ESCONDIDO — He’s an international musical sensation and for his first touring pit stop in the U.S., Estas Tonne will perform at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido on Nov. 1.
Tonne’s story is a unique one, having transitioned from a life of living on the street and abusing drugs, to the life of a musical street performer and then eventually to international fame as a guitarist. Tonne, 43, grew up in Ukraine and Israel, with a birth name of Stanislav Tonne. A symbol of his global fame, Tonne has 225,704 subscribers on YouTube and over 280,000 “likes” on Facebook.
“As this is Estas Tonne’s first U.S. tour we have quite a few people who haven’t heard about him, even though his shows in U.K., France, Italy, Norway, Russia are at full capacity,” explained Damon Melnik, who does communications and marketing for Voice Art Group, an organization which has organized Tonne’s U.S. sojourn. “But when they hear his music for the first time, they are in love. There is something very special in his music: he tells story with his guitar. He is called a modern Troubadour and his music is a deep reflection of a classical structure, flamenco, gypsy, Latin and electronic soundscapes.”
In an interview with The Coast News, Tonne said he is hesitant to label his music under the banner of any particular genre, while also speaking about what he believes concerts represent for humanity.
“Distortions in our world occur in all areas: both in music and in any other areas that marketing gurus use for commercial purposes,” Tonne said. “And, perhaps, that is why more and more people are striving to touch something alive, sincere, not sprinkled with sparkles and not decorated with cheap paints. And the matter is not at all in me or any other artist, but in that atmosphere of unity of hearts outside of race, social status and age, which we all feel at such concerts.”
In his career as a performing artist, Tonne has lived throughout the world, something he said he believes has helped his artistic output and outlook.
“It was difficult for me to leave my family in Israel, but at that moment I had to make a ‘jump’ and go to America,” he said. “It was difficult for me to leave New York and the group that was already working with at that time, but I had to do just that because I felt that life was calling me to it. It was hard to leave Los Angeles and the grains of creativity already sown there in order to leave for Mexico, having plunged into the sea of life that was completely unknown to me before and so on and so on. It is very important for all of us, once placed on a comfortable sofa, do not forget to leave the door open for life, be ready for changes and follow them.”
As a former resident of the Los Angeles area, Southern California sits as a place he recalls with fond memories, Tonne said.
“I’m looking forward to perform in Escondido and San Diego,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in California and it is a special place for me and always will be in my heart. Also, I start my U.S. tour with these two cities and it’s very important for me and my team to feel the energy of the audience. I’m so anxious to share my music and my joy with them.”
The Escondido show will the first of two for Tonne in San Diego County, with a Nov. 2 performance scheduled to take place at Balboa Theater in San Diego. He will then move on to cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Houston, San Antonio and beyond.
Tonne’s music can also be found digitally on platforms such as YouTube, Spotify and iTunes.
Steve Horn is a San Diego, CA-based reporter covering Escondido and San Marcos. He works in a full-time capacity for The Real News Network, an online broadcast news ouetlet, covering climate change. He has worked as a staff investigative reporter for the publications Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News and as an investigative reporter for the climate news website DeSmog.com.
A native of Wisconsin and graduate of University of Wisconsin, Steve is a competitive distance runner, with a personal best time in the marathon of 2:43:04 and nine marathons under his belt. He also has served on the film screening committee for the San Diego International Film Festival.