Joseph Salvatore Lovano was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 29, 1952 and grew up in a very musical household. His dad, Tony, aka Big T, was a barber by day and a big-toned tenor player at night. "Big T," along with his brothers Nick and Joe, other tenor players, and Carl, a bebop trumpeter, made sure Joe's exposure to Jazz and the saxophone were early and constant. Joe's mom, Josephine, and her sister Rose were serious listeners, as well. His Mom remembers hearing Big T play opposite Stan Getz and Flip Phillips when they were engaged.