Entertainment

Great coffee gets great guitarist going

Jesse Cook branches out into styles other than his usual flamenco in his newest album. He performs at the Tidemark on Friday. - Photo courtesy Jesse Cook
Jesse Cook branches out into styles other than his usual flamenco in his newest album. He performs at the Tidemark on Friday.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Jesse Cook

This Friday, the talented Canadian guitarist Jesse Cook and his backing players return to Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre.

They’ll be featuring music from “The Blue Guitar,” Cook’s eighth studio album.

The album is a departure from anything resembling flamenco.

Instead, Cook has produced a captivating album with a sound that allows listeners to appreciate each musician’s contribution.

The live show will also include songs from his more familiar work: flamenco rumba, jazz, and many forms of world music.

Joining Cook on stage will be Chris Church, Rosendo “Chendy” Leon, Nicholas Hernandez and Dennis Mohammed.

Last Friday, during a tour stop in Red Deer, Alberta, Cook spoke with the Mirror about his music:

Q. CR Mirror: When did you first learn to play guitar?

A. Jesse Cook: I started when I was six…I think I’ve done 19 years of music study, but it’s a lifetime pursuit.

Q. CRM: Who influenced you?

A. Cook: Paco de Lucia was a huge influence. He passed away while we were on tour – a very sad day. We dedicated a concert to him and we’ve been sitting in the bus playing Paco music…he changed the landscape of flamenco.

Q. CRM: If you were not a musician, what would you be doing?

A. Cook: I would be a pool hustler! I have a table. I also might work at Starbucks; I make a mean expresso.”

Q. CRM:Who would you like to perform with?

A. Cook: There’s a world of musicians I’d like to play with…I’m a huge Peter Gabriel fan, but I never got Genesis.”

Q. CRM: Favourite guitar?

A. Cook: Such a tough question! I have a lot of beautiful instruments. But the Conde Hermanos is considered the Stradivarius of flamenco guitars. It’s the one you hear on all my records, but I don’t consider what I do as flamenco, it’s a hybrid.

Q. CRM: Do you write when you’re touring?

A. Cook: Oddly enough, never. If I write anything on tour I’d be amazed. Touring is like training for a marathon and it takes all your focus. It’s all about protecting your health and the health of your fingers.

Q. CRM: So what do you do for health and nutrition while you’re touring?

A. Cook: It all starts with a big cappuccino – we have our own expresso machine on the bus. I try to eat healthy for the first two meals of the day because with number three, who knows? I practise yoga and go for long walks, take pictures of the places we visit, but I haven’t got out of the bus today which is kind of sad. It’s freezing out there.”

Q. CRM: What theatre would you like to perform in? Somewhere you haven’t been?

A. Cook: I’d love to play the Royal Albert Hall (in London, England), but our goal, as a band, is to play Carnegie Hall in 2015. This year we’re playing at the Town Hall in New York City, it’s just one stop away!”

  • There’s still a few seats available for Friday’s concert at the Tidemark. Tickets are $47.50 plus taxes at the box office or call 250-287-7465. This is a licensed event so you need to be 19 or older.
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