Luis Villegas' brand of Latin music is equal parts finger-shredding arpeggios, infectious rhythms, languid, hypnotic jams and intricate unforgettable melodies. His band percolates with passion while Luis' virtuoso guitar floats above the fire. Café Ole features his band augmented by first-call players -Abraham Labriel, Greg Bissonette and Steve Reid. Café Ole defines a new musical style based on the synthesis of many forms. Luis delivers a pure, passionate performance and ignites excitement on all conceivable musical borders.
Internationally renowned guitarist, Luis Villegas -- a first-generation Mexican-American born in East Los Angeles, CA -- grew up between two musical crosscurrents: the traditional music he heard at home and the rock and roll of Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Although Villegas fronted a number of rock bands as a teen-ager, eventually the music he heard inside of him was channeled through an instrument from his youth: the spanish guitar.
Luis and his band gained a large following by performing constantly in the Los Angeles area before signing his first recording contract in 1998. He released his debut CD, Cafe Ole (Domo), that year which won him a spot on the Grammy ballot for Best New Age Album of 1999 and gained Luis a following amongst fellow guitarists.
An even larger audience was introduced to Villegas via his next CD, Spanish Kiss (Baja/TSR) in 2000 and the numerous compilation CDs he appeared in during the following two years. Guitarists worldwide took notice when Villegas' name appeared alongside guitar icons such as Al DiMeola, Steve Morse, Ottmar Liebert, Jesse Cook and Strunz & Farah.
Casa Villegas (Baja/TSR), his 3rd CD, was released in 2003 and marked Luis' debut as a producer as well as performer. It stayed on the SmoothJazz.com charts for six weeks after its release on the strength of its single, "Whittier Blvd."
Luis has worked with some of the leading artists and musicians in the world. He recorded a duet with classical guitarist Liona Boyd, in 2001 which was nominated for a Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy). In 2003, he performed with Nuevo Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, and performed for Carmen Elektra and Dave Navarro's much-publicized wedding on MTV in 2004. He's also worked with Janet Jackson, Marc Anthony's acoustic band and Placido Domingo.
Luis is one of the only artists of Mexican descent heard daily on smooth jazz radio stations across the country. He also performs regularly at some of the most prestigious Jazz Festivals such as The Playboy Jazz Festival, Catalina JazzTrax Festival, and The Sedona Latin Jazz Festival.
Luis can be seen and heard in movies such as "Collateral" starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, "Lost and Found " with David Spade, and "Candyman III: Day of the Dead"
Luis is currently in pre-production on his 5th CD due out in 2007.
If you missed New Year's eve at Spazio in Sherman Oaks, you missed the party of the year! The house was packed to the rafters with friends and fans. A great meal, incredible music and dancing away '06 - an amazing event to greet 2007...here's a slide show of what went down!