Lionel Loueke

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About Lionel Loueke

Blending traditions from his native Benin with harmonically complex post-bop jazz and fusion, West African guitarist Lionel Loueke has earned praise for his solo work as well as his varied collaborations. Initially emerging as a sideman on Terence Blanchard's Bounce in 2003, Loueke quickly found himself in demand, appearing on a bevy of albums including bassist Charlie Haden's 2004 effort Land of the Sun as well as a pair of noteworthy 2007 releases, Kendrick Scott's The Source and Herbie Hancock's Grammy-winning River: The Joni Letters. His own albums, like 2006's Virgin Forest, 2010's Mwaliko, and 2015's Gaia, have showcased Loueke's expansive, globally minded aesthetic, marked by his emotive jazz solos and a deep understanding of African folk customs. He has also remained deeply connected to the jazz tradition, paying homage to Hancock on 2020's HH and interpreting standards on 2021's Close Your Eyes.

Cotonou, Benin
April 27, 1973

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