Tuesday August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene won’t stop saxophonist Joe Lovano from playing the Detroit Jazz Festival this weekend
By: Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk
GRAND RAPIDS – Hurricane Irene left millions without power or phone across the Eastern Seaboard, canceled some 9,000 flights and contributed to at least two dozen deaths.
It could have been worse, said saxophonist Joe Lovano this afternoon after his home phone service in New York had been reconnected.
“It was a tropical storm by the time it got here,” said Lovano, who lives an hour north of New York City’s Manhattan Island.
The jazz saxophonist will in Detroit for the Detroit Jazz Festival this weekend with his group Us Five, with pianist James Weidman, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummers Otis Brown III and Francesco Mela.
Lovano and Us Five will be Grand Rapids in October to open St. Cecilia Music Center’s 2011-12 Jazz Series on Oct. 27.
The Hudson River Valley was flooded and residents such as Lovano had to sandbag their homes in the wake of Hurricane Irene.
“Our house was surrounded by a lake, but it didn’t come in. It just came right up to the doors,” said Lovano, a native of Cleveland.
Lovano and Us Five play on Sunday for the 32nd annual free festival held on Labor Day weekend in downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza.
Lovano, who also will be a guest soloist with the Wayne State University Big Band, said he looks forward to playing at the Motor City’s jazz festival, voted as one of the top four jazz festivals in North America by readers of Jazz Times.
“In the state, there’s only a handful of festivals that are happening,” Lovano said. “And Detroit’s one of them.”
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