Multiple award-winning acoustic guitarist Tony Cox is described as one of South Africa's musical treasures. Cox combines great compositional talent with a powerful and brilliant performance.


Born in Zimbabwe and residing in the U.K. multiple award-winning acoustic guitarist Tony Cox has become a veritable icon of the instrument in his own country. For a number of years now the guitarist has been working his particular six-string magic further a-field. As of late, he has undertaken regular forays into Europe and Canada and has seen a loyal fan-base begin to develop in the UK, Germany and Canada.

When he was just nine years old Tony Cox began, incredibly, learning and playing the Hawaiian guitar in what was then Rhodesia. This was brought about by one Archie Pereira arriving from Lisbon and for reasons unknown decided to settle in the backwater of Kwe-Kwe, a town 20 miles away from Cox’s mining-town birthplace, Redcliff.

In his teens and after Archie disappeared back to Lisbon, Cox changed to a conventional guitar style and later studied the classical guitar for an intensive 2-year period. In 1969 the family left Rhodesia to settle in Cape Town South Africa and it is here the young guitarist really started to absorb and assimilate the multi-textured rhythms and facets of the rich, indigenous music of his upbringing and surroundings.

He began to compose his own music early and immediately charged it with the African imagery that is very much a part of this unique guitar player’s world perspective. Using all the finger-style techniques he had absorbed over the years from such greats as Leo Kottke and Bert Jansch, Cox honed and developed a style all his own. With the rigorous precision of classical technique juxtaposing the loose, laid-backed delivery of a master at work, Cox’s music tumbles out at you, hitting your tapping feet with its solid groove and taking your heart and mind on harmonic journeys they have not been on before. Tony Cox on-stage is as warm and engaging with his audience as he is off-stage. Telling stories and anecdotes, he draws a person in and you find yourself listening really closely to a tune you may never have heard before and then being punched in the solar-plexus at the power and delivery of that tune.

Besides being a solo performer Cox has collaborated and recorded with many other musicians to produce three award-winning albums and a string of nominations. ‘China’ (UK/SA slang for friend) is just such an album. He recorded it in 2002 featuring many of the cream of SA musicians and is a great example of Cox’s ability to work beyond the confines of solo guitar playing. The album won the ‘best instrumental’ category at the 2003 SAMA awards. He has very recently received his 7th nomination for the 2008 SAMA awards for his new release, ‘Blue Anthem’ and at the event last year, walked away with his third SAMA.

In late September 2007 Cox performed at the ‘Open Strings International Guitar Festival’ in Osnabrueck, Germany up alongside the finest guitar players in the world. Shortly after, he completed a 16-theatre tour of Canada and the USA, where he performs annually. He now resides in the UK and tours the world performing as a solo guitarist.


'Watching the South African guitarist perform at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival last summer was a truly dazzling experience' - Stephen Cooke, The Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia, canada - 2009

'In a year of many outstanding performances at the Evergreen Theatre, this concert by Tony Cox has to be one of the highlights' - Steve Kennard, Evergreen Theatre, Margaretsville, Nova Scotia, Canada - Nov 2007

'Lewes Guitar Festival has been delighted to invite guitar maestro Tony Cox to perform twice at our festival over the last few years - he's simply an entrancing performer who has that special knack of engaging all his audience while at the same time delivering a highly skilled and entertaining show. Highly recommended...' Laurence Hill, Festival Director, Lewes, UK - 2006

‘On behalf of the Cornwall Folk Festival organizing committee I would like say a big thank you for contributing towards the success of our festival with your excellent performances. Your guitar playing is unique and was the hit of the festival’ Alan Collins, Festival Committee, Cornwall, UK - 2006

‘Tony conjured up varying moods and layers of emotion and swept the audience along from American Blue Grass to the camp grounds of Shongweni, to the turbulence of life on Zimbabwe’s farms’ The Highway Mail – 2007

‘Put a party together and go have your mind blown to bits (and reconstructed) by a musician who is well on his way to becoming a living legend’ Daily News – 2007

‘Tony Cox is something of a phenomenon in the world of guitar music’ The Mercury - 2006

‘Be prepared to be wooed by Tony Cox’s musicianship and blown away by the sheer mastery of his playing’ Durban D’arts - 2005



1983 - 101 Ways To Use An Acoustic Guitar – Mountain Records (with Steve newman)

1991 - In-To-Nation – Shifty Records

1996 - Cool Friction – Sheer Sound (Nominated best instrumental album S.A. music awards)

1998 - Looking for Zim – Sheer Sound

2000 - Matabele Ants – Sheer Sound (winner best instrumental S.A. music awards)

2000 - Aquarian Quartet Live – Digital Cupboard

2001 - About Time – Instinct Africaine (with Steve Newman, nominated best instrumental album
S.A. music awards)

2002 - China – Instinct Africaine (winner best instrumental S.A. music awards)

2002 - Night Light – Vox Terrae

2003 - The World in a Guitar – Plum Productions – DVD/CD

2005 - The Best of Tony Cox – Sheer Sound

2005 – Tony Cox in concert at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival – Sheer
Sound – DVD/CD

2007 - Blue Anthem - Instinct Africaine (winner best instrumental S.A. music awards)

2008 - Audient

Set List

Tony performs original instrumental guitar music sprinkled with 1 or 2 covers.
2 x 45min sets or 1 x 60min set.

Tony solo – 2 sets


Bluegrass Safari



Midnight Sweeper


Southern Hymn

Major Minah



Dollar’s F

Christy Boy


Baby Elephant Walk



You Asked For It


Smudge’s Boogie


New Life Train


Tip of the Continent



Looking for Zim


Wind In The Pines

Lekker Gerook


One 7 nothing 4

A Warm Day in Maputo