The Okapi Guitars make African pop music.
The core of the band are two guitarists, Bernhard Huber and John Laidler, who met as members of the original Okapi Allstars Guitar Band in Sydney in 1986. Until disbanding in 1991, the group introduced contemporary African guitar music to the live circuit in Sydney and toured to other states.
They supported many touring artists including the Bhundu Boys, Lucky Dube, Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, and Tchico.
When the big band ended Bernhard and John set up a home studio to support their interest in songwriting and arranging. With new opportunities provided by desktop digital audio technology, and the new possibilities for music distribution provided by the internet, they were able to re-group as the Okapi Guitars. Their first release was the album Little Things in 1994. Their latest CD, Blue Kigara, is the seventh Okapi Guitars album.
The recordings often feature guest musicians, augmenting the guitars with female vocals, horns and percussion.
Update: The song "Unwashed" from this CD was a finalist in the Australian national Songwriting Contest 2006.