Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano stands alone at the vanguard of large and small group jazz. From his Grammy-nominated symphonic work to his role as Gary Burton Chair of Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music, the Cleveland native fearlessly challenges and pushes his conceptual and thematic ventures in a quest for new modes of artistic expression and new ways to define the jazz idiom. In 2014 Lovano won awards for Multi-reeds Player and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association and Tenor Saxophonist of the Year from Down Beat Magazine. He has released 23 celebrated albums on the Blue Note label; with the last three focusing on his quintet Us Five.
For 2016-17, three major ensembles are on display.
In Joe Lovano’s Classic Quartet, Lovano will explore the rich history of mainstream jazz through swing and bebop, ever soulful. An active proponent of straight-ahead jazz, notably collaborating with Hank Jones ten years ago, Lovano drives the edges while honoring the structures.
Two artists who exemplify the standards for creativity and exploration at the venerable Blue Note Records will come together for the first time in the Chucho Valdes – Joe Lovano Quintet. The promise of combined greatness, anticipated for over twenty years, will deliver beyond expectations in a quintet backed by a bassist, drummer and percussionist who rank among Cuba’s hottest and most seasoned instrumentalists.
Last but far from least, Joe Lovano’s Village Rhythms Band is a natural extension of the tenor giant’s evolving body of work as he lends his singular interpretations to West African polyrhythms, connecting New York City and Lagos.
In Bruce Lundvall’s words, Lovano is “a giant on his instrument and a full-fledged giant of jazz.”