Chet, and the modern master Pete Huttlinger.

I've also gone back to study some of the original masters of the style such as the incomparable Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. I continue to be inspired by their playing and am working on creating my own exciting style blending traditional fingerstyle guitar with a more contemporary approach.

I am very busy these days with a regular playing schedule around the Cleveland, Ohio area and teach private students in my home studio or by Skype. I can also be heard playing guitar, mandolin, ukelele, and banjo with The Speedbumps, an eclectic contemporary acoustic ensemble out of Kent, Ohio. In my spare time, I like to hang out with my dog Jazz and stay healthy by working out regularly. I am also working on my first CD which is planned for release in October.


"I recently met young guitarist Dan Bankhurst, where he opened with his solo acoustic guitar set at a recent concert I did with my band the Glass Harp in Kent Ohio. Before the concert we shared our guitar influences, music ideas, styles and pieces we had composed or learned.

Dan is a very gifted guitarist and has a true musical mind and heart. The audience loved his set and I was equally impressed with his performance! I see an ever promising future for Dan as he is top notch in his field of guitar playing."   - Guitarist Phil Keaggy

"Just finished up a CD I recorded and produced for Dan Bankhurst (At First Sight). And let me tell you Dan is the one to watch! He is an amazing young guitarist. Such depth and soul in his playing. Good job Dan!"
- Guitarist Pete Huttlinger

Visit Dan Bankhurst's website at

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