Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, and record producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United States, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.
Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with Captain Beefheart, Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and Carla Olson & the Textones (on record and film). He formed the band Little Village. He also produced the Buena Vista Social Club album (1997), which became a worldwide hit. Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.
Cooder was born in Los Angeles, California, to father Bill Cooder and Italian-American mother Emma Casaroli. He grew up in Santa Monica, California, and graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1964. During the 1960s, he briefly attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon.He began playing the guitar when he was three years old. He has had a glass eye since he was four, when he accidentally stuck a knife in his left eye