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Lionel Loueke

On February 9, 2010, Blue Note Records will release Mwaliko, the new album from acclaimed vocalist/guitarist Lionel Loueke. Mwaliko (pronounced mwah-LEE-koh) is Swahili for “invitation,” and the album comprises a series of searching, innovative, intimate duets with special guests vocalist Angelique Kidjo, vocalist/bassist Esperanza Spalding, vocalist/bassist Richard Bona and drummer Marcus Gilmore, as well as three new tracks featuring his longtime trio with Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth on drums.

Originally from the small West African nation of Benin, Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past several years. Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as “a musical painter,” he has appeared on numerous standout recordings such as Hancock’s Grammy-winning River: The Joni Letters (2008) and Terence Blanchard’s Grammy-nominated Flow (2005). Loueke’s 2007 Blue Note debut, Karibu, established him as a one of the brightest new stars on the scene, and prompted The New York Times to declare him “a startlingly original voice” and “one of the most striking jazz artists to emerge is some time.”

..:: Source: BlueNoteRecords.com ::..