New music from Lionel Loueke, Grégoire Maret, Branford Marsalis



Among all the emails, press releases and newsletters received, believe it or not, there is real news. Below is just a sampling of the mix.

With so much competing for our attention these days, it helps to plan your free time and make time for some musical enjoyment. Thanks to all for continuing to keep MSR readers informed, engaged, and entertained.


Deluxe digital reissue of Lionel Loueke’s debut album 

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, independent record label Obliqsound will reissue the internationally acclaimed West African guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke’s debut album Virgin Forest.

The critically acclaimed album features guest performances by Herbie Hancock, Gretchen Parato and Cyro Bapista plus previously unreleased material from Loueke’s solo acoustic tracks.

Available on March 13 as a digital exclusive release, Virgin Forest: The Complete Sessions is reissued exactly five years after its original U.S. release with eight previously unreleased studio recordings among its 26 tracks, including six never-before-heard solo acoustic performances by Loueke. The iTunes LP edition includes rare and unseen photos from the sessions, lyrics and a bonus video with behind-the-scenes studio footage.

The first time I heard Loueke play and sing was with New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard in New York City. Back then, it was plain to see that he was going places. It’s good to see Loueke’s hard work rewarded.


Grégoire Maret to release long-awaited debut CD

Grégoire Maret has redefined the role of the harmonica. Herbie Hancock has called Maret “one of the most creative musicians around,” while Marcus Miller has declared that he is “carrying the instrument into the 21st century with prowess, passion, and creativity.”

After years as one of the most in-demand sidemen and guests in jazz (and beyond), Maret is making his highly anticipated first statement as a leader on Eone Music — his self-titled debut will be released March 13.

“It’s always completely different,” Maret says. “For every new project, I come to a place where I almost feel like a beginner again. So I start everything from zero to be in tune with whatever the music is calling for.”

Seeing Maret with Pat Metheny at Orchestra Hall was indeed a rare treat. It’s about time he got the chance to shine on his very own album. Check him out! For more information on Grégoire Maret, visit www.gre


Harry and Branford find their roots

Friends and New Orleans’ natives Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis will explore their genealogy with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on the national premiere episode of the new PBS series Finding Your Roots on Sunday, March 25, 7-8 pm Central Time. (Check your listings to confirm the airtime on your local PBS station.)

In each hour-long episode Gates will take viewers along for the journey with one celebrity pair bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden link, trekking through layers of ancestral history, uncovering secrets and surprises of their family trees, and sharing life-altering discoveries.


Get ready for Record Store Day Apr. 21

Originally launched in 2007, Record Store Day, an internationally celebrated day observed the third Saturday in April, will bring together fans, artists and over 700 independently owned record stores in the U.S. (and hundreds more on a global level). RSD celebrates the art of music. For 2012, Marsalis Music, founded by Branford Marsalis in 2002, will join the celebration with a special RSD release.


Robin James welcomes reader responses to




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