The Performing Arts Center’s popular Jazz at The Center series is back for another season, kicking off on December 1 with Joe Lovano headlining a tribute to Leonard Bernstein on the centennial year of his birth. We asked Mr. Lovano a few questions about the show, his music, and breakfast. Take a look!

Q: Who do you think you draw the most inspiration from as an artist?
A: As a musician, I draw all of my inspiration from all of the master musicians within the history of the music [who] I’ve embraced and collaborated with through the years.

Q: When did you first start playing the saxophone?
A: I began playing the saxophone as a kid, studying with my dad, Tony “Big T Lovano”. He was one of the leading saxophonist’s in Cleveland, where I’m from, in his day… It’s been an amazing journey full of blessings ever since.

Q: What drew you to Leonard Bernstein’s music?
A: Leonard Bernstein has a sound in his music that is full of energy and beauty. As an improviser his music fuels my ideas to be myself.

Q: How do you think your show differs from other tribute concerts going up this year to celebrate what would have been Bernstein’s 100th birthday?
A: Our concert will be a special collaboration between my approach as a soloist and the vision Professor Pete Malinverni’s orchestrations* will bring to Bernstein’s music.

Q: What do you eat for breakfast on the morning of a show?
A: I hope to have a nice salad with seafood the morning of our concert, and some espresso of course.

*Editor’s note: Pianist Pete Malinverni is Head of Jazz Studies at Purchase College.

Tickets to see Jazz at The Center: Joe Lovano Plays Bernstein on December 1 are available by clicking here, or calling The Performing Arts Center box office at 914-251-6200, Wednesday-Friday from 12-6 pm.