Saxophonist Joe Lovano Comes Home To Cleveland Every December, saxophonist Joe Lovano travels home to Cleveland to throw himself a birthday concert. We hear tales of Lovano family lore, and a get a slice of his musical past and present.

Joe Lovano. Craig Lovell/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Craig Lovell/Courtesy of the artist

Joe Lovano.

Craig Lovell/Courtesy of the artist

Jazz Night In America

Cleveland's Joe Lovano Comes Home WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Cleveland's Joe Lovano Comes Home

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If you're even a casually observant jazz fan, you might think you know a thing or two about Joe Lovano. A tenor saxophonist with dozens of albums to his name, most of them made during a roughly 25-year tenure on Blue Note Records, Lovano is one of the most instantly identifiable musicians on the jazz landscape and on the New York scene. But he didn't come from nowhere.

With that in mind, Jazz Night in America joins the amiable saxophonist on one of his customary visits to Cleveland, where he came up under the wing of his father, Tony, a tenorman known "Big T." We'll stop by his Uncle Sandy and Aunt Rose's house, where he spent countless childhood hours, and hear family lore from his brothers Anthony and Patrick, and sister Laura-Jo.

And, of course, we'll hear some terrific music — Lovano on the bandstand at The Bop Stop, a Cleveland fixture, with close friends like vibraphonist Ronzo Smith and drummer Carmen Castaldi.

"There were five generations of musicians in my life from Cleveland that I presented in those two nights," Lovano muses. "I didn't realize it 'til afterwards, either. You know, it was just people I wanted to play with."

You'll want to be there, so to speak, when he does.

Set List

  • "Sounds of Joy" (Lovano)
  • "On This Day" (Lovano)
  • "Body and Soul" (Johnny Green)
  • "T Was To Me" (Lovano/Ronzo Smith)
  • "Spiritual" (John Coltrane)
  • "Good Bait" (Tadd Dameron)

Musicians

Joe Lovano, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, taragato; Anthony Fuoco, piano; Bobby Ferrazza, guitar; Ronzo Smith, vibraphone; Eddie Baccus, organ, Aidan Plank, bass; Carmen Castaldi, drums; Greg Bandy, drums; Anthony Lovano, drums; Jamey Haddad, percussion; Patrick Lovano, spoken word.

Credits

Producer: Alex Ariff with Sarah Geledi; Production Assistant: Sarah Kerson; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey; Executive Producers: Amy Niles, Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundman; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Recording Engineer: Regis Sedlock; Mixed by David Tallacksen

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