A sophisticated contemporary Jazz trio, Gilfema is known for their boundary-crossing mix of post-bop, fusion, African traditions, and modern creative improvisation. An outgrowth of acclaimed guitarist Lionel Loueke's ensemble, the trio initially drew praise for their 2004 debut, Gilfema, and have continued to evolve on 2008s' Gilfema +2 and 2020's Three.
Formed in 2004, Gilfema features the talents of West African-born guitarist/vocalist Loueke, Sweden-born Italian bassist Massimo Biolcati, and Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth. They all initially met while students at Boston's Berklee College of Music in the late '90s and have continued to work together as part of Loueke's main line-up. Together, they have recorded such highly regarded Blue Note albums as 2008's Karibu and 2015's Gaïa. However, whereas they normally play Loueke's original compositions, they formed Gilfema as an outlet to explore each member's songs. The trio debuted in 2004 with the Michele Locatelli-produced Gilfema on ObliqSound. They returned in 2008 with another Locatelli-helmed production, Gilfema +2, which featured collaborations with clarinetists John Ellis and Anat Cohen. Following work on several Loueke solo projects, the trio returned in 2020 with the aptly titled Three, which featured a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing." ~ Matt Collar