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Lee Oskar legendary band WAR

  • Broadcast in Entertainment



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NWP welcomes Lee Oskar to the show!

Lee Oskar who has been described as "a virtuoso," "the harmonica whiz" "a war hero," "legendary," "musical wizardry," and as "generally regarded to be among the best rock-blues-soul harmonica players." His role as a founding member and former lead harmonica player of the pioneer funk-jazz group WAR won him international renown for over two and a half decades (1969–1993). Oskar's signature solos helped to define the War sound from the band's beginning in 1969, adding dashes of color to its R&B, jazz, rock, and Latin influences. Oskar's position with War was a prominent one from its early days with singer Eric Burdon onward. "My playing has become more aggressive over the years", he says. "In the beginning, my role was playing horn lines. Today, it's evolved to the point where I'm playing a lead instrument. If I'm not doing a solo, I'm playing counterlines—I try to paint within certain spaces in the music to help create the overall picture

In 1983 Oskar formed a company to manufacture high-quality harmonicas. His company, Lee Oskar Harmonica, sells harmonicas suited to many different styles of music, including blues, folk, rock, R&B and country. The harmonicas themselves are manufactured by Tombo. Oskar's harmonica company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008 at the NAMM Show. 

Several modern musicians, such as Mike Tetrault, cited Oskar as an important influence. When Junior Wells died, he was buried with a tray of Lee Oskar harmonicas.

War hits include Low Rider and Cisco Kid