Vin Downes began studying guitar at the age of eleven. His early interests were in electric guitar, but this all changed when he heard the opening notes of David Cullen’s “Along the Way” on a Windham Hill Records guitar sampler. He immediately immersed himself in the fingerstyle music of Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges, Alex deGrassi, and David Cullen.
Greatly influenced by the music of artists on Windham Hill Records in the late 1980's, Downes furthered his interest of fingerstyle guitar technique and music composition by earning a degree in classical performance/music education from William Paterson University in New Jersey.
After college, he studied guitar with NJ guitarist, John Sheehan. Sheehan introduced Downes to roots music through the stylings of guitarists John Fahey, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, Reverend Gary Davis, Davey Graham, John Renbourn, and Bert Jansch.
Downes combined his classical training with the influence of these folk/roots musicians, and began searching for his own voice as a composer and guitarist.
Vin Downes has released five studio albums, three of which were produced by Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer, Will Ackerman and award winning engineer/producer, Tom Eaton.
He performs nationally as a soloist and as Will Ackerman's touring partner. Downes is also a member of the group Four Guitars, alongside Will Ackerman, Trevor Gordon Hall, and Todd Mosby.
He has written, recorded, and performed music with Will Ackerman, Trevor Gordon Hall, Todd Mosby, Michael Gulezian, David Crosby, Tom Eaton, Eugene Friesen, David Watson, Kenny Withrow, Tony Levin, Michael Manring and Mai Leisz.
Vin Downes is a public school music teacher in New Jersey, where he currently teaches an award winning classical guitar program at Bayonne High School.