GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – For his encore, the guest star stands on the stage and makes up a tune. Filling in some blanks: The star is elite jazz saxophonist Joe Lovano. The stage is that of a place of aural ease, Cofrin Family Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It’s Saturday night, and Joe Lovano and the Green Bay Jazz Orchestra have just finished playing the final piece on the program of UWGB Jazz Fest 52.
The audience has stood and cheered and applauded, applauded and applauded, luring Joe Lovano back for just one more.
Doing what jazz musicians do, Joe Lovano plays what comes to mind. The music could be titled “The Weidner 3.26.22.” It’s a warm, exploring, thoughtful, comfortable, playful, piece as it says, “My instrument and I like it here.”
Their playing done, the 17 musicians in the jazz orchestra watch and listen. It’s one of those times they can turn their switch to “off” and relax into a prime player’s take on what the prime hall will give.
What is transpiring is a kind of sound mesmerization – one instrument filling a very large space with spontaneity.
Time seems to stop and listen.