A Rochesterian legend, Joe Romano was a jazz saxophonist that jammed at local clubs in the 50s and 60s with the Mangione brothers before going on to international jazz success. The son of two Italian American immigrants, Romano began playing the sax at eight years old, finding inspiration through jazz heard on the radio and saxophone lessons at the Eastman Community Music School. After dropping out of high school, he joined the Air Force, where he was able to play in bands and take more music lessons. Returning to Rochester, he became even more embedded in the city’s jazz scene, performing at local clubs almost every night. In his later years, Romano became dedicated to keeping jazz alive for young people by performing at festivals around the country.