Lovano is in the house.
Humber Lakeshore campus auditorium was packed with students as three TV cameras captured them on stage with famed jazz saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano on March 6.
Lovano was named Humber Music’s artist in residence during the event and was received with a rapt audience and uproarious applause.
Grammy winner Lovano, 62, brought that not only to Friday’s show, but to workshops leading up to the student concert as well.
“I think that for the students to have that opportunity to play at such a high level with such an established performer as Joe is and also to really rise to the challenge,” said Andrew Scott, acting director of Humber’s music program.
The concert featured the Humber Student Tentet and Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble playing with Lovano to a full house at the Lakeshore auditorium.
Humber has hosted the artist in residence concert for 12 years and intends to keep it up, Scott said.
Lovano does not show off and left lots of room for the students to shine, said Matthew Chalmers, a fourth-year music student and drummer for the student tentet.
“It’s just really inspiring every time because you get to see someone who is internationally known and is at the top of the jazz scene and who you’ve been listening to for years and years and you get inside their mind and see what it takes to be on that level,” he said.
The students had two full rehearsals and one horn section rehearsal before Lovano arrived said Shirantha Beddage, Head of theory and harmony in Humber’s music department. He also conducted the tentet in the performance. Beddage is a JUNO nominated and winner of the Galaxie Rising Star award.
“The students rose to the occasion and then some. They performed their parts confidently and above all were able to react and communicate with Joe in the moment. Lovano himself was spectacular. He’s been a hero of mine since I was a teenager,” he said in an email interview.
Lovano came from New York City on March 4 and did rehearsals and workshops with the students for three days before the concert.
“I was extremely proud of the students,” said Scott.
“I think they rose to the occasion and it was a fabulous performance.
“Joe was very gracious with his knowledge and his time and his musicianship and the students of course benefit from that,” said Scott.