Lionel Loueke Trio (USA/Benin)

Lionel Loueke (guitar), Massimo Biolcati (bass), Ferenc Nemeth (drums)

Lionel Loueke is a major guitar talent whose band fuse traditional West African music with modern jazz harmonies and power-trio rock to create a sound that is all their own.

lionelloueke webLoueke’s selection to the all-star band to celebrate Blue Note’s 75th anniversary is testimony to the talent, as is his long-standing presence in the band of the legendary Herbie Hancock, who has described him simply as “a musical painter.”

Born in Benin in West Africa, Loueke attended the National Institute of Art in Ivory Coast before leaving Africa to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris, from where he earned a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. Later, his mentors at The Thelonious Monk Institute included Wayne Shorter and Hancock.

A Blue Note artist, Loueke combines harmonic complexity, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African folk and rhythmic forms, as well as extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound.

“The band switch between Hendrix-like wails, kora-like chimes and power-trio rock in a blink- the songs are consistently strong”- The Guardian


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