Artist Profiles: Lo’Jo

Lo’Jo

Lo’Jo is a an eclectic French band that creates hybrid music based on sounds from Africa, Europe and the Middle East. When Lo’Jo first formed there were only three members: Denis Pean, Richard Zenou, and Richard Bourreau. Since 1982, more than 300 musicians and dancers have contributed to Lo’Jo’s sound.

As a fledgling band, Lo’Jo joined the Jo Bithume Company, a street theatre ensemble. They absorbed multiple influences while touring Europe for four years. As musicians, we needed to open our ears to the music of the world. That was the idea when I began Lo’Jo,’ Pean said.

Although the band started with traditional Western instruments (piano, bassoon, double bass, and violin), West African instruments were introduced in the mid-90s.

The band’s members have performed live to Murnau’s silent film Nosferatu, published books, produced documentaries, performed twice at the Lincoln Center with 20 performers, and spent countless nights chatting around campfires, drinking wine and smoking cigarettes.

For a few years, they produced Le Festival au Desert with English guitarist Justin Adams and the Tuareg desert blues band Tinariwen, struggling against heat, political tensions, and sand-covered roads in search of new experiences and adventures.

Combined with performances in politically charged landscapes and collaborations with Malian group Tinariwen, Lo’Jo’s lyrics continue the poetic traditions of the French chanson.

Discography

* Boheme de Cristal (World Village, 1997)
* Mojo Radio (World Village 468003, 2002)
* L’une des siens (Emma Productions/Universal, 2002)
* Au Cabaret Sauvage (World Village 468007, 2002)
* Ce soir-la (World Village 468027, 2004)
* Bazar Savant (2006)
* Tu Connais Lo’jo (2007)
* Cosmophono (Wagram, 2009)
* Cinema El Mundo (World village, 2012)
* 310 Lunes (2014)

Web Site www.lojo.org

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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