Guitar virtuoso Jesse Cook brings his five-piece band to the McGlohon Sunday evening as part of his “One World” U.S. tour.
A classically trained Canadian guitarist, he’s known for fusing disparate musical traditions. He’s sold more than 1.5 million albums worldwide and won Canada’s equivalent of a Grammy (the Juno) – and his ninth studio album, “One World,” debuted in the top 10 of Billboard’s Jazz Album and World Album charts last fall. It offers a mix of Egyptian rhythms, Armenian-dudek-tinged melodies, flamenco guitars, Latin percussion and more.
So there’s a categorization conundrum.
“People never know what bin to put my music in,” Cook said in a recent interview. “ ‘World Music is an umbrella used for music from ‘some other part of the world.’ Whether it’s Indonesian Gamelan music, Japanese Koto music, Bongo music from India or flamenco, it tends to get thrown into this very nonspecific category.”
Performing live allows him to play with a looser style, experiment and jam with his band, he said. Listeners are embraced one moment by haunting tones that evoke Cairo corner cafes, transported to the Louisiana bayou the next with a Cajun feel of Buckwheat Zydeco (a collaborator of Cook’s), and finally taken to Madrid with inspiring Latin-laced sounds of rumba dance parties.
“What I find interesting in music are those points of intersection existing between music of different cultures. I get excited by music that builds a bridge,” said Cook. “Some musicians want to excel at a particular musical form and learn all the rules. I want to learn the rules, but then I want to break them.”
Want to go?
What: Jesse Cook, One World Tour.
When: 7 p.m. Sunday.
Where: McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St.
Details: 704-372-1000, www.blumenthalarts.org/events-performances/coming-performances/detail/jesse-cook.