Jim West

by David Bandrowski

Best known for his work with the "Weird Al" Yankovic Band, guitarist Jim West is also a composer of TV and film and has produced a number of CDs for independent artists. The Toronto, Canada, born West grew up in Tampa, FL, and started playing the guitar at age 12. He currently divides his time between Los Angeles and Hawaii and has released 4 slack-key guitar albums. Jim was first exposed to slack-key (also known in the islands as ki ho 'alu) in 1985 while on hiatus from a "Weird Al" tour. Jim "Kimo" West now brings his own musical heritage to his original slack key instrumentals. His style has been described as "nahenahe", meaning "soft, sweet or gentle voice", a fusion of old and new but still rooted deeply in tradition. A virtuosic player and prolific composer, his delicate, heartfelt playing technique and his generous output of new, exciting slack key guitar originals puts him solidly in a category of his own.

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