Jesse Cook adds Okanagan to worldly jams

Jesse Cook will take the …

“I want to take people to places they haven’t been.”

Jesse Cook, Juno winning master guitarist, known for his intoxicating fusion of world music, has travelled the globe looking for sounds that resonate with him. And it’s a worldly sound Cook will bring to the Okanagan, with a Vernon stop Oct. 5 and Kelowna Oct. 6.

“I like finding common ground for different music traditions, a space where music from around the world can come together,” Cook explains. “A place where modern sounds can mix with ancient timbres.

“There are many borders in our lives. Some others have built, some we create for ourselves. Whenever I ventured beyond the borders of my life, I have been the better for it. I grew up in the cold war, in a world of walls and borders. But then people began to change the way they thought. The walls came down. Europe united, and people began thinking of themselves as global citizens. The rising nationalism of today is exploiting our differences, not celebrating them. We are back to building walls, and I don’t want any part of it. Humanity, artistry, joy, and of course, love…these things don’t stop at some line on the map. If music is the universal language, maybe there is something it can teach us?”

Cook also helps foster this spirit of cultural exploration visually through his photography on Instagram as well his popular weekly video releases on his YouTube channel and through Facebook. He was born in Paris, to Canadian parents. The family moved to southern France, where they bought a small home built in the 16th Century, for 100 dollars.

“It was like stepping into the Middle Ages,” Cook recalls. “Manitas de Plata was popular then, and it was his albums got me interested in the sound of flamenco guitar.”

After moving back to Canada, Cook started guitar lessons.

“My teacher played flamenco. Then, when I’d visit my dad in France, he was living next door to Nicolas Reyes, the singer of the Gipsy Kings. I saw gipsy kids on the corner playing that way too. It was as if the world conspired to get me interested in this style and I was hooked.”

It was when he heard the Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin album, Friday Night in San Francisco that the die was cast. “I was captivated by the sheer virtuosity and freedom, that people could play whatever they wanted, creating in that space between jazz and flamenco.”

Cook studied classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music, moving on to York University, and jazz at Berklee College in Boston. On his albums, and in concert, Cook explores the roots of flamenco, and it’s many offshoots, from India to Spain, and on to Cuba and Latin America. Along the way, he developed his signature synthesis of world music.

He has released ten genre-defying albums, garnering 11 Juno nominations and one win, in 2001 for Free Fall in the World Music and Instrumental categories.

As Cook reflects back on his journey so far, “Music has a way of touching your soul, and every tradition on earth has its own way of doing that. When we venture beyond our cultural and geographic borders, we can gain the whole world.”

Cook will take the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre stage Oct. 5 before hitting Kelowna Oct. 6. Tickets go on sale April 20 at 10 a.m.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Voter turnout rises in Salmon Arm and Sicamous municipal elections

A greater percentage of voters made it to the polls on Saturday than they did in 2014.

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

ELECTION NIGHT: Mayor-elect Alan Harrison expresses gratitude

Longtime councillor Alan Harrison is Salmon Arm’s new mayor, defeating incumbent Nancy Cooper

ELECTION 2018: Majority of voters give the nod to underpass spending

Ross Street underpass plan gains approval on referendum ballots

The Valley Votes: Your election results

The results are in from the 2018 municipal election.

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

Book capture’s baby boomer’s joy of being a grandmother

Author Pauline Daniel launches novel at Salmon Arm library Monday, Oct. 22

Most Read