In 1985, Joss Cano was selected as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He played under the direction of Ole Schmidt, a disciple of Danish composer Carl Nielson, who gave Joss his first conducting score for Prokofiev’s Cinderella Suite as an inspiring gift for the young musician he addressed as “very gifted.” In the late 80’s Cano was a regular percussionist with the Ottawa Symphony and the National Arts Center Orchestra. Among the conductors with whom Joss holds fond performance memories is the late Erich Kunzel, conductor of the Cincinnati Pops. He performed with Kunzel on several occasions with the NAC Orchestra.
As Musical Director Joss has conducted classical and Broadway stars such as Karajan Gold Medalist Violinist Hanna Starosta, British soprano Fiona Jessica Wilson, and the world’s longest-running Phantom of the Opera, Frank D’Ambrosio. A regular director-producer and music consultant for the Musiqueplus-Musimax and BRAVO! Networks in Canada in the 90’s, Cano conducted in-depth interviews with many notable recording artists such as Renée Fleming, Zubin Metha and Philip Glass.
His passion for Afro-Cuban music led him to produce documentaries with all the members of the Buena Vista Social Club that were nominated for the Canadian Prix Gémaux. Joss holds a B.A. degree in music from Ottawa University and a M.A. degree in music from Université de Montréal, Canada. He also earned a Television Production Certificate from the British Broadcasting Corporation, London, where he directed a short documentary about the original recording of Star Wars with members of the London Symphony Orchestra.
With his wife Zaylin Cano, Joss co-directed the original production of Time Travelers and Fame Academy. More recently he and Zaylin directed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR, Mary Poppins JR, The Lion King JR, and Aladdin JR.