Thursday, Jun 2, 2016
Bellevue Jazz and Blues Festival – Lee Oskar & Special Guests
Lee Oskar – Harmonica
Tim Lerch – Guitar
Brian Monroney – Guitar
Dwight Beckmyer – Keys
Andrew Cloutier – Drums
Denali Williams – Percussion
Keith Lowe – Bass
Brian Kent – Saxophone
A Man and His Instrument: Dedicated to Excellence. There’s no one in the music world quite like Lee Oskar.
As a harmonica virtuoso, composer, producer, performer, visual artist, harmonica manufacturer and ever-evolving
musical explorer, Lee is truly a creative visionary known and loved all over the world for his unique artistic
contributions to the world. Lee is thrilled to share his signature music with loyal fans around the world, featuring new arrangements, innovative compositions and well-loved hit material, performed along with outstanding musicians selected from the Pacific Northwest. Known as Lee Oskar & Friends, his talented new band incorporates guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, percussions, and saxophone to accompany his harmonica play. His iconic role as a founding member and lead harmonica player for the pioneer funk/jazz band that composed and recorded such hits as “Low Rider”, “Spill the Wine”, “Why Can’t We Be Friends”, “Cisco Kid”, “The World is a Ghetto” and many more, won him international renown for over three decades (1969-1993). Lee Oskar and his original band mates continue today as the LowRider Band. Oskar’s position with the band was a prominent one from their early days with singer Eric Burdon and beyond. His signature harp solos helped to define the momentous sound from the band’s beginning in 1969, adding dashes of color to their R&B/Jazz/Rock and Latin influences. Audiences marvel at Oskar’s improvisational wizardry, as well as his animated stage presence. In the words of Seattle Times critic Misha Berson, “The harmonica man can really blow, but he can croon, too.” In addition to playing melodies, Oskar says he loves playing horn lines and counter lines, “My harmonica playing has evolved creatively over the years. It’s important for me to create space, not fill in space, within the music. “The eclectic, multicultural nature of the band’s music is also evident in Oskar’s solo projects. Three stellar albums released between 1976 and 1981 (and recently rereleased on CD, including self-titled Lee Oskar, Before the Rain and My Road, Our Road) brought critical and popular acclaim including being voted No. 1 Instrumental Artist of the Year for 1976 in three major industry mags: Billboard, Cashbox and Record World. The albums, like Oskar’s electrifying live performances, show the diverse influences that make up this hard-to-categorize musical giant. A renowned composer, Oskar’s compositions have been featured on movie sound tracks and television commercials around the world. He has also been the recipient of many Gold and Platinum recordings and honored with special ASCAP Writing Awards. In addition to composing, recording and performing, Oskar runs his successful harmonica company, Lee Oskar Harmonicas, which was introduced in collaboration with Tombo Mfg. of Japan in 1983. Today, Lee Oskar Harmonicas have become a household name with sales that are well-established and growing at a phenomenal rate worldwide.
Oskar is dedicated to spreading the love of harmonica play to instrumentalists of all kinds, styles and levels as well as singer-songwriters. To this end, he has created an easy- to-follow QuickGuide educational system to help musicians readily incorporate the harmonica into their music for elevated variety and artistry.
Oskar continues in his passion for composing and playing music and looks forward to sharing many new projects that are currently in the works. As a longtime believer that “painting is like composing music, it comes from the same place,” Oskar is also an acclaimed visual artist whose stunning and dramatic works capture the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest through boldly contrasting elements set against vividly colored tonal background.iCal Import + Google Calendar