The Journey

Played on Episode #132

Starting out on vocals and percussion, Lionel 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 went to the U.S. on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music. 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.

In 2008 and 2009, Lionel Loueke was picked as top Rising Star guitarist in DownBeat magazine's annual Critics Poll.

Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as "a musical painter," Lionel Loueke combines harmonic sophistication, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African music, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. JazzTimes wrote "Loueke's lines are smartly formed and deftly executed. His ear-friendly melodicism draws both from traditional African sources and a lifetime of closely studying the likes of Jim Hall and George Benson, and his rhythmic shifts come quickly and packed with surprises."

After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Lionel Loueke was accepted to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles where he had the opportunity to study his greatest mentors: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard.

For Modern Jazz Today, the second track, "Molika" will be played on Episode #132. Tune in and enjoy!

Lionel Loueke (vocal, guitar, percussion, soundscape)
John Ellis (soprano saxophone tracks 2,5)
Dramane Dembélé (flute tracks 5,6)
Patrick Messina (clarinet track 9)
Étienne Charles (trumpet track10)
Robert Sadin (keyboard tracks 3,6)
Pino Palladino (bass tracks 1,3,5,6)
Massimo Biolcati (bass track 13)
Cyro Baptista (berimbau, percussion tracks 1,2,4,6,9,10,11)
Christi Joza Orisha (percussion tracks 3,4,5,6,11)
Ferenc Nemeth (percussion track 13)
Mark Feldman (violin track 6),
Vincent Ségal (cello track 9)
Robert Sadin (soundscape tracks 6,11)

Played on Episode 132

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