The much-anticipated new self-titled album from St Germain (Ludovic Navarre), which comes 15 years after the commercially and critically successful Tourist, has been met with acclaim, with NPR declaring Navarre “remains a sly master of the textural mix,” The Independent on Sunday (UK) praising the album’s “tasteful blend of dexterous musicianship and smooth syncopated beats,” and the Wall Street Journal calling it “a clever and very pleasing album, one that justifies the long wait.”In support of St Germain (October 2015, Nonesuch Records), Navarre will embark on an extensive tour, beginning Fall 2015 in Europe, and coming to North America in Spring 2016. Below is an initial itinerary, and more will be announced soon. North American shows go on sale on November 13.
For the St Germain tour, Navarre will be joined by Guimba Kouyate (guitar), Didier Davidas (keyboard), Jorge Bezerra (drums), Sadio Kone (n’goni), Edouard Labor (saxophone & flute), Cheikh Lo Ouza Diallo (kora), Sullyvan Rhino (bass) with Navarre himself at the center, acting as musical director.
St Germain, whose albums Boulevard (1995)and Tourist originated a genre of French electronic music, returns with a self-titled record that marries percussive grooves, always central to St Germain’s sound, with a new element: traditional Malian instruments.
St Germain features various musicians and singers from the African diaspora and beyond including Malian kora player Mamadou Cherif Soumano, Senegalese kora player Cheikh Lo Ouza Diallo, Malian violinist Zoumana Tereta (on “How Dare You”), Senegalese bass player Alioune Wade (Ismael Lô), Malian n’goni player Adama Coulibaly (on “Family Tree”), Malian vocalist Nahawa Doumbia (on “Sittin’ Here”), Malian vocalist Fanta Babayogo, Brazilian percussionist Jorge Bezerra and a Lightnin’ Hopkins sample on “Real Blues” amongst others. Notably, St Germain also includes contributions from revered Malian guitarist and n’goni player Guimba Kouyata whom Brian Eno recently heralded as “the greatest guitar player I’ve heard for years and years.”
St Germain’s move closer to the source of the jazz and blues elements that were essential ingredients in Boulevard and the internationally acclaimed Tourist led to his interest in those genres’ roots in West African music. Tourist, which sold nearly three million copies worldwide (more than 300,000 in the U.S. alone), was equally embraced by jazz and electronic music circles, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and being named one of the Best Albums of the Year by Rolling Stone. In France, the album won three Victoires de la Musique awards (the French equivalent of GRAMMYs), including Best Jazz Album, Best Electronic Album and Best Live Performance. On the 250-show tour that followed Tourist, St Germain performed at venues ranging from London’s historic Royal Albert Hall to the Glastonbury and Coachella festivals, with guests including Herbie Hancock, Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander and legendary French jazz vocalist Claude Nougaro.
St Germain Fall 2015 European Tour
St Germain Spring 2016 North American Tour
New York, NY
House of Blues
Quebec City, QC
Imperial De Quebec
Danforth Music Hall
St. Paul, MN