Ry Cooder is a world-famous guitarist, singer, and composer. A four-time Grammy winner known for his virtuosic slide guitar work, Cooder’s music spans an eclectic range of musical styles including country, folk, calypso, rock & roll, blues, reggae, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. Cooder played in Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band and has accompanied Gordon Lightfoot, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, among many others. A pioneer in resurrecting world music traditions even before the concept was familiar to many, Cooder has brought attention and acclaim to far-flung cultures through his collaborations with artists from every corner of the world, including the Cuban musicians of Buena Vista Social Club, Africa’s Ali Farka Toure, and India’s V.M. Bhatt. With Los Angeles Stories, the artist’s first published collection of short fiction, Cooder turns his sensitive ear to a bygone era in one of America’s most iconic cities and the cool cats, outsiders, and oddballs that populated it.
Lynell George is a Los Angeles-based journalist who covers culture, social issues and identity politics as well as the arts. A frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, she is an assistant professor of English and journalism at Loyola Marymount University.