Guitarist Lionel Loueke grew up in Benin, West Africa and Kevin Hays on the gold coast of Connecticut; while they might seem worlds apart, both are active in the jazz scene of New York and draw hope from this dynamic cultural melting pot, which is evident from their recent duo album Hope. Calm and beautiful on the surface, the music contains a great variety of elements: Chilean and Brazilian influences, intricate rhythms, Creole singing and vocal percussion, for example. Both musicians contributed ideas and compositions.
Kevin Hays is internationally recognized as one of the premier jazz pianists of his generation. He collaborated with, among others, Sonny Rollins, John Scofield and Brad Mehldau. He released several albums on the Blue Note label. ‘Hays spans the delicate and the powerful’ (Downbeat).
Since he started playing guitar at 17, Lionel Loueke has achieved a stunning development, from playing to cassette tapes in his native Cotonou, Benin, to performing with among others Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper. ‘A gentle virtuoso’ (New York Times).
Kevin Hays piano/vocals, Lionel Loueke guitar/vocals