Lionel Loueke incorporates typical West-African rhythms and melodies from his youth in contemporary jazz. This fall sees the release of his new album featuring, alongside well-known guests, his original trio and saxophonist John Ellis, with whom he will perform at BIMHUIS.
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 for president Obama at the White House. He’s part of the bands of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea and he collaborates with the greatest talents of his generation, including Esperanza Spalding and Robert Glasper.
‘Loueke is a gentle virtuoso. As a singer, he has a husky, sincere baritone and a melting falsetto that he uses to scat-sing along with his guitar solos. He’s also a full-fledged jazz guitarist, and he uses both electronics and African roots. In one piece, unassisted by any technology beyond microphone and amplifier, he sang, made percussive tongue clicks and played syncopated guitar chords and leads. He multiplied himself, one way or another, in nearly every song’ (New York Times).
Lionel Loueke guitar, John Ellis saxophone/bass clarinet, Massimo Biocati bass, Ferenc Nemeth drums