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Lionel Loueke Trio

Live Music: Jazz & Blues

Wednesday April 23, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Guitarist Lionel Loueke grew up in the tiny West African country Benin, but the terrain he covers in his music is vast. A graduate of Paris’ American School of Modern Music and Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Loueke was mentored by jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Terence Blanchard through his studies at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. “I flipped,” says Hancock, recalling the first time he listened to Loueke’s playing. “I’d never heard any guitar player play anything close to what I was hearing from him. There was no territory that was forbidden, and he was fearless!” Loueke took up the guitar late; he didn’t start playing till he was 17. Loueke, who fell in love with jazz after hearing a CD by guitarist George Benson, has performed as a member of Blanchard’s sextet and Hancock’s quartet. His most recent album as the leader of his trio is Heritage. “I have two heritages,” Loueke says. “One is from my ancestors from Africa, and that goes through my music, my body, my soul, every aspect of what I do. But also I have the heritage from the Occident, from the West, from Europe and the U.S. I speak English, I speak French, and I have that heritage, too. I called this album Heritage because I’ve been blessed by all different parts of the world, and most of the songs reflect that.” 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. “Mr. Loueke,” writes a New York Times reviewer, “is a gentle virtuoso.”



Adult $32 University Park Student $12 18 and Younger $22


Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State



Schwab Auditorium
Penn State Main Campus
University Park, PA,


Peg Lucas
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