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JAZZ at MOCA: Joe Donato

JAZZ at MOCA: Joe Donato



Friday, Nov 27, 2015, 8PM

Free Rain or Shine!!!!

Joe Donato, recent inductee into The Sunshine Jazz Hall of Fame and co-founder and Director of The Miami Jazz Cooperative, is one of Miami’s favorite performers. Although Joe makes Miami his home, he is known throughout Canada, North, South and Central America, Europe, and Asia. Joe performs with Miami’s finest musicians, and always gives a soulful performance! Equally versatile in the entire woodwind family, Joe’ s unique performance style and approach to improvisation reflect a wide variety of musical influences and confirm his deep commitment to the varied and profound nature of his musical heritage.


Call him the consummate showman. A veritable South Florida jazz institution, Joe Donato can be found Thursday nights holding court at Coconut Grove’s Tuscany Café, charming the diners with his free-flowing mix of perennial standards such as Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” and George Gershwin’s “Summertime,” as well as innumerable requests from the crowd. Nimbly switching from saxophones to flutes to percussion to a casual Sinatra-like croon, he then takes the time to greet the regulars by name, occasionally sharing a spontaneous shuffle with a delighted onlooker and even acquiescing to an audience member who begs to sit in. Thumbing through the bulky scrapbooks he’s meticulously maintained, he points to old photos and newspaper clippings showing him performing alongside such notables as Cher, Roberta Flack, Art Blakey, Arturo Sandoval, Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McCrae, Paquito D’Rivera, Doc Severinsen, and Sammy Davis, Jr.

-Miami New Times


As a young child in Vineland, New Jersey, Joe Donato had a keen interest in music which was whole-heartedly fostered by his parents who were Sicilian immigrants.

In the forty years since he arrived in Miami, Joe earned a B.A. in music from the University of Miami and later an M.A. in jazz performance from U.M. But, more significantly, Joe has become widely recognized in the region not only as a saxophonist but as a bandleader, composer, lyricist, and one of the most active and innovative musicians working in the field of jazz. Through the years, Joe has performed or jammed with luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Carmen McRae, Nina Simone, Jack Jones, and Arturo Sandoval. Two of his four recordings, For Friends and Live at the Tuscany, were collaborations with Randall Dollahon and Brian Murphy, both gifted musicians and close friends. Joe performs as a saxophone soloist with the Jerry Fischer Jazz Orchestra, has toured throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and has served as an adjunct faculty member or lecturer at the University of Miami, Miami-Dade College, and Florida International University.




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