Historic building to host jazz super-group

Courtesy Photo / jazzink.com
St. Cecilia Music Center

Courtesy photo

Courtesy Photo / jazzink.com St. Cecilia Music Center

Chris LaFoy

The historic St. Cecilia Music Center will bring saxophonist Joe Lovano and his band to the stage tonight in the first concert of a three-part Jazz Series.

Lovano has been to St. Cecilia’s stage before, but this will be the first time his entire cast of musicians in his band will perform together in Grand Rapids.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at St. Cecilia, located at 24 Ransom Ave. NE in downtown Grand Rapids. Student tickets are available for $10.

Lovano’s bassist, Esperanza Spalding, won a Grammy for Best New Artist earlier this year. He has been credited for bringing a much-needed youth appeal to the art form of jazz.

“When I was in school, all of my favorite jazz artists were dead,” said Tyler Prowant, a Grand Rapids musician. “Esperanza brings something young and hip to jazz without sacrificing any musical quality. She’s an incredible musician and she’s filling an important hole in a sometimes forgotten genre.”

A Cleveland native, Lovano immersed himself into the rich jazz scene of his childhood hometown. He began playing the saxophone at age 5 and soon was recognized as a special talent. After high school he attended Berklee School of Music in Boston and began his performing career.

Other programs at St. Cecilia include a grand band, string orchestra, summer camps and a rock songwriting class.

“In reality, as the oldest arts organization in the region, much of the arts groups and organizations started here at St. Cecilia,” said Catherine Holbrook, St. Cecilia’s executive director. “St. Cecilia is the mother of the arts in Grand Rapids.”

Visit www.scmc-online.org for more information.

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