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Nguyên Lê
Biography

Nguyên Lê - © ACT / Rolf Kissling
Nguyên Lê - © ACT / Rolf Kissling

Guitarist Nguyên Lê is a very particular jazz musician for a number of reasons: Even though he lives in Paris where he was born in 1959, he feels very connected to the cultural background of his Vietnamese family. He furthermore is self taught and just started to play the drums by the age of 15, but soon switched to the guitar.

He entered the music business in 1983 playing with the Afro-Caribbean band “Ultramarin“. His impressive career really kicked off after joining the French “Orchestre National du Jazz” in 1987. Already his first solo albums – released at the beginning of the 90es – attracted a large and still growing audience.

Lê had his German debut in collaboration with the Jazzpãna-Ensemble in 1993. It was exceedingly well received by critics and fans. Newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ was even raving about his playing: „No one plays the guitar like Lê!“. ACT-boss Siggi Loch just felt the same and Nguyên Lê became his label’s first exclusive artist.

To this day, Lê released no less than 12 albums on ACT. He has played with almost every important and famous European or American jazz artist. He is a regular guest to WDR Big Band and has founded several bands and ensembles, whereof trio E_L_B (with Peter Erskine und Michel Benita) and Lê’s “Jimi Hendrix Project” are the most successful and well-known.

His most recent album „Songs of Freedom“ clearly reflects Lê’s passion for rock music. On the album he presents rock classics by Cream, Led Zeppelin or Janis Joplin in his very own way. „I am a personalized fusion of the cultures,” Lê once commented on his artistic personality – and indeed, his music uniquely combines the most diverse musical styles and elements. From Flamenco to Oriental or Asian music; Lê merges his influences together into one jazz-“frame“ and gives a clear definition of what “world music” can be.

Nguyên Lê on ACT:

Solo

SONGS OF FREEDOM (ACT 9506-2)

NGUYÊN LÊ SIGNATURE EDITION 1 (ACT 6004-2)

SAIYUKI (ACT 9483-2)

WALKING ON THE TIGER’S TAIL (ACT 9432-2)

PURPLE - Celebrating Jimi Hendrix (ACT 9410-2)

BAKIDA (ACT 9275-2)

MAGHREB & FRIENDS (ACT 9261-2)

TALES FROM VIÊT-NAM (ACT 9225-2)

THREE TRIOS (ACT 9245-2)

HOMESCAPE (ACT 9444-2)

MILLION WAVES (ACT 9221-2)

In Collaborations

E_L_B Peter Erskine - Nguyên Lê - Michel Benita: DREAM FLIGHT (ACT 9467-2)

E_L_B Peter Erskine - Nguyên Lê - Michel Benita: E_L_B (ACT 9289-2)

Huong Thanh & Nguyên Lê: FRAGILE BEAUTY (ACT 9451-2)