Danish born harmonica player, Lee Oskar, is a world renowned, highly acclaimed harmonica composer, artist, producer, enthusiast, and manufacturer of the Lee Oskar harmonicas. This incredibly popular musician shares his music worldwide for dedicated fans and fellow harp lovers. Oskar has seen much success over the course of his career and worked to play the harmonica to impact change and inspire a new generation of musicians to rise up and express themselves through their music.
Throughout his life, Lee Oskar was dedicated to not only his love for music, but sharing that passion with the world and everyone he met. He worked to spread this love for the harmonica around the world, and eventually took his passion to new heights when he started the ever so famous, Lee Oskar Harmonica business. His goal was to create an incredibly solid, versatile, yet simple harmonica for any type of player, releasing new models to fit the needs of the musician.
While living a rich career as an international harmonica virtuoso, playing for all kinds of fans all over the world, Oskar still expresses that he is blown away by the opportunities he has been privileged with and has even described it as ‘a dream come true’.
The Start To His Career
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1948, the young Lee Oskar was gifted his first harmonica from a family friend when he was only six years old. He grew up listening to the Danish radio, and credits a lot of his inspiration to Ray Charles, who was a big influence for him during that time period. Only eleven years later at the young age of seventeen, Oskar decided that if he wanted to make a career for himself as a harmonica player, then he needed to move to the United States – a booming frontier for harmonica players.
When he was eighteen, he finally made the move to the United States, and established a new life for himself in New York City. With not a dollar to his name, the young musician eagerly played the New York streets to rack in an income. He eventually made his way to the opposite coast to Los Angeles, California where he joined forces with Eric Burdon. Together, the aspiring harmonica player, and the blues-rock singer made their rounds through the local L.A. clubs and eventually paired up with another key member of their newly formed group, Charles Miller.
Charles was an incredible saxophone player, and at the time, the group felt it would be beneficial to add Charles into the group to create a horn section. Together, the group formed WAR. The trio proved an unstoppable force with incredible chemistry. They allowed Oskar to really show his stuff, by giving him room to flex his improvisational muscles, and really put his full talent on display. Oskar continued with the group for 24 years before eventually going solo on his own.
During his time with the group WAR, Oskar released many popular hits with the group. Lee and his band mates produced and recorded hits like “Cisco Kid”, “Low Rider”, and “Spill the Wine” and many other songs that quickly gave them global recognition for over three decades. In fact, Oskar and his band mates still tour around the world today, spreading their funky jazz music for the world. Now, after much push back on their original band name WAR, they tour under their new name, the LowRider Band.
Aside from the extremely popular Low Rider, the band also produced the extremely popular, “Spill The Wine”.
Lee Oskar Harmonicas
In 1983, Lee Oskar took his dream to new heights when he decided to start his own harmonica company, Lee Oskar Harmonicas. He built out the company with the goal in mind to create a solid instrument made for any type of harmonica player. Suited for Blues, Folk, Rock, R&B, Country, and more, Lee Oskar harmonicas are designed to suit any player at any level with a reliable harmonica. In addition to that, Lee Oskar Harmonicas were the first harmonicas to also produce replacement parts for any of their harmonicas.
Typically with harmonicas, if a reed cracked or a cover plate broke, it was time to throw in the towel and buy a new harmonica. However, Lee Oskar looked to solve this problem by creating replacement parts for every single part on his harmonicas. Musicians now had the option of extending the lifespan of their instruments even if they started to break down from the normal wear and tear of playing.
Lee Oskar produces many solid instruments used and adored by many different types of harmonica players. Their best selling harmonica is the silver Lee Oskar Major Diatonic Harmonica.
This beautifully crafted harmonica is complete with silver cover plates, is easy to play and comes with a bright, snappy, responsive reed setup. Its airtight design, replaceable reeds, affordability and timeless overall look make it a desirable instrument for all harmonica players.
Lee Oskar has spent majority of his life doing what he loves most, jamming on the harmonica. Throughout his career he has had the privilege of meeting and playing alongside some incredible musicians, and has racked in quite the fan base himself. His love for his music and passion for the mouth harp comes out on stage, and in every note he blows. He still tours today with his old WAR band mates, and will continue to spread his love for music and good vibes for as long as he is able to.