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About Ozzie Kotani

In addition to being one of Hawaii's most renowned players of the ki ho`alu (a slack key guitar instrument), Ozzie Kotani is also a teacher, arranger, and composer. Born in 1956, Kotani was raised in Pauoa, a neighborhood of Honolulu, and discovered music when he picked up the ukulele while still in elementary school. It was during high school that Kotani's musical interest turned to the ki ho`alu, after he heard slack key guitar master Keola Beamer on the radio. During 1975, he began to seriously study the instrument at the University of Hawaii Continuing Education Program, and soonafter began studying with renowned player/teacher Sonny Chillingworth (Kotani eventually taught the instrument at the same school in 1986). In 1988, Kotani issued his all-instrumental debut album, Classical Slack, which mixed originals with Hawaiian standards, but it wasn't until 1995 that Kotani issued his sophomore effort, Kani Ki Ho Alu (which translated means "The Sound of Slack Key"), and began working on putting together an instructional book/cassette tape. Subsequently, Kotani has appeared on several compilation releases in the late '90s, including Ki Ho Alu Christmas, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters, Vol. 2, and Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas. ~ Greg Prato

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