136 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

First Night Boston, Berklee College of Music, and 89.7 WGBH present the Lionel Loueke Trio, performing at the Berklee Performance Center on New Year's Eve, Friday, December 31, kicking off NPR's annual worldwide broadcast, Toast of the Nation. The concert is a centerpiece of this year's First Night Boston festival.

Admission is $18 by the purchase of a First Night button. The Lionel Loueke Trio performs two sets to be heard locally at 8:00 p.m. (live NPR broadcast), and 9:30 p.m. Loueke’s performance will be rebroadcast at 3:15 a.m. Eastern (12:15 a.m. Pacific) for revelers in the Western time zones. Visit firstnight.org for more information. Jazz pianist Takeshi Ohbayashi performs the first set of the evening at 6:30 p.m. Ohbayashi '10 leads a group of current Berklee students that includes Hailey Niswanger on saxophones, Aaron Darrell on bass, and Mark Whitfield, Jr. on drums. Each of the three performances will be seated separately. The Berklee Performance Center is located at 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA. Please call 617-747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com for more information.

Originally from the West African nation of Benin, Lionel Loueke has enjoyed a meteoric rise. In 2008 and 2009, he was chosen Top Rising Star guitarist in the annual DownBeat magazine Critics Poll. Praised by his mentor Herbie Hancock as “a musical painter,” Loueke combines harmonic sophistication, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African music, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. A 2001 Berklee graduate, Loueke is joined by longtime bandmates and fellow Berklee grads, bassist Massimo Biolcati and drummer Ferenc Nemeth. Forged through more than 15 years of performing together, the sound of the Lionel Loueke Trio draws upon unique international influences, and their studies, first at Berklee College of Music, and then at the Thelonious Monk Institute graduate program, where they worked under artist director Terence Blanchard.
New Year's Eve 2010 marks the seventh consecutive year that Berklee, 89.7 WGBH, and NPR have collaborated to kick-off the live holiday special Toast of the Nation. Heard on more than 200 NPR affiliate stations and NPR Worldwide, Toast of the Nation begins in Boston and will move across the country, with live celebrations from DC's Kennedy Center with the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra with Nnenna Freelon; New York City's Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola with an all-star Celebration in Swing, led by pianists Cyrus Chestnut and Benny Green; Chicago's Green Mill with a battle of the saxes, Von Freeman vs. Edward Peterson; Denver’s Dazzle jazz club, and the J.D. Allen Trio; and San Francisco's Yoshi’s with Grammy-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves.

For a full schedule of performances, and to find local participating NPR stations, please visit wbgo.org/toast. The concert can be heard locally on 89.7 WGBH FM at wgbh.org/listen. Toast of the Nation is produced for NPR by WBGO-FM, Newark; WGBH Radio produces the Boston portion of the broadcast. It will also be broadcast on Sirius 72 and XM 70 by Real Jazz.

Official Website: http://www.firstnight.org

Added by Berklee MR on December 9, 2010

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