Lionel Loueke Lionel Loueke

Born in Benin, a small country of west Africa, Lionel first picked up percussion instruments before choosing guitar at the age of 17.

In 1990, he moved to Ivory Coast for a general musical training in the “National Institute of Art” which lasted four years. As he was listening to outstanding jazz musicians such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, George Benson, he was definitely convinced that he needed to improve his playing. The next step would be to enroll in a well known jazz school.

In 1994, he was accepted at the “American School of Modern Music” in Paris (France) where he got his Diploma in 1998.

The dreams were coming true. In 1999, he was awarded a scholarship to “Berklee College of Music” in Boston, Massachussetts. He quickly graduated in 2000 majoring in Jazz Performance.

In 2001, he auditioned for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and was selected in a world wide search by a panel of judges including jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter. He studied on this full scholarship at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, until may 2003.

In 2002, while still at the Monk Institute, he stated playing with trumpet player and film music composer Terence Blanchard. He recorded two albums with him, the second one on the famous Blue Note label.

Between 2003-2006, Lionel lives in New York and plays around the world. He played onTerence Blanchard last CD and DVD “Flow”. Also on Herbie Hancock's last CD and DVD “Possibilities”. He also recorded two CD's under his own name, “In A Trance” (Space Time) and now, “Virgin Forest” his highly-anticipated debut on ObliqSound.

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April 27, 2019

Jazz Musician of the Day: Lionel Loueke

May 28, 2015

Jazz this week: Dr. Lonnie Smith & Lionel Loueke, Alarm Will Sound, a...

May 24, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Dr. Lonnie Smith & Lionel Loueke

March 03, 2014

Motema Music To Release Gathering Light From Oran Etkin, Featuring Ben...

May 08, 2013

Jazz This Week: Lionel Loueke, Snarky Puppy, Trinity Piano Trio, Denise...

April 28, 2013

STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: From Benin to Berklee and Beyond with...

March 06, 2012

Virgin Forest: The Complete Sessions by Lionel Loueke Reissued On...

April 22, 2011

NYU Jazz Interview Series: Lionel Loueke

December 25, 2010

WGBH and Berklee Kick Off National Broadcast of Toast of the Nation...

October 04, 2010

African Jazz Guitarist Lionel Loueke Performs at UMass/Amherst on...

April 14, 2010

Announcing the Winners of the Blue Note "Lionel Loueke - Mwaliko"...

March 18, 2010

The Jazz Session #152: Lionel Loueke

March 09, 2010

Enter the Blue Note "Lionel Loueke - Mwaliko" Giveaway Contest

March 08, 2010

Lionel Loueke Album Review: "Mwaliko"

March 05, 2010

Lionel Loueke Live Interview with Dave Schroeder at Barnes & Noble...

January 26, 2010

Everything Clicks for Benin-Born Guitarist Everything Clicks for...

December 28, 2009

Lionel Loueke Returns Feb. 9 with "Mmwaliko"

November 20, 2009

World Jazz Summit with Randy Weston, Cedar Walton, Lionel Loueke,...

October 24, 2009

World Jazz Summit Featuring Randy Weston, Emilio Valdes, Cedar Walton,...

June 26, 2009

African-Born Lionel Loueke Next up in Glenwood Springs' Summer of Jazz


Lionel Loueke Concerts

Albums by Lionel Loueke

Album Close Your Eyes by Lionel Loueke

Close Your Eyes

Newvelle Records

Album The Journey by Lionel Loueke

The Journey


Album GAïA by Lionel Loueke


Blue Note Records

Album Heritage by Lionel Loueke


Blue Note Records

Album Mwaliko by Lionel Loueke


Blue Note Records

Album Karibu by Lionel Loueke


Blue Note Records



Lionel Loueke
Virgin Forest


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