New York, New York, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Jazz / Afro-beat / Alternative
Although their geographical roots are spread out on the map, one listen to Gilfema leaves the distinct impression that guitarist/vocalist Lionel Loueke (from Benin, West Africa), Hungarian drummer Ferenc Nemeth, and Swedish-Italian bassist Massimo Biolcati were destined to find one another. Gilfema has released just two albums -- the group's self-titled 2005 debut and now their new 2008 release Gilfema + 2, featuring the trio plus guest clarinetists Anat Cohen and John Ellis -- yet their recordings project a sense of intuitiveness in their interactions that more commonly result from decades of playing together.

Since the group's debut album in 2005, all three artists have kept extremely busy. Nemeth and Biolcati have both released debut albums as leaders - Nemeth's album Night Songs was a Best Jazz Album finalist for the 2008 Independent Music Awards, and Biolcati's album Persona was just nominated for Best Jazz Album in the 2009 Independent Music Awards. Loueke has released three solo efforts, including Virgin Forest, his debut ObliqSound solo album featuring Herbie Hancock, Cyro Baptista, Gregoire Maret and Gretchen Parlato, which also won the 2008 Independent Music Award for best song, World Traditional; and all three musicians were featured on Loueke's major label debut this year on Blue Note, called Karibu. All of Gilfema have toured the world with some of the biggest names in jazz, most notably, Loueke's star-making turns with Charlie Haden, Terence Blanchard and now as a touring member of recent Grammy-winner Herbie Hancock's band.

The group's name Gilfema--extracted from Lionel GILles Loueke (his friends and family call him Gilles), FErenc Nemeth and MAssimo Biolcati--is intended to emphasize the collaborative nature of the music created under this moniker. The sound of three vibrant cultures flows as one over an open tributary of jazz, effortlessly casting spells with compositions as intricate and purposeful as they are soothing and meditative.

Gilfema + 2 is in stores and at digital retailers everywhere now!

Now 21 on CMJ Jazz Chart - and rising!

35 on JazzWeek World Jazz Chart - and rising!

4 stars - Mondomix

"The cross-cultural jazz trio Gilfema forged their grooves in the USA. Their second CD is fleshed out by a brace of clarinets, Anat Cohen on the woody standard model and John Ellis rumbling on the bass. The bittersweet tones flesh out the folk-flavoured grooves." - Financial Times (London)

"'Morning Dew' begins not so much as a jazz tune, but as a meditation. Percussion. A single note. A single note lower than the first. Repeat. But then the bass comes in with melodic afterthoughts. Then the clarinet. A bass clarinet, too. Finally a voice. The simplicity is still there until the melody begins to rise along with the emotional intensity. Solos are taken, with Lionel Loueke's unison vocal/guitar lines being the most memorable. While the composition ends up being much grander nearing its finish, it still manages to retain the elegant simplicity it started with. Very inspiring.' -

"What better time to talk about the most beautiful and/or revolutionary jazz album of the year? Lionel Loueke's guitar technique cannot be questioned by anyone.he can rock along gaily or pull out all the stops during "Salome," in which he conjures up no less than Jimi Hendrix." -

Watch Gilfema, plus two, in studio at WBGO!
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