Jim "Kimo" West
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In addition to serving as the lead guitarist of "Weird Al" Yankovic's band since 1983, Canadian musician Jim West is a Grammy-winning solo artist specializing in slack-key guitar instrumentals. Born in Toronto, Ontario, on December 18, 1953, he began playing guitar at 12 years old, then moved to Florida during his late-teens to work as a professional sideman. After moving to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, he began performing with "Weird Al" Yankovic, initially joining the comedy-pop musician for his 1983 tour. He then joined Yankovic for the recording of the 1984 album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D and appeared on all subsequent releases, including the platinum-selling records Even Worse (1988), Off The Deep End (1992), and Bad Hair Day (1996). A part-time resident of Hawaii, Jim West began releasing Hawaiian-themed solo records in the late-1990s, using the opportunity to showcase his versatility as a slack-key fingerstyle guitarist. 1999's Coconut and 2004's Nurturing the Garden introduced this sound, while albums like 2006's The Hawaiian Tribute To Sublime and 2007's Hotel Honolulu - The Hawaiian Tribute to the Eagles found Jim West reimagining the hits of other artists. Althugh never as commercially successful as his work with "Weird Al" Yankovic, Jim West's solo material was met with critical acclaim, with 2018's Moku Maluhia: Peaceful Island earning a Grammy nomination for Best New Age Album and 2020's More Guitar Stories winning a Grammy Award in the same category.
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