The Pace Report

Season 2010 Episode 10.15.10

The Pace Report: "Mwaliko" The Lionel Loueke Interview

out of 10
User Rating
0 votes

By Users

Write A Review

Episode Summary

The Pace Report: "Mwaliko" The Lionel Loueke Interview
Over the last decade, guitarist Lionel Loueke's presence on the jazz scene has turned lots of heads around the world. Born in Benin, the West African native has been able to play straight-ahead jazz, yet play traditional African music at the same time. The critics and music fans have hailed Loueke's music as both spiritual and soothing. His calm demeanor and educated approach to jazz and his native music continues to pack venues.His latest Blue Note Records release "Mwaliko" focuses on traditional folk music from his native Benin. His natural percussive style on the guitar stems from his beginnings as a drummer and percussionist when we was a child. Lionel combines modern jazz with folk roots music with a slew of guests including Esperanza Spaulding, Richard Bona, and Angelique Kidjo.While growing up in Benin, his family didn't have money, so his brother inspired him to play guitar in his early teens. It took the young Lionel a year to earn $50.00 to buy his first guitar. Not having the sufficient funds to keep pay for broken guitar strings which he had to order from Nigeria, he cleaned his strings in vinegar. When he had to replace his strings, he'd use brake cables from bikes. It was by accident that Lionel began playing professionally when a club manager heard him play.Lionel's early influences were vocalist and guitarist George Benson and Joe Pass.Lionel studied at the Berklee School of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. It was there where both pianist Herbie Hancock and trumpeter Terence Blanchard took notice of his natural and unique gift. Lionel recorded with them as session musician as well as formed his own unit which he's played with for 11 years.To buy his latest disc "Mwaliko" or to find out his upcoming tour dates, visit him on the web at

Watch Online

Episode Discussion

Join the discussion of this episode Episode Discussion

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

See All Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions Trivia & Quotes