Thursday, March 08, 2018

Guitarist LENI STERN with her trio featuring Mamadou Ba and Alioune Faye release "3"

Critically acclaimed guitarist/composer returns to SXSW with her trio featuring Mamadou Ba and Alioune Faye. They are excited to be performing music from Leni Stern's latest album, "3" (LSR), to be released on April 27th.

With "3", guitarist/composer Leni Stern offers us her most authentic recording to date, a true trio collaboration, featuring Mamadou Ba on bass and Alioune Faye on percussion and vocals. This band weaves the rhythms of Senegal into the music of NYC, creating the brilliant follow up to Stern's critically acclaimed "Dakar Suite" (2016). For more than two decades Stern has been a beacon of inspiration and a nomadic force, spreading the beauty of her music from her native Europe to her adopted home of NYC. Since the mid-2000s, Stern has followed her heart to Africa and her travels have harvested many rewards, not the least of which is her brilliant new album, "3".

Leni Stern is an unstoppable force of bottomless energy. Her long-time fans know her from a successful jazz career that saw her touring the globe on the stage of every major festival and legendary club with bands that included some of the biggest heavyweights on the scene (Dennis Chambers, Paul Motian, Bill Frisell... to name a few). Everything changed when in 2005 Leni was first invited to perform at the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali. It was there that she would meet Bassekou Kouyate and his wife Ami Sacko, embraced by their family and their bands, she dove headfirst into the traditions of West African guitar and later the n'goni (African banjo). It was a natural path from jazz, a personal journey to where her playing and the genre all began, a sort of spiritual exploration coupled with devoted study and practice.

In the past 13 years Leni has worked her hardest, forging a new sound that is all her own, composing, studying, practicing, with the rhythms and tonalities of West Africa through the chops of an accomplished jazz guitarist. It is finally, with "3", that her most authentic voice can be experienced.  Joined by her regular NYC-based trio of Mamadou Ba and Alioune Faye, Leni's compositions pay humble homage to the drum patterns of traditional Senegalese folk songs. What emerges is a new repertoire of cross-pollinated ideas and reverence to jazz, to blues, to Africa, to a folk music of today's diaspora.

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