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Lionel Loueke: Creating His Own Lines

By Published: March 25, 2013
Loueke relishes each opportunity. He's pleased, yet humbled to be playing with "My heroes. And all different styles of music too. That's one thing that may be my forte. I don't lock myself in once style. I can play free. I can play funky. It opened so many doors for me in terms of playing with people. As long as I can make people feel good. That's always my goal. Many people don't know I played the guitar first as an accompaniment instrument. I had to make people feel good. If they feel good, the phone is going to ring, for sure. That's always been my thing. Make the right decision at the right moment. The more musical I can be in 75 minutes is always my goal."

Loueke has numerous sideman gigs that will keep him busy over many months to come and he continues to compose music. "I'm already thinking about a new [recoding] project. I don't know exactly what it's going to be. I have some ideas. My mind is always searching for new territory to go. New for me. So it's wide open right now. I'm enjoying the music and practicing."

Practicing? It's one of the things Loueke wants to devote more time to. The performing career is going strong, but taking time to sit down and work on more ideas "is one of the things I miss the most. I got so busy I don't have enough time to just sit down and practice. When I was in school, I got so much different information. Now I'm my own student and teacher. So I know better what I want, because of my style and because of what I want to deliver, but I don't find the time to do it. So it's really frustrating for me. I'm trying to see if every two months I can have at least a week where I can just focus and practice. I really need to practice. I know if I practice, what I'm doing now will be way, way better. I don't want to sit down and just say, 'I'm doing good.'"

He laughs when he adds, "Then it's all downhill from there. I need to practice and get better."

Selected Discography

Lionel Loueke, Heritage (Blue Note, 2012)
Lionel Loueke, Mwaliko (Blue Note, 2010)
Gretchen Parlato, In a Dream (ObliqSound, 2009)
Lionel Loueke, Karibu (Blue Note, 2008)
Gilfema, Gilfema + 2 (ObliqSound, 2008)
Lionel Loueke, Karibu (ObliqSound, 2007)
Herbie Hancock, The Joni Letters (Verve Music Group, 2007)
Avishai Cohen, After the Big Rain, (Anzic Records, 2007)
Herbie Hancock, Possibilities, (Hear Music, 2005)
Lionel Loueke, In a Trance (Self Produced, 2005)
Gilfema, Gilfema (ObliqSound, 2005)
Terrence Blanchard, Flow (Blue Note, 2005)

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Download jazz mp3 “Rossignol” by Lionel Loueke