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America

Published on November 19th, 2013 | by Owen Mcnally - CTNOW.Com

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Steel Pan Master Andy Narell At UofH; Guitar Wizard Loueke In Chester

Resonating with appealing exoticism, two concerts this week offer something fresh and a bit off the well-worn musical path as steel pan master Andy Narellperforms Thursday, Nov. 21, at the University of Hartford, and the West African guitar wizard and vocalist Lionel Loueke leads his trio Sunday, Nov. 24, in Chester at the Chester Meeting House. Narell, who is credited with introducing the steel drums to jazz as a solo instrument, plays with his all-star ensemble at 7:30 Thursday, Nov. 21, in The Hartt School‘s “2013-2014 Richard P. Garmany Chamber Music Series” in Millard Auditorium on the UofH campus, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford.

Noted for the panoply of colors and textures he evokes from his steel drums, or pans as they’re called, his groundbreaking playing has ranged over many styles, including not only Caribbean and Latin melodies, but also R&B, funk and straight-ahead jazz. Among his jazz triumphs was his celebrated stint as co-leader of the Caribbean Jazz Project with such fellow soloing heavyweights and genre-benders as saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and vibist Dave Samuels.

A much sought-after, versatile musician, the steelpan sensation has collaborated with a diverse array of artists including Tito Puente, Bela Fleck and Aretha Franklin. As a soloist and bandleader, he has played hundreds of concerts and jazz festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, the Caribbean, South America and Africa. His performance in Hartt’s distinguished chamber music series marks a rare East Coast appearance by the globe-trotting, Paris-based, steel drum exponent noted for his virtuosic and colorful playing.

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