Thomas Zwijsen is best known for his arrangements of famous rock and metal songs for Classical/Spanish guitar. He has the ability to play vocal melodies, guitar licks, chords, baselines and even drum parts at the same time. With these arrangements he has gained
over 17,5 million views on YouTube, and is now rapidly approaching 100.000 subscribers.
Zwijsen studied classical guitar at the Artez conservatoire in Arnhem and Latin/jazz/Brazilian guitar at Codarts in Rotterdam. In combination with his interest in flamenco and metal, this strongly influenced his style of guitar playing.
Thomas’ first solo album Nylon Maiden contains 11 arrangements of Iron Maiden songs. Former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley is featured as a special guest on The Clansman. The album is published worldwide by Yellowdog/Blacklake and by King Records in Asia. Thomas has worked closely with Blaze Bayley; as composer, co-producer and lead guitarist on The King Of Metal album, the Russian Holiday EP and several world tours. Thomas has been featured on all Bayley’s albums ever since, and is currently working on an acoustic album with Blaze.
By popular demand Thomas released a Nylon Maiden tab book, (accompanied instructional videos). Along with the book a video clip for Fear Of The Dark was published which gained almost 4 million views so far. Thomas also started an online guitar school called King Of The Strings. The complete guitar method, specially developed for those who are interested in learning Thomas’ style of guitar playing, is available at www.Kingofthestrings.com
Thomas’ second solo album Nylonized features several famous rock/metal arrangements, as well as original compositions. Among the guest musicians are Kee Marcello (Europe), Derek Sherinian (ex Dream Theater, Billy Idol), David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Damian Wilson (Ayreon) and Blaze Bayley; it was mastered by award winning master engineer Maor Applebaum. Thomas third full length solo album, Nylon Maiden II, was released world-wide on the 7th of November 2014. The release party took place in Dubai (UAE) and was followed by a tour of 66 shows in South America and a European Tour with Thomas’ newly formed ensemble; the Master Guitar Tour.
The Master Guitar Tour (www.MasterGuitarTour.com) is a collaboration of Thomas Zwijsen and American flamenco (and Flametal) guitarist Ben Woods. The guitarists both play a solo set followed by a virtuoso set together, performing acoustic arrangements of songs by Iron Maiden, Metallica, Deep Purple, etc, as wel as original songs. In October 2017 Ben Woods and Thomas Zwijsen released album together followed by an extensive European Tour, in the fourth edition of the Master Guitar Tour. Thomas’ album Divide & Unite contains 11 original compositions. The final song of the album, Unite, is a 9 minute epic featuring guest musicians from all over the world. The video clip for Unite was filmed on 5 continents! (https://youtu.be/g-msFg5XCcY). Shortly after the release of this album, Thomas was asked by Ortega Guitars to compose songs for their new series of guitars called “the Private Room”. This resulted in an EP called The Castle Suite, released on iTunes in January 2016.
In June 2016 Thomas released his new Nylon Maiden double CD, Preserved In Time, which contains 18 Iron Maiden songs on classical guitar. Former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley provides vocals for three of the songs. The album has been very well received by fans so far, and the number of pre-orders exceeded all Thomas’ previous releases.
In April 2017 Thomas had the honour of presenting his Signature Guitar to the public at the Frankfurt Musikmesse. Thomas went to Spain to design this guitar in collaboration with Ortega Guitars. The TZSM (Thomas Zwijsen Signature Model) is limited to 66 guitars, all handmade in Spain.
Highlight of 2017 was Thomas’ performance at the Official WOI Memorial Service in Passchendaele (Belgium). Thomas was asked to arrange the Iron Maiden song “Paschendale” for choir and classical guitar. Together with a 65 people choir they performed the arrangement for an 8000 people audience at the Tyne Cot Cemetery on the 14th of October, commemorating the victims of 100 years of WOI.
To support his releases Thomas has toured extensively in Europe, Asia, The Middle East and South America, playing over 500 concerts and guitar clinics in the past six years. In 2018 Thomas has scheduled concerts in Europe, China, Turkey, and is likely to add South America too.
Thomas Zwijsen is officially endorsed by Ortega Guitars and Aranjuez Strings.