Photo by Lauren Desberg

“The artistic accord between Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke can be compared to one Billie Holiday shared with Lester Young. The dynamic duo often create rainforests of sonic wonder.” —John Murph, Downbeat

Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College is thrilled to announce an extraordinary evening of musical transcendence as Grammy-nominated vocalist Gretchen Parlato and acclaimed guitarist Lionel Loueke take the stage in their long-awaited concert, featuring music from their latest album, “Lean In.” 

This enchanting jazz performance will grace the LeFrak Concert Hall at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, Queens College on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 8 PM, promising an unforgettable journey into the hearts and souls of two musical visionaries.

“Lean In” is not just an album; it’s a story of two decades of connection, inspiration, and unwavering friendship between Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke, two soulmates of music. Released on May 19, 2023, the album is a collection of songs that speak of inspiration, reflection, wonder, and unity, encapsulating the unique bond shared by these two extraordinary artists. 

Gretchen Parlato’s Grammy-nominated vocal prowess, combined with Lionel Loueke’s virtuoso guitar artistry, creates an intricate, infectious rhythm that captivates the soul. Together, they embark on a musical journey that seamlessly weaves together their distinct styles, resulting in a sound that is nothing short of magical—soothing yet joyful, radiant with light. In “Lean In,” Parlato’s love for Brazilian music and Loueke’s deep West African roots converge to create a musical experience that transcends borders and resonates deeply with all who listen.


  • Date: Saturday, October 7, 2023
  • Time: 8 PM
  • Venue: LeFrak Concert Hall at Kupferberg Center for the Arts (KCA)
  • Address: 153-49 Reeves Ave. Flushing NY 11367
  • Ticket Information: $35-45; No-fee tickets are available at KCA website: or call KCA Box Office at (718) 793-8080
  • Event Title: Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke
  • Short Description: As hailed by The Guardian, GRAMMY-nominated vocalist Gretchen Parlato and guitarist Lionel Loueke join forces on “a languid mix of bossa nova, power ballads – and Foo Fighters.” Don’t miss the opportunity to experience it for yourself. Lionel, acclaimed as a ” West African improvising ninja on guitar” by The New York Times, and Gretchen, renowned for her “consummate control and slow-burning intensity… at the crossroads of sensuous and spiritual,” according to DownBeat will come together to deliver an extraordinary concert that tells the story of 20 years of connection, inspiration, and friendship.

About Kupferberg Center for the Arts (KCA): The mission of KCA is to provide high quality accessible and affordable cultural attractions to the Queens College community and the borough’s 2.4 million residents. The largest indoor year-round multi-disciplinary arts entity in the borough, KCA features world class artists and performances at its main stage campus venues and showcases the talents of emerging and regional artists in off-site, neighborhood settings. A leader in the cultural landscape of Queens, KCA connects residents of the most ethnically diverse region of the nation to their unique cultural heritages, showcasing these arts to a broader audience and highlighting the contributions each makes to the distinct nature of our campus and community. 

Kupferberg Center for the Arts’ 2023-2024 Season is sponsored by New York Community Bank – A Division of Flagstar Bank, N.A. Major support is provided by the Max and Selma Kupferberg Family Foundation and the Howard Gilman Foundation. Kupferberg Center’s presenting and outreach programs are supported, in part, by Resort World NYC, The Mathis-Pfohl Foundation, and public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the NY City Council. Kupferberg Center’s arts education programs are supported in part by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.

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