Loba Ensemble/ African Jazz Trio
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Loba Ensemble/ African Jazz Trio

Livonia, Michigan, United States | INDIE

Livonia, Michigan, United States | INDIE
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"Jazz ink"

March 4-5, African Jazz Trio ($12). Led by gifted guitarist Loba Akou, the African Jazz Trio “plays everything from traditional African music on native stringed instruments to modern, progressive guitar jazz with reverb squacking and singing the amplifier” (Jefferson Hansen). A native of the Ivory Coast, Loba learned classical guitar, then fell under the influences of Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, George Benson, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin and Wes Montgomery, as well as traditional African music. Brother and bassist Serge Akou learned the music of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report, joining his brother’s band and, with Loba, having the opportunity to play with Memphis Slim. Now based in Minnesota and usually in the company of Mint Condition drummer Stokely Williams, the African Jazz Trio brings an exciting mix of acoustic and electric, traditional and cutting edge.
Jeff Hansen - Jazz Police


"Gearing Up for a Jazzy Spring at the Artists Quarter in March 2011"

March 4-5, African Jazz Trio ($12). Led by gifted guitarist Loba Akou, the African Jazz Trio “plays everything from traditional African music on native stringed instruments to modern, progressive guitar jazz with reverb squacking and singing the amplifier” (Jefferson Hansen). A native of the Ivory Coast, Loba learned classical guitar, then fell under the influences of Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, George Benson, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin and Wes Montgomery, as well as traditional African music. Brother and bassist Serge Akou learned the music of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report, joining his brother’s band and, with Loba, having the opportunity to play with Memphis Slim. Now based in Minnesota and usually in the company of Mint Condition drummer Stokely Williams, the African Jazz Trio brings an exciting mix of acoustic and electric, traditional and cutting edge.
Jeff Hansen - Jazz Police


"Gearing Up for a Jazzy Spring at the Artists Quarter in March 2011"

March 4-5, African Jazz Trio ($12). Led by gifted guitarist Loba Akou, the African Jazz Trio “plays everything from traditional African music on native stringed instruments to modern, progressive guitar jazz with reverb squacking and singing the amplifier” (Jefferson Hansen). A native of the Ivory Coast, Loba learned classical guitar, then fell under the influences of Django Reinhardt, Jimi Hendrix, George Benson, Jeff Beck, John McLaughlin and Wes Montgomery, as well as traditional African music. Brother and bassist Serge Akou learned the music of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report, joining his brother’s band and, with Loba, having the opportunity to play with Memphis Slim. Now based in Minnesota and usually in the company of Mint Condition drummer Stokely Williams, the African Jazz Trio brings an exciting mix of acoustic and electric, traditional and cutting edge.
Jeff Hansen - Jazz Police


"Loba African Jazz Trio event"

It's time to welcome back the Loba African Jazz Trio, an international ensemble that only seems to play regularly in St. Paul -- the pleasure's all ours. The LAJT features two brothers from the Cote d'Ivoire -- Loba Akou on electric and acoustic guitars, and Serge Akou on fretless electric bass. They really mix it up musically -- you'll get straight jazz, contemporary jazz, homeland Afro rhythms, a bit of funk, and some rock pyrotechnics. Tom Surowicz - Tom Surowicz


"Concert will feature African jazz"

"The music is called west African jazz and it is a unique mix of the very old and the quite modern"said Library Director John Martin".Many residents heard the group nperform at the City Ethnic Festival in July and the response then was great.This is a very excitingkind of music and we're pleased to present it - Oak Park journal


"Concert will feature African jazz"

"The music is called west African jazz and it is a unique mix of the very old and the quite modern"said Library Director John Martin".Many residents heard the group nperform at the City Ethnic Festival in July and the response then was great.This is a very excitingkind of music and we're pleased to present it - Oak Park journal


"Loba guitarist of the world"

African Jazz Trio at the AQ, Thur. & Fri, Dec. 11 & 12, 2009

Loba Akou - g
Serge Akou - b
Stokely Williams - d

Review of show:

The African Jazz Trio did not disappoint. Serge Akou was rock solid on his cool-looking fretless bass — nothing fancy, just laying down a firm foundation and soloing with almost leisurely restraint. Stokley Williams seemed to be feeling out his bandmates and the music for awhile, before he exploded into arrays of polyrhythms, jaw-dropping technical virtuosity, and brilliant fills behind Loba Akou's guitar.



And what a guitar player he was. I said to both Loba and Stokley during a break that the band was not really a trio: Loba with his acoustic folk guitar, electric jazz guitar, and electronic effects guitar a la Hendrix and Beck, was like a one man front line of three instruments. Sometimes he had two guitars strapped to his body, one on his back and one in his hand, allowing him to move back and forth quickly between them.



In most songs, he soloed on all three, and he became a different personality on each one.

With the folk guitar, to which he often hummed along, he soloed in a tight, circumscribed fashion that could be called "rural" if the word is understood positively. With the electric jazz guitar he was highly sophisticated and urbane, in the manner of the early Wes Montgomery. On the effects guitar the band became a power trio, with Loba providing sustain and reverb, the fingers of both hands dancing on the oh so sensitive strings.



There is not another like Loba. We need more recordings of him and this fine group.

