Announcing the 2016 Yamaha Fellowship winner: Brooks Robertson!

Taylor Smith Fellowship Spotlight, News

With generous support from the Yamaha Foundation, the Crown Guitar Workshop is pleased to present Brooks Robertson as the 2016 Yamaha Fellowship winner.  An incredible finger-picking guitarist, he will be attending the Crown Workshop to study and perform on the Festival Stage with Doug Smith and Chris Eldridge through the Acoustic Americana workshop.  Brooks currently studies at Berklee College of Music on a full tuition scholarship via Lee Ritenour’s 2014 Six String Theory Competition.  His prowess on the guitar neck and finger-picking agility allows him to masterfully perform a range of styles from the American canon, to reflective Jazz, and Latin-infused rhythmic guitar.  As a Fellowship winner, Brooks will also be performing around the Flathead Valley during the week leading up to the 2016 Workshop.  We can’t wait!  Learn more about Brooks as an artist, teacher, composer, and performer on his website:

Brooks Robertson Biography (from his website)

Brooks was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1989. Seeing Buster B. Jones perform at a festival near his home town became a life-changing experience for the kid from the sticks. Just eleven years old, he was immediately inclined to pick up the guitar. Soon, the world renowned fingerstyle virtuoso and instructor dedicated his spare time to introducing his new fan into the secrets of the fretboard, and after six months of lessons the natural talent performed his first show with his mentor.

When Buster B. Jones took him under his wings, Brooks began playing high-profile gigs such as the Nokie Edwards Festival, the NAMM Show in Anaheim, the Montreal Jazz Festival or the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield among others. By the time he was a teenager he had become the youngest endorsee of Godin Guitars and traveled to several states and foreign countries to perform. Brooks went on to play on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio classic “A Prairie Home Companion” in 2004, where he won first place in a talent competition for 12 to 20 year old participants.

In recent years, while still appearing regularly at prestigious events like the Sixth Annual Chet Atkins Tribute Concert and Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention in Nashville, Brooks focused on perfecting his craft, soaking up new tunes and styles and techniques as well as blending them into his own groovy and soulful original music. He entered the “Yamaha Six String Theory Guitar Competition“, which drew participants from more than 40 countries all over the world. Brooks was invited to perform in the finals at the Broad Stage in Los Angeles in March 2010. A star-studded jury, including Steve Lukather and Lee Ritenour, eventually chose him as winner of the country category and second place winner overall.

Although he is deeply rooted in the powerful tradition of the genre, founded by the likes of Merle Travis, Jerry Reed, Thom Bresh and Buster B. Jones, Brooks also draws inspiration from the elegant mastery of the legendary Chet Atkins and other phenomenal players. His own compositions and arrangements have even been compared to fingerstyle jazz champions Lenny Breau and Earl Klugh. Now, as energy and maturity come together, this young man is ready to step out of his mentors’ shadows and electrify the world with the sheer acoustic beauty his fingers create, when touching a set of strings.


Fretboard Journal, “Mountains of Illinois”

Adalt-Sudio Germany, “Live @ Five”

Adalt-Sudio Germany, “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

Chet Atkins Tribute Concert with Tommy Emmanuel, “Borsalino”


If you are interested in becoming a donor or sponsor to Scholarship and Fellowship musicians like Brooks, please contact Diane Kautzman at, or call 855-855-5900.