Nguyen Le

Genres: Jazz
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

14 January 1959, Paris, France. Born to Vietnamese parents, Nguyên Lê began playing drums in his early teens before switching to guitar and electric bass, being self-taught on all instruments. He studied for a degree in Visual Arts, majoring in Philosophy. Thereafter, he turned to a full-time career in music. He played rock, funk, jazz and showed a special interest in world music. In 1984, he toured Madagascar with Jim Cuomo, and also worked with Yves Robert, Andre Almuro, and Tona Scherchen. Lê’s growing fascination with ethnic music led him not only to Ultramarine (recording 1989’s Dêê and 1991’s Esimala) but also to projects with Algerian singer Safy Boutella and Vietnamese Truong Tang (his teacher on the dan bau, a traditional one-stringed instrument). In 1987, Lê joined the Orchestre National De Jazz under musical director Antoine Hervé. This engagement led to an opportunity to play with many noted jazz...

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