Award-winning Canadian guitarist makes stopover in Okanagan – Vernon Morning Star
He kept himself busy during the pandemic by playing guitar for the love of playing.
But Canadian multi-award winning platinum/gold guitarist Jesse Cook also found time to make YouTube videos and wrote and recorded his 11th album, Libre. Songs from the new album will be included in Cook’s 43-city “Tempest II” North American tour that kicks off Jan. 19 in Spokane.
The tour will include two stops in the Okanagan in Vernon, February 23 at the Performing Arts Center and February 24 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.
“During the pandemic, it was nice to take a break,” Cook, 57, said from his Toronto home where he jokes that he has to “put on a Hazmat suit just to go out and have a cup of coffee. “. “If you’re on tour, you keep your muscles trained and in shape because they atrophy. If you take too many breaks, you come back and get injured. I played for the love of the game. Now we go on the road, we play every day and it brings me back to life. »
Looking forward to hitting the road again and performing in front of live audiences – something he hasn’t done since February 2020 – Cook is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his acclaimed debut album, ‘Tempest’.
The tour was supposed to take place in 2020 but was wiped out by COVID.
“I vividly remember us sitting in a hotel lobby in Vienna and reading the (pandemic) news on our phones, wondering if it would affect our Canadian tour,” Cook said. “My manager at the time said to me ‘Oh no problem. It can’t have any effect on us. Two weeks later to the day our tour was canceled and my children’s school was cancelled.
Libre arrives alongside the album’s signature track, “Number 5”, and its accompaniment Musical clip.
The inspiration for Libre came from a long summer day in the car with her 14-year-old son.
“My daughter entertained me with her favorite playlists, most of which were trap and 808-inspired,” Cook said. “I loved them too, and a question popped into my mind: ‘What would my music sound like when mixed with those sounds?'”
He called on his musician friend Fethi Nadjem, an Algerian multi-instrumentalist who moved to Toronto. Nadjem is one of four musicians on tour with Cook.
“I met Fethi about two years before the lockdown and we started touring together,” Cook said. “He’s an incredible musician. The longer Fethi was on the record, the happier I was.
When asked what he preferred, creating and recording an album or performing live, Cook said each was his own experience.
“I think people making an album, it’s like the early Beatles days, where you’re doing ‘one one and one two, it’s gonna be a hit,'” he laughed. “It’s really more like painting on a canvas adding music one brushstroke at a time.
“Playing live is like that old Beatles record. It’s going to sound different every time, you react to each other and then the audience becomes part of it. I love them both, but they’re completely different.
Since Cook released “Tempest”, he has 10 gold and platinum studio albums with combined sales of over 2 million copies, five concert DVDs and live discs, five PBS specials and multiple awards – one win JUNO, 11 nominations, three Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards, a Gemini and an Acoustic Guitar Magazine Player’s Choice Silver Award.