Kotaro Oshio is one of a very few guitarists on the acoustic scene today who is able to cross genres with relative ease. His real focus is within the new age/easy-listening area, but there's a good bit of error in that statement. Oshio has abandoned the traditional nylon strings of the average acoustic player in favor of steel strings with some tapping and open tuning methods. In late 1999, Oshio released his debut album on an independent label in Osaka, never finding much exposure outside of the city. In the spring of 2001, his sophomore effort was released -- with somewhat more success -- leading to contracts with television shows for theme music, and a one-time special television performance. In 2002, Oshio made his debut performance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival to surprising acclaim for a non-blues, non-jazz performer, and was eventually invited to B.B. King's jam session. In the following year, he returned for another solo performance, as well as opening for ZZ Top, cementing his cross-genre abilities. The fall of 2003 saw the release of his first larger label release, Dramatic, on Narada.
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