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

Proposed South Okanagan medical marijuana facility stalled

The RDOS voted to postpone on making a decision about Kaleden area proposed cannabis facility

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

1,490 Peachland residents put on evacuation alert

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

Centre set up for Summerland wildfire evacuees

Summerland Emergency Support Services has processed 55 people from 16 households

Highway 97 near Peachland closed due to dynamic wildfire activity

Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland is being shut down due to wildfires

Update: Skeleton crew to watch 1,000 hectare wildfire near Peachland overnight

Peachland - Evacuation orders have been issued for Brent Road and Highway 97 South properties

Law Creek wildfire forces evacuation alert in West Kelowna

A blaze in West Kelowna has put 198 properties on an evacuation alert

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

Lakeshore Drive businesses ‘prepared not scared’ in wake of wildfire

Wineries along with a boutique dairy farm are preparing for worst

Centre set up for Summerland wildfire evacuees

Summerland Emergency Support Services has processed 55 people from 16 households

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire now an estimated 400 hectares

BC Wildfire is on scene of what is being called the Good Creek blaze

Flicked cigarette butt sparks small fire

The cigarette would have added fuel to the fire if it wasn’t for good samaritans

On the street: Kelowna reacts to 2018 wildfires

BC Wildfire is working with local departments to battle multiple blazes near Kelowna.

Most Read