Internationally renowned musician Jesse Cook returns to Las Vegas for a special one-night performance inside Red Rock Resort’s Rocks Lounge as part of his “Beyond Borders” tour. Tickets are now available for the intimate concert, which will showcase the acclaimed artist’s intoxicating fusion of world music.
The award-winning master guitarist, composer and producer incorporates elements of flamenco, rhumba, jazz, new age, easy listening and other music genres to create an extraordinary blend of music for which he has become so well known. It also speaks to why the appreciation of his music is so far-reaching, touching a diverse audience worldwide.
“I want to take people to places they haven’t been,” says Cook, who has traveled the world in search of sounds that resonate with him. “I like finding common ground for different music traditions; a space where music from around the world can come together, a place where modern sounds can mix with ancient timbres.”
In concert and on his albums, Cook explores the roots of flamenco and its various offshoots, including Indian, Cuban and Latin American music. Although the genre has original influences from Jewish and Islamic music, it was transformed into a vigorous, rhythmic dance style by the Andalusian Gypsies.
The gypsies had originated in northwestern India, but were forced to flee to southern Spain, which led to the development of flamenco into a style of Spanish music.
Cook’s ambition to seek out sounds worldwide with which to satiate his diverse musical palette may have been influenced greatly by his upbringing.
He was born in Paris to Canadian parents, who later relocated the family to Southern France. There, for the first time, he experienced the music of Manitas de Plata, a renowned flamenco guitarist.
“Manitas de Plata was popular then,” he explains, “and it was his albums that got me interested in the sound of flamenco guitar.”
The family then moved to Canada, where Cook began taking guitar lessons from a teacher who played flamenco. And, when he’d return to France for visits with his father, he encountered Gipsy Kings singer Nicolas Reyes, who lived next door.
“I saw gypsy kids on the corner playing that way, too,” Cook recalls. “It was as if the world conspired to get me interested in this style, and I was hooked.”
“I was captivated by the sheer virtuosity and freedom; that people could play whatever they wanted, creating in that space between jazz and flamenco,” he says.
Cook first attended The Royal Conservatory of Music and then moved on to York University in Toronto to study classical guitar. He finished off his musical training studying jazz at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Through his extensive training and world travels, Cook developed his signature synthesis of world music. With 10 albums to his credit, this multiple award-winning international artist has sold more than 1.5 million records worldwide. He released his latest album, Beyond Borders, in September.
“There are many borders in our lives. Some, others have built, some we create for ourselves. Whenever I ventured beyond the borders of my life, I have been the better for it,” he reflects.
“Humanity, artistry, joy and, of course, love … these things don’t stop at some line on the map. If music is the universal language, maybe there is something it can teach us.
“Music has a way of touching your soul, and every tradition on earth has its own way of doing that. When we venture beyond our cultural and geographic borders, we can gain the whole world.”
You can catch Cook’s Las Vegas performance at the Red Rock Resort on Oct. 12. Tickets for the show are available for purchase at all Station Casinos Reward centers and Fiesta hotel-casinos, by logging onto stationcasinoslive.com, or through Ticketmaster at 800. 745.3000 or ticketmaster.com.