Ondra Kozák

Photo: Veronika Dvořáková
Photo: Veronika Dvořáková








author of instructional publications

founder of ATAmusic

studio producer

instrument cases maker

organizer of concerts and workshops

photo: Veronika Dvořáková

My first instrument was violin which I’d played before I actually learned to write. During my childhood I was captivated by various kinds of acoustic music and I started playing also other instruments, mainly guitar, mandolin and bass. I gained my first experiences as a player, singer and songwriter with the bands Křeni and Petr Brandejs Band. Since 2010 I’ve been playing with several bands (G-runs `n Roses, East-West, Fragment, New AliquotBrejle), performing solo or in various occasional line-ups (more about my music projects). I released my debut solo album Ataman in 2014. Besides that, I’ve been part of more than 20 studio recordings over the years. I feel grateful for being awarded The Guitar Player Of The Year 5-times according to the Czech Bluegrass Music Association and for winning the European BG band contest at the La Roche Bluegrass Festival 3-times (Křeni 2009, Blackjack 2011, East-West 2013). However, the biggest reward for me is the chance to collaborate with so many talented musicians and perform alongside many eminent personalities of the music scene such as Mike Marshall, Dan Crary, Tony Furtado, Beppe Gambetta, Dale Ann Bradley, Steve Gulley, Cia Cherryholmes, etc.

Účastníci dílny "Bluegrass Vegas", 2016
“Bluegrass Vegas” workshop participants, 2016

Since 2004 I’ve been regularly teaching at several bluegrass workshops in Europe – Malé Svatoňovice (Czech Republic), Nový Jičín (Czech Republic), Hustopeče (Czech Republic), Risør (Norway), Nyiregyháza (Hungary), etc. In 2014 I launched the ATAmusic online workshop, under the heading of which I also organize five distinct workshops of various focuses. I’m an author and co-author of 4 instructional DVDs – 2 volumes of instructional DVDs for acoustic guitar (with Ralph Schut – 2008, 2016) and instructions for solo guitar (2011) and fiddle (2013). I also take part in various festival workshops – La Roche BG Festival (France), EWOB (Netherlands), Summergrass BG Festival (San Diego, CA, USA), OIBF (Guthrie, OK, USA), etc. Since 2007 I’ve been organizing instrument workshops at the oldest European bluegrass festival Banjo Jamboree in Čáslav (Czech Republic).

GD001Besides playing and teaching music, I also work in the ATAmusic studio as an engineer and producer, making recordings of my projects or doing the studio work for other musicians, bands, choirs, etc. (more info about the studio). I also deal with developing and manufacturing of custom hard shell cases for musical instruments. I run a House club Ataman and organize small concerts and workshops in the beautiful Jeseníky mountains where I live.