Specialising in country guitar, Andy Saphir has been gigging and teaching as a professional guitarist for over 20 years.Having graduated from The Guitar Institute with a distinction in 1995, he has studied further with renowned guitarist and educator, Lee Hodgson, who in his book, 'Hot Country', describes Andy as being one in a group of "fine British country guitar players".
A pro player of all popular styles (Country, Blues, Rock, Pop, Funk, Jazz), Andy has established himself as one of the UK country music scene's top players and enjoyed a busy touring schedule for many years on that circuit, gaining huge experience in many different live situations from small club gigs to festivals and theatres, both in the UK and Europe, having backed USA singer, Michael Twitty (son of country legend, Conway), and toured with USA fiddle player/ singer John Permenter (Clint Black).
Andy has also played guitar on studio albums by various artists including X Factor finalist and '2 Shoes' singer, Charley Bird, renowned Irish band, Celtic Thunder's George Donaldson and Ryan Kelly (who's 2013 album, 'Life', on which Andy played the guitar parts, debuted at #1 on iTunes USA, Canada, and Australia world music chart, and number 2 on the Billboard world music chart).
As well as teaching privately in Cambridgeshire, UK, Andy has been a member of the guitar faculty at top London music college, ICMP ('The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance', originally 'The Guitar Institute') for many years, where he teaches guitar across a range of courses such as Higher National Diploma (HND), BTec Music Performance, BA (Bachelor of Arts), and BMus (Bachelor Of Music), teaching a variety of different subjects including live performance, guitar styles, techniques, and music theory.
Originally contributing to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques magazines as far back as the late '90's featuring his transcriptions and recordings of solos by master guitarists, Jerry Donahue and Brent Mason, Andy is now a firmly established contributor to top guitar tuition publication, Guitar Techniques. His columns have focused on country guitar in the three series, 'Hot Country Guitarists', 'Country Guitar Techniques', and 'Modern Country', explored a range of different styles in the series, 'Session Styles', and concentrated on fundamentals in the series, 'Chops Shop'. He has also regularly contributed to Total Guitar magazine, for whom he has also interviewed the legendary Stanley Jordan.
Currently, Andy is enjoying an international performing career and is touring regularly with theatre shows, 'A Vision Of Elvis' (premier Elvis Presley tribute show', 'The Blues Brothers Approved' (the official Ackroyd/Belushi licensed Blues Brothers stage show), 'Voice of The Heart, Karen Carpenter' (a 'Carpenters' tribute show), 'Forever in Blue Jeans' (a fast paced rock n roll/country 'hits through the years' show), and top Eagles tribute band, 'Desperado', as well as sometimes playing in a couple of function bands and doing some occasional country gigs when he can!