Lionel Loueke Trio
Location: Jewett Art Center Auditorium
Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 8:00pm
RESERVATIONS AVAILABLE NOW
Starting out on vocals and percussion, Loueke picked up the guitar late, at age 17. After his initial to exposure to jazz in Benin, he left to attend the National Institute of Art in nearby Ivory Coast. In 1994 he left Africa to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, then came to the U.S. on a scholarship to Berklee. From there, Loueke gained acceptance to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, where he encountered his Gilfema bandmates Biolcati, Nemeth, Parlato and other musicians with whom he would form lasting creative relationships.
The title of his latest album, Heritage, is a direct reference to his personal odyssey. "I have two heritages," Loueke says. "One is from my ancestors from Africa, and that goes through my music, my body, my soul, every aspect of what I do. But also I have the heritage from the Occident, from the West, from Europe and the U.S. I speak English, I speak French, and I have that heritage too. I called this album Heritage because I've been blessed by all different parts of the world, and most of the songs reflect that."
Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as "a musical painter," and by the New York Times as "a gentle virtuoso," guitarist Loueke combines harmonic complexity, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African folk forms, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. Along with Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth on drums, Loueke's trio will play music from his latest CD's, Mwaliko and Heritage, as well as some new material and a few standards.
"Mr Loueke is a gentle virtuoso. As a singer, he has a husky, sincere baritone and a melting falsetto that he uses to scat-sing along with his guitar solos. He's also a full-fledged jazz guitarist, and he uses both electronics—guitar synthesizer, looping devices—and African roots.In one piece, unassisted by any technology beyond microphone and amplifier, he sang, made percussive tongue clicks and played syncopated guitar chords and leads. He multiplied himself, one way or another, in nearly every song." ~New York Times