February 20, 2016
NYU Washington, DC hosted a Salon Series with renowned musician Joe Lovano. This conversation illustrated his distinct technique on the saxophone and he discussed his creative methodology. This program was made possible by NYU Washington, DC through collaboration with NYU Steinhardt's Jazz Studies program.
Joseph Salvatore Lovano was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 29, 1952 and grew up in a very musical household. After high school, Joe attended Berklee and his college years were pivotal, a precursor of future collaborations and career opportunities. During his Boston years, Joe was part of a vibrant scene, always jamming and meeting new musicians, something he has done his entire life. To finance his education, he continued working club dates and other assorted gigs, including an organ trio engagement he shared with future Nonet member George Garzone down in Boston's combat zone.
Post-Berklee, after six weeks on the road backing Tom Jones, Joe returned to Cleveland. With his reputation ascending, he soon got the call from Dr. Lonnie Smith, who was living in Detroit at the time. Joe joined the organist for a series of gigs in the Motor City, as well touring on the Chitlin circuit in 1974.
A six month tenure with Brother Jack McDuff and the Heating System was next. The album Joe recorded with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Afrodesia, started getting a lot of airplay on Jazz radio across the country at that same time, resulting some early name recognition when Joe worked new clubs with McDuff.
Eventually, the group played New York, the real Jazz proving grounds, for Joe's first Carnegie Hall gig, and in Harlem, at the Club Barron. Playing in New York was so intoxicating that Joe moved to Manhattan. He began sitting in with friends, and ended up working with Chet Baker at Stryker's, and Albert Daley at Folk City, as well as sitting in with Rashied Ali at his club, Ali's Alley. A few months after he relocated to New York, Joe joined Woody Herman's 40th Anniversary tour in 1976, which included “The 40th Anniversary Concert” at Carnegie Hall. Joe Lovano's three-year gig with Woody including many firsts, including touring Europe and playing major international festivals as a soloist. The band's nearly non-stop schedule, with only two weeks off every year, included a number of colleges and high schools, where Joe had his first experiences doing workshops and master classes. After nearly three years on the road with Woody, Joe decided it was time to move on. He returned to New York, and began playing gigs, jamming, and playing with some of the best musicians on the planet. One of his musical collaborators was vocalist/dancer Judi Silvano.
In 1981, Joe began playing with Paul Motian, in a Trio that included guitarist Bill Frisell. The group has just celebrated their 20th year together. Working with Motian helped Joe gain further exposure and renown, particularly in Europe.
As his reputation escalated, Joe began recording and touring with the major Jazz musicians of the late 20th century, including: Gunther Schuller, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Brubeck, Billy Higgins, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Michel Petrucciani, Lee Konitz, Abbey Lincoln, Tom Harrell, McCoy Tyner, Jim Hall, and Bob Brookmeyer, among many others.
In 1991, Joe Lovano signed with Blue Note Records and since then, has been leading his own groups, producing nearly twenty-five recordings as a leader and becoming one of the great Jazz artists of our time.
As much a composer as player, Joe is constantly seeking new ways to express his muse. Although he's one of the most successful musicians working today, his lifelong regime of practicing, jamming and trying new sounds, endures. In addition to his reed arsenal, Joe has a collection of gongs and a full drum sheet. At home, in his studio, he enjoys these multiple outlets for his creativity. He has played drums on three Blue Note recordings.
Today, Joe and Judi live in the Hudson River Valley area of upstate New York. Although he's busy touring and recording, Joe is an avid swimmer and somehow still finds the time for an occasional 18 holes of golf.
When he's home, Joe Lovano enjoys landscaping, a good match for Judi's love of gardening. Together, when not making music, they explore the forest that surrounds them, stay busy enjoying their extended families in Cleveland and New York.
Moderator - David Schroeder, B.M.E. University of Northern Iowa, M.M. New England Conservatory, D.A., New York University. As the Director of Jazz Studies, Dr. Schroeder is continually developing an interactive environment between students, artist/faculty and the jazz community thriving in and around New York City. Schroeder's vision for jazz education combines theory and practice, taking advantage of NYU's proximity and interaction with legendary jazz clubs and other music industry opportunities located within New York City and around the world. As the Director for Steinhardt Music’s dedicated Study Away sights at NYU Paris and NYU Prague, his students gain confidence in pursuing international careers in music.
Aside from his scholarly interests in jazz history, jazz theory, arranging, composition and performance practices, Schroeder is the creator and host of the NYU Jazz Interview Series, a video series produced for historical research and archival purposes. This series available for viewing on the NYU Steinhardt Jazz YouTube Channel. Schroeder has developed internship opportunities for his students to begin building significant music industry connections while still in school. His students have interned with Verve Music Group, Blue Note Records, EMI, Half Note Records, Saturday Night Live and Jazz at Lincoln Center, to name a few.
Schroeder is also the artistic director for Combo Nuvo, the NYU Jazz Faculty in Residence Ensemble featuring jazz artist/faculty Lenny Pickett, Billy Drewes, Rich Shemaria, Brad Shepik, Mike Richmond and John Hadfield. The group appears regularly at landmark New York City jazz venues including the Blue Note Jazz Club and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, and has been featured with the Costa Rica National Symphony, The United Arab Emirates and the Morin Khuur Ensemble; the National Symphony of Mongolia.
Event Host - Ronald D. Abramson is prominent in the DC community. He is a member of the New York University Board of Trustees, where he spearheaded the establishment of NYU Washington, DC. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the prestigious Corcoran Gallery of Art. He also serves on the Boards of the Washington Airports Task Force, Spoleto Festival USA, the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue, the D.C. Jazz Festival and the National Symphony Orchestra. Ronald was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center for several years.
Professionally, Mr. Abramson practices law with a focus on corporate governance matters, mergers and acquisitions, real estate finance, tax planning, business and succession planning, as well as estate planning. Ronald serves on Buchanan's Board of Directors.
While in law school, he served on the staff of Law and Policy in International Business, and co-wrote "The Legal Response to the Illicit Movement of Cultural Property," which appeared in the publication.
The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists presents an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us.