The Vampires and Lionel Loueke Close Out Jazz Festival

The ledgendary pianist, Herbie Hancock once described African born guitarist, Lionel Loueke as “a musical painter” and jazz fans of the Illawarra will no doubt see why when Loueke takes to the stage with Australian groove aficionados, The Vampires on June 2nd to close out the Autumn Winter Jazz Festival at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music.

Originally from the West African country of Benin, Loueke left Africa to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris before moving to the U.S. to continue his studies on a scholarship from the Berklee College. He has since established himself as one of the world’s most outstanding and in demand guitarists having played and recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz including the aforementioned Herbie Hancock as well as recently performing at the Whitehouse for President Obama as part of International Jazz Day.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, critically acclaimed afro-laden funk and reggae-infused jazz outfit The Vampires will embark on a five-date national tour with Loueke before recording an album together of completely new originals written specifically for the collaboration. “Both our music draws on many styles,” says Jeremy Rose, co-leader and saxophonist of The Vampires, “Lionel’s playing has a raw, hard-edged rock influence which will bring a new energy to our audiences.” He continues, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s most exciting musicians. We can’t wait!”

Director of Jazz at The Wollongong Conservtorium, Eric Dunan is equally excited: “For The Vampires to bring one of the most exciting guitarists in the world to our auditorium as part of a national tour is a major coup for the Con and a testament to our standing in the jazz scene in Australia.” He continues, “The Vampires actually have quite a deep connection to the Con as Nick [Garbett – trumpet], Jeremy and Alex [Masso – Drums] all teach here or have taught here in the past and Nick himself was a student here several years ago. I can’t think of a better way to close out the festival than to have these guys perform their original music to their ‘home’ crowd with an amazing special guest. What a night it’s going to be!”

Who: The Vampires featuring Lionel Loueke
When: 2nd June 2016
Time: 7pm
Venue: Wollongong Conservatorium of Music Auditorium, Glennifer Brae
Tickets: $25G, $20C, $15S