As the unusual winter storm struck the eastern United States last Saturday and the airports closed, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano and his Us Five band were left stranded in New York. Despite their best efforts to make it to Toronto for their Koerner Hall concert at The Royal Conservatory , for the first time in his career, Lovano had to miss his engagement. Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts at The Conservatory, has already re-booked the band for Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Ticket buyers have the option of keeping their existing tickets, which will be valid for the new date, exchanging into a different RC Presents concert during our 2011-12 season, exchanging to a gift card, or obtaining a refund.

Joe Lovano joined the Paul Motian band in 1981 and has since worked and collaborated with John Scofield, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones, Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Bobby Hutcherson, Billy Higgins, Dave Holland, Ed Blackwell, Michel Petrucciani, Lee Konitz, Abbey Lincoln, Tom Harrell, McCoy Tyner, Ornette Coleman, Jim Hall, Bob Brookmeyer, and many more. His relationship with Blue Note Records began in 1991 and includes eight Grammy nominations with a win in the Best Large Ensemble category for 2000’s 52nd Street Themes. Numerous accolades for the saxophonist also include multiple wins as Down Beat magazine’s Jazz Artist/Musician of the Year, Tenor Saxophonist of the Year, and Album of the Year. On January 31, Lovano is accompanied by all of the artists that were to appear with him on October 29: James Weidman on the piano, Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III on drums, and 2011 Grammy winner for Best New Artist, Esperanza Spalding, on double bass.

In an additional update, The Conservatory regrets to inform its patrons that guitarist Vusi Mahlasela has withdrawn from the Still Black, Still Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown concert at Koerner Hall on Saturday, November 26, 2011, due to scheduling difficulties. This performance pays tribute to James Brown’s lasting legacy, while exploring the deep relationship between soul, funk, and modern African music. All of the other previously announced special guests – American tenor saxophonist, arranger, and composer Pee Wee Ellis (who was Brown’s music director), American alto saxophonist Maceo Parker (who played with Brown for years), and Senegalese singer, songwriter, and guitarist Cheikh Lô – are still participating.

The Royal Conservatory thanks TD Bank and JAZZ.FM91 for their sponsorship of Joe Lovano Us Five, and World MasterCard and NOW magazine for their sponsorship of Still Black, Still Proud.

Still Black, Still Proud (Soul/Funk/R&B): Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 8pm (KH); starting at $33.50 all inclusive
Joe Lovano Us Five (A Year of Great Sax): Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 8pm, Koerner Hall; starting at $45 all inclusive

All concerts take place at The Royal Conservatory
TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Tickets are available online at, by calling 416.408.0208,
or in person at the Weston Family Box Office

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