Michael Fix (QLD)
Put a guitar into Michael Fix's hands and the emotional possibilities of music are suddenly released. This remarkable composer and musician has the power to create myriad sensory experiences through his music - it captures and conveys emotions, experiences and images with ease.
Over the past 30 years, he's released twenty albums, together with several singles, EPs, and books, and has established himself as one of Australia's finest guitarists and composers, regularly performing in Australia, Europe, UK, and Asia.
Michael began performing in his home town of Wollongong at the age of 12, and in his early twenties moved to Sydney, where he was discovered by the legendary Tommy Emmanuel, who became a mentor to the young guitarist.
Michael's credentials include acclaimed Sydney band Hat Trick, which he joined in 1985. Hat Trick specialised in eclectic versions of classical and folk pieces. 1991-95 saw Michael working with award-winning singer/songwriter Graeme Connors, touring Australia several times as lead guitarist with Connors' Prodigal Sons band.
In 1991, Michael also found time to produce his debut solo album Tantalise, and to build up a strong and rapidly growing following for his work with a succession of solo shows.
In 1999, Michael was recognised by the CMAA with his first Instrumental of the Year Golden Guitar, for the catchy Mr Wonglepong. He went on to win the award the following year with Walkin' the Walk, and took it out again in 2003 with Mulga Dan.
He's also toured with artists as diverse as Albert Lee, Christine Anu and Anne Murray, as well as appearing with the world's greatest guitarists - including Leo Kottke, Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor - at festivals throughout the world.
On Australia Day 1997, Michael opened the Gift to a Nation concert, performing Classical Gas with Tommy Tycho's orchestra. This event was filmed before 150,000 people and telecast live across the nation on the Seven Network.
Michael regularly presents guitar workshops to aspiring guitarists captivated by both his expertise on the guitar and his original music. Michael believes strongly that his music is a gift which should be shared.
Over the years, he has taken the chance to use his music to assist others. In 1995, he penned Bush Bash to raise funds for the Variety Club of Australia. The song was used as part of the Variety Club's annual car rally. In 2002, following the death of legendary country guitarist Barry Thornton, Michael recorded Remembering Barry Thornton, a fundraising EP to assist Barry's family. He also penned a single in memory of Barry, Mulga Dan.
The song went on to win Michael his third Instrumental of the Year Golden Guitar, as well as taking out the 2003 Victorian Country Music Award in the Instrumental category.
Recognition of Michael's extraordinary talents on the guitar has led to major ongoing sponsorship deals with Maton Guitars (Australia), D'Addario Strings (USA), AER amplification (Germany), Arobas Guitar Pro software (France), and Shubb (USA). In 2004, Michael received the first Michael Fix signature model Maton guitar, an honour bestowed on only a handful of players worldwide. In 2013, readers of Guitarist Australia Magazine voted Michael as one of "top 25 Australian guitarists of all time"