|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s|
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. Lês growing fascination with ethnic music led him not only to Ultramarine (recording 1989s Dêê and 1991s 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...