Kozák is a busy man in the Czech bluegrass scene. He performs with a number of groups, including Fragment, G-Runs & Roses, and East-West.
The album title, and the cover image, are a play on his surname, which would translate into English as Cossack. Ataman (Otoman in English) is the title given to Cossack leaders. But the music here has no relation to any of that. Its contemporary flatpicking and bluegrass through an Eastern European lens.
Ondra plays guitar, mandolin, violin, drums, and bass on the project which was recorded in his home studio. Assisting are Karel Začal on reso-guitar, Vít Hanulík on mandolin, and Filip Baťo on banjo. His wife Marta is also featured on piano.
As a youngster, Kozák tells us that he studied violin and fingerstyle guitar, but fell in love with bluegrass as a teen. Now he is celebrating his 30th birthday with his first album.
Ataman is available on CD or via digital download from Ondra’s Bandcamp site.