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Motoshi Kosako made the move from jazz guitarist to jazz harpist. - something

Motoshi Kosako at Paschal Winery

Jazz harpist Motoshi Kosako played acoustic and electric guitar for professional bands in his homeland of Japan before he moved to the United States in 1997 and picked up the classical harp.

With a few lessons from Dominique Piana of Holy Names University in Oakland, Calif., Kosako began performing as a soloist and as an accompanist for various artists and writing music. In 2002 and 2003, he recorded his first two solo albums, "Celestial Harp I" and "Celestial Harp II."

Today he lives near Sacramento, Calif., and is the principle harpist and a featured soloist for the Stockton Symphony.

A couple of years ago, Kosako began to explore playing jazz on the harp, studying what music would translate into the genre on what was considered a classical instrument.

He released his jazz harp album, "Naked Wonder," and Sacramento Magazine picked Kosako as Best Jazz Artist in 2007, saying that "Motoshi plays with a fluid, modern style that evokes Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea." Kosako also took second place at the 2007 International Jazz Harp Competition.

Kosako continues to focus on composing and performing jazz and is in the process of recording a second album that will feature electric harp.

Kosako's performance at Paschal Winery launches the Siskiyou Institute's New Artist series, an expansion of the institute's concerts and workshops held at the Old Siskiyou Barn in Ashland. The new series will present concerts monthly at the winery and provide opportunities to hear new performers who are touring the Northwest plus regional artists.

The New Artist program replaces the Rogue Jazz Exchange.

Seating for the concerts is limited. Call 488-3839 or e-mail info@siskiyouinstitute.com for reservations.

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