_____________

Preview:

Due to their being at the crossroads of many cultures, I find that Africans are often the most well-rounded and multi-faceted of all jazz musicians.

Frequently, they know something of the European music of the former colonial power. They know their own 'tribal music'. They are aware of the music of other African 'tribes' and countries. They are aware of the jazz tradition coming out of America. It makes for a unique and stirring brew.

Loba, not surprisingly, has studied Western classical guitar. He is familiar with many indigenous African musics. He loves Jimi Hendrix and other rock and blues guitarists. And he knows and loves the work of Django Reinhardt and Kenny Burrell. His is a unique sound, coming from a variety of angles.


Loba Akou - g
Serge Akou - b
Stokely Williams - d

Review of show:

The African Jazz Trio did not disappoint. Serge Akou was rock solid on his cool-looking fretless bass — nothing fancy, just laying down a firm foundation and soloing with almost leisurely restraint. Stokley Williams seemed to be feeling out his bandmates and the music for awhile, before he exploded into arrays of polyrhythms, jaw-dropping technical virtuosity, and brilliant fills behind Loba Akou's guitar.



And what a guitar player he was. I said to both Loba and Stokley during a break that the band was not really a trio: Loba with his acoustic folk guitar, electric jazz guitar, and electronic effects guitar a la Hendrix and Beck, was like a one man front line of three instruments. Sometimes he had two guitars strapped to his body, one on his back and one in his hand, allowing him to move back and forth quickly between them.



In most songs, he soloed on all three, and he became a different personality on each one.

With the folk guitar, to which he often hummed along, he soloed in a tight, circumscribed fashion that could be called "rural" if the word is understood positively. With the electric jazz guitar he was highly sophisticated and urbane, in the manner of the early Wes Montgomery. On the effects guitar the band became a power trio, with Loba providing sustain and reverb, the fingers of both hands dancing on the oh so sensitive strings.



There is not another like Loba. We need more recordings of him and this fine group.

_____________

Preview:

Due to their being at the crossroads of many cultures, I find that Africans are often the most well-rounded and multi-faceted of all jazz musicians.

Frequently, they know something of the European music of the former colonial power. They know their own 'tribal music'. They are aware of the music of other African 'tribes' and countries. They are aware of the jazz tradition coming out of America. It makes for a unique and stirring brew.

Loba, not surprisingly, has studied Western classical guitar. He is familiar with many indigenous African musics. He loves Jimi Hendrix and other rock and blues guitarists. And he knows and loves the work of Django Reinhardt and Kenny Burrell. His is a unique sound, coming from a variety of angles.


Loba Akou - g
Serge Akou - b
Stokely Williams - d

Review of show:

The African Jazz Trio did not disappoint. Serge Akou was rock solid on his cool-looking fretless bass — nothing fancy, just laying down a firm foundation and soloing with almost leisurely restraint. Stokl - TWINCITIESJAZZSCENE


"African Jazz Trio at the AQ Minneapolis"

Friday, Dec 11 - Saturday, Dec 12, African Jazz Trio: Loba & Serge Akou, Stokely Williams (9pm, $10)
African Jazz Trio with Loba Akou, Serge Akou, Stokely Williams
Guitarist Loba Akou and bassist Serge Akou hail from Côte D’Ivoire on the West African coast. On stage, they bring traditional African rhythms and sounds together with contemporary jazz.The Akous are joined by Stokely Williams on percussion. Stokely is well known for his work with funky, modern R&B powerhouse Mint Condition – he has also dazzled listeners in many other musical settings, making this match-up something to anticipate.
- Artist Quarter


Discography

Loba live in Detroit, March Dance, Ogue the sea, Timbuktu
TEL 313-595-0547

Photos

Bio

LOBA AKOU
Loba is a guitarist from Cote D'Ivoire, at a young age he studied classical guitar and later on jazz music. He explores african guitar and music. He grew up listening to african music . While in Africa he was busy making research in the music there, fascinated by the cora, balafons and all these beautiful instruments. Africa has such a rich heritage, so diverse and profound. He explores african polyrhythms and different traditions and styles. He has performed in Africa and in the USA, plays acoustic solo guitar or with his band in an electric and acoustic setting.

Along with bassist Serge Akou they explores African musical instruments such as the doussoungoni(African harp) and the mbira,looking for new grounds, new sounds that remind us of the Blues or jazzy idioms

Recent performances include Detroit International Rivers Days, Detroit Winter Blast, African World Festival, Art Beats and Eats etc............

Loba's music is influenced by african traditional music and contemporary jazz elements. The music incorporates the dousoungoni, the mbira, as well as the guitar, voice, drums bass and at times horns such as the saxophone or the trumpet. The music uses jazz harmonies

SERGE AKOU

My bass guitar playing has been influenced by my many travels: from Africa, to Europe, to Detroit, and in between. They all help to form what I hope is a unique approach to phrasing and rhythm. I was born in 1963 in Cote D'Ivoire, West Africa and grew up in a musical family. At age 17, I began playing bass and learned the tunes of Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Weather Report. I soon joined my brother's group and started playing at the local jazz venues in Abidjan, where I had the opportunity to play with jazz and blues legends such as Memphis Slim. Serge Akou