Defined as the “sweet virtuoso” by Jon Pareles for the New York Times, Loueke is a musician good at harmonic complexities, sound freshness with a deep knowledge of African popular styles, and a non-conventional guitar technique, able to create a warm and evocative sound. For this European tour, Lourke reunited his historical trio with the bass player Massimo Biolcati and the drummer Ferenc Nemeth, for a live session of songs from his latest work “Gaïa”, that discloses some of the new album songs, putting wisely together African classics, jazz sounds and Liolen’s unique style.
Lionel Loueke started to study guitar at 17 years old, and after his first jazz studies in Benin, he begins to attend the Istituto Nazionale di Arte at Ivory Coast. In 1994 he left Africa to continue studying jazz at the American School of Modern Music in Paris and then he won a scholarship at Berklee College of Music where he met his future trio members Massimo Biolcati and Ferenc Nemeth. After graduating, Lourke entered the Thelonious Monk Institute where he studied with his mentors: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard.
Praised by Hancock as “a music painter,” Loueke combines harmonic complexity, sound consciousness, deep knowledge of African popular styles with a non-conventional guitar technique. In his debut in Blue Note with “Karibu” in 2008, with the collaboration of Hancock and Shorter as guest stars, critics praised him with enthusiasm. In 2010 “Mwaliko” went out, an album where Lourke duets with Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, Esperanza Spalding and Marcus Gilmore. In 2012 “Heritage” came out, co-produced by his friend Robert Glasper’s record company, where he explored a more electronic sound along with Derrick Hodge on the electric bass and Mark Guilana on the drums. In addition to the albums with his name on them, he recorded with: Harbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Kenny Barron, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding, Gretchen Parlato, Kendrick Scott and many more.
Lionel Loueke guitar, voice
Massimo Biolcati bass
Ferenc Nemeth drums