• Tuesday, Sep 20, 2011

    Carnegie Hall Presents Joe Lovano Us Five Performing Selections from Bird Songs - An Exploration of Charlie Parker - In Zankel Hall On October 28

    On Friday, October 28 at 10:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall, Joe Lovano UsFive, led by influential Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano, performs music from its acclaimed album, Bird Songs (Blue Note 2011)—an homage to Charlie “Bird” Parker that features songs associated with, written, or inspired by Parker. These songs come together to form a uniquely personal look at Charlie Parker—one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz music. Bird Songs, recently named Recording of the Year at the 2011 Jazz Journalists Awards, is Lovano’s 22nd album recorded over twenty years for Blue Note Records, and his second with the Us Five Band. This performance is presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.  


    Lovano’s dynamic young band features drummers Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela, pianist James Weidman, and bassist Esperanza Spalding, who in February 2011 became the first jazz artist to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. With the music from the Bird Songs recording, in addition to personalizing Charlie Parker’s music, Lovano aimed to examine Charlie Parker as part of a continuum by showcasing the styles of saxophonists that influenced him like Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Ben Webster as well as including elements from jazz artists that he has since impacted, including John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Wayner Shorter. Lovano notes, “...I wanted to focus on his incredible compositions, the themes, the harmonic structures, the forms of his tunes and try to open them up and turn them inside out in a way to create my own melodic and rhythmic variations. I wanted to create my own recording. You can’t tell someone else’s story.”  

    To view a behind-the-scenes video about Joe Lovano Us Five’s Bird Songs please click here.

    Prior to Lovano’s performance, starting at 9:00 p.m., ticketholders are invited to enjoy a laid-back pre-concert experience in the Zankel Hall lounge and meet others who share their passion for music. The first 200 concert-goers to arrive will receive a complimentary drink courtesy of Carnegie Hall. For more information, please visit carnegiehall.org/latenights.

    About The Artist
    Joe Lovano was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952, and began playing alto saxophone as a child. His father, tenor saxophonist Tony “Big T” Lovano, regularly exposed Joe to live performances of international jazz artists such as Sonny Stitt, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Ammons, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Lovano’s early professional gigs were as a sideman with organists Lonnie Smith, Brother Jack McDuff, and a three-year tour with the Woody Herman Thundering Herd from 1976 to 1979.

    After leaving Herman’s band, Lovano settled in New York City where he eventually joined the Mel Lewis Orchestra for its regular Monday night concert at the Village Vanguard; playing from 1980 to 1992 and recording six albums with the orchestra. Lovano joined the Paul Motian band in 1981 and has since worked and collaborated with John Scofield, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Charlie Haden, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Higgins, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Michel Petrucciani, Lee Konitz, Abbey Lincoln, Tom Harrell, McCoy Tyner, Ornette Coleman, Jim Hall, and many more. His relationship with Blue Note Records began in 1991 and includes eight Grammy-Awardnominations with a win in the Best Large Ensemble category for 2000’s 52nd Street Themes.

    Lovano collaborated with two other premier tenor saxophonists of his generation—Dave Liebman and the late Michael Brecker—in the collective Saxophone Summit. Their first album, Gathering of the Spirits, was released in 2004 on Telarc. After the untimely passing of Michael Brecker, Lovano and Liebman were joined by Ravi Coltrane on their acclaimed sophomore release, Seraphic Light. In early 2008, Lovano replaced Joshua Redman in the tenor saxophone chair of the touring and studio ensemble, the SFJazz Collective. His 2008 release and Grammy nominated Symphonica placed him in front of the world-renowned WDR Big Band and WDR Rundfunk Orchestra performing some of the saxophonist’s most acclaimed and cherished compositions as arranged and conducted by Michael Abene.

    Program Information

    Friday, October 28 at 10:00 p.m.
    Zankel Hall
    Joe Lovano, Tenor and Soprano Saxophones
    James Weidman, Piano
    Esperanza Spalding, Bass
    Francisco Mela, Drums
    Otis Brown III, Drums

    Presented by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Absolutely Live Entertainment LLC.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

    Ticket Information
    Tickets, $39 and $50, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org

    For more information discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.





    Photo at top of press release by Jimmy Katz.  

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