The votes have been counted and we can now reveal that the three finalists for Guitarist of the Year 2019 - powered by PRS - will be Dylan Reavey, Marco Puglisi and Todd Blackmore.
Since May this year, we've been combing your video entries to identify players we feel are worthy of being crowned guitarist of the year. From the hundreds of initial submissions we created a shortlist of 10 entrants to pass on to our star judges: John Petrucci, Steve Lukather and Tosin Abasi.
Our celebrity judges then picked their favourites, scoring on technicality, originality, musicality and feel. Dylan, Marco and Todd had the highest combined scores, meaning they've made it to the live final at the UK Guitar Show on 22 September.
The winner of the live final will be crowned Guitarist of the Year 2019 – joining the prestigious ranks of prior winners like Guthrie Govan and Dave Kilminster – and take home a stunning PRS Silver Sky John Mayer Signature guitar (RRP £2,395).
Now, in alphabetical order, let us introduce you to this year's finalists...
Australian finalist Dylan Reavey - AKA Seda - dubs his characterful style ‘hyper-videogame-jazz-fusion’ and wowed judges with his original composition King Aura.
“I’m absolutely blown away that I’ve managed to make it this far in the competition,” Dylan tells us. “The fact that I was able to impress some of the biggest names in the game makes me so excited and puts a lot more confidence in my abilities. I have never been to London, so I’m super keen to go and meet the other two guitarists in the final...”
Marco hails from Switzerland and cites John Petrucci’s solo on Pull Me Under as the moment that made him take his playing more seriously. A social worker by day, he spends his spare time composing killer tech-metal guitar instrumentals under the name Syndrone.
“I’m super surprised and excited at the same time,” says Marco. “I have never been in a final like this, but it definitely feels great and it’s a huge honour for me to be part of this. The next step will be preparing myself for it!”
UK guitarist Todd Blackmore’s playing background is rooted in classic rock and blues styles, blending buckets of feel and technical savvy. As such, he says the likes of John Mayer, Andy Timmons, Mateus Asato and Eric Johnson have been key influences.
“It feels surreal!” says Todd, of getting picked for the final. “I never imagined that I would have got into the final when I sent off my video as there are so many amazing players out there. But I’m super honoured that the judges liked my playing and felt that I was worthy.”
Want to watch the live final?
The Guitarist of the Year 2019 final - powered by PRS - will take place on Sunday 22 September at the UK Guitar Show, held at The Business Design Centre, London. Visit the UK Guitar Show website for tickets.