Lionel Loueke Group

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Tuesday 25 th September 2018

Lionel Loueke’s upcoming recording will be released on Aparté Records. Instead of creating an ensemble, it started with Lionel alone, playing and singing, pulling from his extensive roots, his past collaborations and inspirations, creating new music for a hopeful future. In addition to Lionel’s guitar virtuosity, this new recording will also focus on the vocal stylings fans have grown to love from his tours with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. For this project, Lionel will augment his long-standing acclaimed trio with Massimo Biacati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth on drums with John Ellis on Sax and bass clarinet. His new songs combine classic African elements, the flavors of jazz harmony, and the originality of Lionel which navigates beyond any of these labels.

Photos by Jean-Baptiste Millot

“Mr. Loueke hails from Benin and has spent the last decade or so finding mainstream avenues for his sinuous, effervescent style... Subtlety has always been a hallmark of this band, and...No other band has quite this sound, and it hasn’t stopped evolving.” - THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Highly entertaining, thoroughly invigorating stuff.” - JAZZTIMES

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 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 the Berklee College of Music where he first encountered his future trio mates Massimo Biolcati and Ferenc Nemeth. After graduating Loueke was accepted to the Thelonious Monk Institute where he was able to study with his most significant mentors: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard. Praised by Hancock as “a musical painter,” 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. 

Lionel’s Blue Note debut Karibu (2008) featured guest appearances from Hancock and Shorter with his trio and was met with wide acclaim. Mwaliko (2010) offered a series of intimate duets with Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, Esperanza Spalding and Marcus Gilmore. Heritage (2012) was co-produced by label mate Robert Glasper and found Loueke exploring a more electric sound with a new trio featuring Derrick Hodge on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums.

In addition to albums with his collective trio Gilfema with Biolcati and Nemeth, Loueke has appeared on recordings by Her-
bie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Kenny Barron, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Joe Lovano, as well as contemporaries including Esperanza Spalding, Gretchen Parlato, Kendrick Scott and others. He continues to tour the world with his own trio as well as with Hancock and most recently with Chick Corea and is a member of Blue Note’s 75th anniversary Blue Note All-Star group with Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge, Kendrick Scott, Ambrose Akinmusire and Marcus Strickland.

Lionel Loueke (guitar)

Massimo Biocati (bass)

Ferenc Nemeth (drums)