Joe Bonamassa names Matt Hines winner of Guitar Center's Blues Masters

Chicago native Matt Hines was chosen by Joe Bonamassa last Saturday night as the winner of Guitar Center's Blues Masters competition.
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Guitar Center is excited to announce Matt Hines from Chicago, IL as the winner of Guitar Center’s Blues Masters. The road to spotlighting budding blues based guitarists began when hundreds of aspiring musicians nationwide submitted their best covers of Joe Bonamassa tracks in the hopes of impressing the blues rock legend. After months of deliberation, ten talented finalists were chosen to perform live with Bonamassa’s band at historic Los Angeles blues joint The Mint, battling it out for the title of Blues Master.

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During the Blues Masters grand finals event, Bonamassa joined each of the finalists onstage, lending his talents on the rhythm guitar. The night capped off with Bonamassa taking center stage, wowing the crowd with a dynamic performance and announcing Hines as the winner of Guitar Center’s Blues Masters.

“It was an amazing experience playing with one of my blues idols; this is the greatest honor of my musical career,” said Matt Hines. “Joe is one of the best guitarists of our time and his performances are truly inspiring. I am humbled and excited to continue my passion for guitar and share it with music lovers around the nation.”

As Guitar Center’s Blues Masters winner, Hines will receive:

• Opening performance at Joe Bonamassa’s Los Angeles headlining December show
• $10,000 cash
• Gear from top music manufactures including Gibson, Ernie Ball, Marshall Amplification and Dunlop
• An EP produced by Joe Bonamassa and Kevin Shirley
• A career consultation and mentor session with Joe Bonamassa
• Feature in Guitar Player magazine

Watch Hines’ winning performance live at the Blues Masters Grand Finals here:

“We couldn’t be happier to have partnered with Joe Bonamassa to unmask the wealth of talent that exists in the blues community,” said Maria Brown, Manager of Music and Entertainment Marketing for Guitar Center. “The passionate performances and collaboration between the finalists and Bonamassa made for a true celebration of blues music while creating once in a lifetime opportunities for these guitar players to share the stage with a mentor like Joe. There are great things to come from Matt Hines as he heads into the studio and is introduced to Joe’s fans at his upcoming Los Angeles show.”

As a graduate of Southern Illinois University’s classical guitar program and a guitarist of over 17 years, Matt Hines’ studies have included many styles of music including: blues, jazz, fusion, classical, rock, reggae, and country. In more recent years, Hines has put in time on the road, touring the country with reggae/rock band JoBu. Hines also lends his talents to various Chicago based musical acts including 3 In Counting, Sami Grisafe, MER, 1 Louder, and Mike Hayes. However, Hines’ heart and soul lies with Chicago-based rock group The Truss. The band just released their debut EP, featuring Hines on lead guitar, and performs at venues including The House Of Blues, The Metro, and The Double Door. For more information on The Truss, visit

Find out more about the Blues Masters program here.