Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder is a virtuoso on fretted instruments—slide guitar, mandolin, Mexican tiple, banjo, Middle Eastern saz—who crossbreeds his own sense of syncopation with vernacular musics. As a fan/musicologist, he has sought out local styles such as calypso, Hawaiian slack-key guitar, Tex-Mex, gospel, country, vaudeville “coon songs,” and most recently, with the Buena Vista Social Club, prerevolutionary Cuban music. He records with L.A. session players and various “ethnic” musicians in and out of their own contexts.

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Photo by Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images Images

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