Mahmoud Chouki & Víctor Campbell
Friday, November 17, 2023
7:30PM Doors | 8:00PM Performance
Suggested Donation: $25 GA / $15 student, senior, etc.
*none turned away for lack of funds, no pressure*
Mahmoud Chouki is a Moroccan master guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and educator currently living and working in New Orleans. His art draws together music from around the globe, exploring how music may speak across cultural divides. In addition to training and performing around the world, Chouki began his musical training at the Conservatory of Larache at the age of eight. He continued his education at the National Conservatory in Rabat and won first prize in the International Guitar Competition in Spain at 18 years old. He also teaches music at the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans and is the consulting curator of music performances at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He composed the music score for the 2021 Sundance Award winning film, “Ma Belle, Ma Beauty,” directed by New Orleans based filmmaker Marion Hill. Other accolades include OffBeat Magazine’s “Best Emerging Artist” in their annual “Best of the Beat” (2020), and Gambit Weekly’s “Best World Artist” (2022). Recently, Chouki was invited by the Palais de l’Élysée in Paris to perform at “fête de la musique,” alongside multiple Grammy awards-winner Jon Batiste.
Víctor Campbell was born in Esmeralda, Camagüey. At the age of 5, he touched the piano for the first time, with his mother as his first teacher. At 7, he entered the Luis Casas Romero Vocational School of Arts in Camagüey, where he won the Grand Prize and First Place in the piano competition. Later, he completed his studies at the National School of Arts classical music. During that time, he began his career in the popular music world, playing with various bands such as Paulo FG.
At the age of 16, he had his first experience at the Havana Jazz Plaza, a renowned jazz festival. He accompanied the maestro Bobby Carcasses and also won the award for Best Accompaniment at the Jo Jazz competition in Havana. Graduating at 17, he was invited to the summer jazz camp Louis Armstrong, for New Orleans played a significant role in changing his life. After returning to Cuba, he embarked on tours across Latin American countries. He also became a part of renowned Cuban orchestras, such as Isaac Delgado, Klimax, Alain Perez, and Havana de Primera, and others, touring the continents. He had the privilege of directing the band of the famous Omara Portuondo, a diva from the Buena Vista Social Club.
During that time, he focused on being a session musician, recording numerous albums with well-known producers like Juan Manuel Ceruto and Germán Velasco. Later, he relocated to New Orleans, where he established his trio and began his career as a solo pianist. In the United States, he had the opportunity to play with renowned artists like Herlin Riley, Kent Jordan, Weedie Braimah, Fatoumata Diawara, and many others, performing in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Birdland in New York, Blue Note, and more.
In a 2019 interview, the great Chucho Valdés predicted that “Víctor will revolutionize Cuban jazz piano.”