Ozzie R. on the Guitar


An art familiar to Lakeside’s halls, music has never ceased to possess students with an undeniable spark. That spark has captured Osvaldo (Ozzie) R. ’25, who, in turn, has captured the school audience recently during the Battle of the Bands assembly. Ozzie’s rendition of Paganini Caprice No. 24 was nothing short of remarkable. Moving fluidly through the intricate melodies and rapid-fire arpeggios, his dedication and talent to his craft could be clearly seen in his intense concentration. As the final notes of the piece were strummed, fading through the gym, his standing ovation was nothing less than deserved. Ozzie’s ability to play a technically challenging piece effortlessly, with confidence and artistry, prompted the question — where does his love of music come from?

From a young age, Jack Johnson and rock music filled Ozzie’s playlists. When he played, he used a toy ukulele in his make-believe studio (his closet). After moving to France at a young age and back to Seattle around second grade, he began learning to play guitar.

After three years of lessons, Ozzie’s initial interest in rock shifted to more mainstream music. Back when “Despacito” was a hit, he found a guitar cover by YouTuber Andrew Foy in fingerstyle, a technique using fingerpicking, percussion, bassline, melody, and harmony playing simultaneously. Fascinated with his new find, Ozzie began to look up to many fingerstyle guitarists that he found from YouTube. Guitarist Luca Stricagnoli is one of his favorites. “He’s technically good but not at the expense of the sound. He always super accurately represents the song he covers down to the last detail,” Ozzie said. “It’s impressive.” Ozzie also admires Tim Henson of Polyphia, a rock group: “Henson’s guitar parts are insane, and I love how they’ve created a whole genre [around finger styling].”

Auditioning for More Music at the Moore in December 2021, it was a thrill for [Ozzie] to play on the same stage as Bob Dylan, Kevin Hart, and Pearl Jam.

Recently, Ozzie has played at numerous events, including THING Festival, and More Music at the Moore. Auditioning for More Music at the Moore in December 2021, it was a thrill for him to play on the same stage as Bob Dylan, Kevin Hart, and Pearl Jam. For the first time in two years, Ozzie was playing live music, in a 1,500-seat theater. His aspiration to make an astounding return with Paganini Caprice No. 24 was no match for the single most prestigious event of our time: Lakeside’s Battle of the Bands. 

His experiences have led him to valuable lessons: “Make sure you know everything so well that you can just go up and play and enjoy the music without stressing too much.” Having found himself unprepared more than once, Ozzie knows the importance in knowing his music; along with preparation, a pre-performance routine calms his nerves: “For me, my hands get cold super easily, so I get more warmup time than average and dress warmly backstage — I also wear gloves no matter what time of year.” 

Aside from playing guitar, Ozzie has played the violin since age four and plays on Lakeside’s varsity soccer team. He admits that he procrastinates at times but strives to work on it (as all Lakesiders do). Though he doesn’t see himself going professional with music, he wants to always play — whether it’s booking gigs, recording original music, or creating covers to put on his Youtube channel.


You can find Ozzie at @0zzie_Ribas on Instagram, and at @OzzieRibas on YouTube.