Last year we saw him play during HerbieHancock's Possibilities Tour. The African guitarist Lionel Loueke is making an excellent name for himself in the New York jazz scene. It was along way to get there, though. In 1990 Loueke left his native country Benin and went to Ivory Coast to study at the National Institute of theArts. Determined to learn jazz and inspired by Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and George Benson, he moved to Paris, where he studied at theAmerican School of Modern Music. Thanks to a grant he could study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and later he was singled out for a continuation of his studies at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance in Los Angeles. He got experienced in the band of trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Now he's a member of the groups of Herbie Hancock and Marcus Miller. He recorded two solo albums: In a Trance and Virgin Forest.