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Searing Guitar Master Jesse Cook Heats Up the Rockwell Stage

Posted: March 1, 2006
The Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall is pleased to present rumba flamenco guitar master Jesse Cook on Friday, April 7 at 8:00 pm. This concert at the Performing Arts Center is part of the 2005-2006 Great Performers Series, presented by M&T Bank.

Tickets for Jesse Cook are $28, with a discount for seniors, faculty and staff. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave. or by calling 716-878-3005 or online at Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Cook's live shows - he performs regularly throughout his native Canada, the U.S, Asia, and points beyond – are notorious for drawing throngs of fans who sing and dance along during the entire performance. Those in attendance who may not yet be as familiar with his intoxicating rumba flamenco are quickly placed under the spell of passionate guitar work, Moorish rhythms, and Cook’s smoldering on-stage charisma. Multiple encores are the rule and audiences find it difficult to let it all end. In fact, his performances often bring out the wilder side of the audience – from extra security on hand at the Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival in case the dancing got out of hand, to “Tom Jones” style slinging of lingerie onto the stage, Cook is able to sear the soul of anyone fortunate to see him live.

Capturing the fire of his jaw-dropping live shows, this Juno Award winning rumba flamenco master issued his first-ever live album, Montr?al, recorded at the M?tropolis Theater during Le Festival International de Jazz de Montr?al, in the summer of 2004. Montr?al comes on the heels of Cooks enormously popular 2003 outing Nomad.

Jesse Cook has toured the globe on the strength of his ever-evolving discography, a remarkable collection that began with Tempest in 1995 and continued with Gravity in 1996, Vertigo in 1998, and Free Fall in 2000. In fact, Cook's wanderlust might well date back to his European origins: born in Paris to Canadian parents, Cook moved to Canada with his mother and sister when he was three-and-a-half years old. His father remained in Europe, and Cook's subsequent visits there were marked by a series of musical excursions during which Cook was introduced to a wide array of world musicians, including, during one formative early-eighties trip, a fledgling band called the Gipsy Kings. "That's when I got hooked on that percussive approach to playing guitar," he says, summing up the origins of his captivating signature style.

In the midst of these sporadic visits to Europe, Cook enjoyed a sheltered, but cosmopolitan upbringing in the burgeoning multi-cultural city of Toronto. An interest in his mother's flamenco records and an accompanying "starter" guitar (given to him at age three) eventually led to formal studies at the esteemed Eli Kassner Academy, the Royal Conservatory of Canada, and York University - a course of study that climaxed at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music.

Soon after the independent release of Tempest in 1995, the ink was drying on his recording contract with Narada Records. Since that time, Cook has sold over a million CDs worldwide, earned one platinum and four gold record awards in Canada for each of his albums.

The Great Performers Series is sponsored by M&T Bank and WBFO.
Media Contact:
Jeff Marsha, Director of Operations, Performing Arts Center | 7168783032 |

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