Island Mele: ‘Born and Raised’ by Ian O’Sullivan

Jul. 9, 2013 | 0 Comments


‘Born and Raised’

Ian O’Sullivan

ianosullivan_largeSlack key is so much a part of the local music scene that it is easy to overlook other guitar traditions here.

Ian O’Sullivan, back in Hawaii after earning a Master’s Degree in Classical Guitar at Yale, follows in the footsteps of Charles Michael Brotman and Jeff Peterson in bringing some of those other traditions to the fore. His debut album is aptly described on its cover as “new music for solo guitar.”

The songs represent the work of several island composers. O’Sullivan wrote three. Others are by Darin Au, Bailey Matsuda, Jeff Peterson, Byron Yasui and Michael-Thomas Foumai.

Heard together, they become a journey through various acoustic guitar styles — jazz, pop, ki ho‘alu, and hints of flamenco and country, as well as the classical/European traditions O’Sullivan studied at Yale.

“Born and Raised” is beautiful acoustic music and an memorable introduction to a versatile new talent. O’Sullivan’s debut album should certainly not be his last.
John Berger has been a mainstay in the local entertainment scene for more than 40 years. Contact him via email at

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