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Joe Lovano takes center stage at New Haven Jazz Fest for free concert

Raised with a healthy appreciation for jazz since he was a baby, post-bop saxophonist Joe Lovano and his group Trio Fascination +2, featuring Judi Silvano, will headline an August 23rd, 6 p.m., free concert on New Haven Green for the 32nd annual New Haven Jazz Festival. Joining him are all-stars, the Harold Zinno Jazz Sextet with vocalist Nicole Pasternak and a special guest appearance by Hackensack, N.J. child prodigy, Matthew Whitaker (keyboardist).

Multiple-Grammy-nominated, celebrated jazz saxophonist Joe Lovano and his Trio Fascination +2 with vocalist Judi Silvano take the stage on the New Haven Town Green for this year’s jazz fest, August 23.
Jimmy Katz

The Jazz Foundation of America and Jazz Haven are pleased to make this free concert happen. The Mayor and the Board of Alders of the City of New Haven are generous sponsors. The New Haven Town Green is located on 165 Church Street in Connecticut.

Only in jazz can so many interesting, intriguing mixes come out of a festival. The Cleveland-born Lovano is a consummate veteran in conceptual and thematic jazz whether onstage or in the studio. His barber/musician (tenor) father made sure to introduce the young child to as many awesome live jazz artists as possible by taking him to their concerts. These were kings in their field: James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt… Get the picture?

When Lovano graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, he would pave his own way to becoming one of those kings of jazz. He honed his skills as an early sideman with many influential, legendary artists. Among them: Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Lee Konitz, Abbey Lincoln, Tom Harrell, the late Michael Brecker, Mel Lewis Orchestra, John Scofield, Woody Herman Thundering Herd, and Lonnie Smith.

His 2008 album, Symphonica, made the right kind of waves, earning a Grammy nomination and worldwide notice for his music with a full-on orchestra, Cologne’s WDR Radio Big Band and Orchestra. It was his first foray into playing music with a symphony orchestra and it is simply breathtaking, proving this artist could mix with anyone and any style, and still be his true self. His releases on Blue Note Records led to eight Grammy nominations and one win for the 2000 52nd Street Themes. Smooth and supple, always moving toward some unforgotten sunset, Lovano’s graceful tone-on-tone touch will be welcome news for New Haven Jazz Fest audiences.

The New Haven Jazz Fest in the City takes place August 15-24 in more than 25 restaurants and clubs. Concerts have already kicked off since August 2 with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet.