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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Jazz Vocalist Gretchen Parlato and Guitarist Lionel Loueke Headline a Performance on March 9 in Zankel Hall with Special Guest Artist Becca Stevens

On Friday, March 9 at 10:00 p.m., two innovative voices in contemporary jazz—singer Gretchen Parlato and guitarist/singer Lionel Loueke—perform a duo concert in Zankel Hall. Both alumni of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles, Parlato and Loueke have been performing as a duo since relocating to New York City and have developed a tight repertoire of material built upon intricate rhythms and a vast sonic palette. The pair originally connected musically due to Parlato’s passion for Brazilian music, which Loueke, a native of Benin, grew up hearing by way of the nearby Ouidah region’s popular samba music—a result of the Portuguese influence on the area.

Parlato and Loueke are joined for this concert by singer, guitarist, and ukulele/charango player Becca Stevens, who performs regularly with Parlato as part of Tillery—a vocal trio that also includes singer Rebecca Martin, launched at Manhattan’s Cornelia Street Café under the gently self-mocking moniker Girls Gone Mild.

The concert is presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.

Prior to this performance, starting at 9:00 p.m., ticketholders are invited to enjoy Late Nights at Zankel Hall, a laid-back pre-concert experience in the Zankel Hall lounge, and meet others who share their passion for music. The first 200 concert-goers to arrive will receive a complimentary drink courtesy of Carnegie Hall. For more information, please visit

About the Artists
Gretchen Parlato has been turning heads ever since she won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Institute’s International Vocal Competition at which she displayed a musical individuality loaded with paradoxical powers. At the Monk Institute, Parlato’s sultry, intriguing voice and unique, rhythmically agile phrasing came with inescapable centripetal force; the more intimate and understated she sang, the more she drew listeners in. Since then, she has toured worldwide to sold-out audiences, with BBC Radio proclaiming, "Star over London...A star is born!" Her originality captivates musicians as well, prompting invitations to appear on over 50 recordings with the likes of Terence Blanchard, Kenny Barron, Terri Lynn Carrington, and Esperanza Spalding. Her performances have been captured on television in Europe and Japan, and she has become a sought after clinician on vocal styling. Parlato's 2009 sophomore breakthrough, In a Dream, signaled the arrival of an incredibly inventive modern jazz singer. Her follow-up, The Lost and Found, demonstrates that she has staying power. Revealing a seamless, crystalline, and more importantly, personal voice, Parlato says that the overall theme of The Lost and Found is about accepting opposition and embracing the ebbs and flows of life. With The Lost and Found, Parlato has delivered a powerful testament to the beauty of space and simplicity. "I've become more interested in finding not only a higher, but a deeper level and connection in music. And this seems to be done by shedding everything, and getting right to the heart and core."

Originally from the West African nation of Benin, guitarist Lionel Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past several years. In 2008 and 2009, he was picked as top “Rising Star” guitarist in Down Beat magazine's annual critics poll. His sophomore release for the Blue Note label, Mwaliko, follows up 2007's acclaimed Karibu with a series of searching, innovative, intimate duets with Angelique Kidjo, Esperanza Spalding, Richard Bona, and Marcus Gilmore. Loueke also includes three new tracks featuring his longtime trio with Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth on drums. Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as "a musical painter," Loueke combines harmonic sophistication, soaring melodies displaying a deep knowledge of African music, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. In addition to Loueke's recordings as a leader and with his collaborative trio project Gilfema, he has appeared on numerous standout recordings such as Terence Blanchard's Grammy Award-nominated Flow (2005) and Hancock's Grammy Award-winning River: The Joni Letters (2008).

New York-based singer, guitarist, and composer Becca Stevens’s work has been described as “a best-kept secret” by The New York Times, and according to The Boston Phoenix, she has “[a] big voice and no-bull—emotional delivery.” The daughter of musicians, Stevens began singing in her family’s band, The Tune Mammals, when she was two years old and spent much of her childhood on stage. She became fluent in jazz and classical guitar, as well as in the folk music traditions of her native North Carolina and after graduating from high school attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York where she received a BFA with high honors in vocal jazz and composition. It was also there that she met the musicians who would later form the Becca Stevens Band. Since 2004, she has served as lead singer of Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, fronting a genre-bending 18-piece jazz orchestra interpreting the songs of Björk. She has also toured, recorded with, and written lyrics for jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti and performed at Carnegie Hall as featured singer with pianist Brad Mehldau as part of his Debs Composer’s Chair residency. Stevens has toured with drummer/composer Eric Harland’s all-star band and has written or recorded with such notable players as Clarence Penn, George Garzone, Julian Lage, Kendrick Scott, Jeremy Pelt, Logan Richardson, and Andy Milne. 2010 saw the debut of Stevens’s first choral composition, Soli Deo Gloria, commissioned and performed by the Melodia Women’s Choir in New York, and she also moonlights as one-third of Girls Gone Mild, a trio with fellow singer/songwriters Rebecca Martin and Gretchen Parlato. Her most recent record Weightless was released by the Sunnyside Records label in April 2011.

Program Information
Friday, March 9 at 10:00 p.m.
Zankel Hall
, Vocals
LIONEL LOUEKE, Guitar and Vocals
Becca Stevens, Vocals, Ukulele, Guitar and Charango

Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.
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