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The State Theatre Welcomes Back Juno Award Winner Jesse Cook, 1/24

The State Theatre Welcomes Back Juno Award Winner Jesse Cook, 1/24

One critic describes Jesse Cook in concert as "phenomenal Latin music that's bursting with rhythm and pulse that's lead by one of the hands-down best rumba-flamenco guitar players in the world." Over the numerous times Jesse Cook has graced The State Theatre stage, he has won over new believers with passionate guitar work, Moorish rhythms and smoldering on-stage charisma.

Show time is Thursday, January 24 at 8 PM. Tickets are $30 & $25 and can be purchased by visiting The State Theatre Box Office, 453 Northampton Street, Easton, by calling 1-800-999-STATE, 610-252-3132 or online at www.statetheatre.org.

Spending the summer of 2011 cottage hopping with his family, Cook set about writing material for The Blue Guitar Sessions, his eighth studio album.

"I was feeling kind of guilty about leaving work to go on vacation," he recalls. "I thought 'if I write a song every day I can do whatever I want.' It became effortless. It was never a struggle probably because I wanted to do this record for so long. I finally uncorked the genie and, poof, out it came."

For the 47-year-old Toronto resident, who was born in Paris to John Cook, a film director and his wife Heather, a former CBC television producer, this record is much different from the rumba flamenco for which he is best known. Indeed, he has been a leading proponent of the genre since bursting onto the world music scene with 1995's Tempest. Among his many accolades, in 2008, he won the silver medal in Acoustic Guitar magazine's prestigious Players' Choice Awards behind the legendary Paco De Lucia.

Cook has steered clear of anything resembling flamenco on this record, producing a sound that allows listeners to appreciate each musician's contribution. To do so he also battled his natural instinct to fill in space.

"It's a big departure from the work I have done in the past," he admits, "and there's a fear that if you do something drastically different, will there still be someone there to listen to it if you change?"

"But I feel the role of an artist is to change, to constantly push forward and try and come up with something new. I don't want to spend the rest of my life repeating my first few records so I decided I was going to do it."

The result is a captivating 14-track album recorded on a pair of vintage microphones, which he had exhaustively searched for to replicate the mood of recordings from the MiLes Davis era. Sound is of the utmost importance to him as a musician, producer and engineer.

For more information about Jesse Cook, please visit his website: http://www.jessecook.com/


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