Lionel Loueke Trio with Williams Jazz Ensemble

The Williams College Department of Music presents the Lionel Loueke Trio, featuring guitarist Lionel Loueke performing with the Williams Jazz Ensemble directed by Andy Jaffe on Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams campus. This free event is open to the public.

Lionel Loueke Trio with Williams Jazz Ensemble The Williams Jazz Ensemble’s special guest is a musician who draws on many traditions. The resulting blend pleases jazz aficionados, if the critical reviews are to be trusted. More importantly, he speaks his musical language so clearly and fluently that everyone can join the conversation. Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as “a musical painter,” Mr. 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. He is hailed as a “gentle virtuoso” by Jon Pareles of The New York Times. Mr. Loueke brings jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of West Africa, in particular his native Benin. The title of his latest album Heritage is a direct reference to his personal odyssey. “I have two heritages,” Mr. 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 [my latest] album Heritage because I’ve been blessed by all different parts of the world, and most of the songs reflect that.”

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