New York and the Benin Republic are separated by at least 8000 kilometres. The great thing is: artists need not be bothered about distances and differences. On the contrary: They can use them and the creative potential held within them, which the two brilliant musicians in this duo demonstrate well. Kevin Hays was born in 1968 in New York and recorded his first album at age 23. He was then contracted by Blue Note where he released a trio album with Jack DeJohnette and Ron Carter, amongst others. He then played in Sonny Rollins’ ensemble, toured with John Scofield, as well as with Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman and with Brad Mehldau. Lionel Loueke, born 1973 in Benin, started merging jazz and African rhythms into his expressive, percussive guitar playing, which he occasionally rounds off with suggestive singing. Herbie Hancock noticed his talent after which Loueke played in his bands for many years. For his own records he has worked together with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding, amongst others. The duo Hays und Loueke merge without friction – as the album “Hope” demonstrates. It is meditative, full of respect for traditions, the musician’s particularities and borrowings from Latin American music. This duo was made to be.
The concert is seated.