Chico Freeman - tenor
Anthony Wonsey - piano
Corcoran Holt - bass
Warren Wolf - vibes
Billy Hart - drums
Heralded as one of the most important saxophonists of our time, musician, composer and producer Chico Freeman marked his return to the United States after more than a decade living and working in Europe with a new album and a new group in 2016.
“As much as I’ve traveled and on the road playing with such masters as McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette, Sam Rivers, Sun Ra, Dizzy Gillespie and so many jazz greats, as well as leading my own groups including founding “The Leaders” and the group “Roots,” an inner voice was telling me, you need to go to another level both musically and personally,“ Freeman explains. “You need to work with other musicians from different cultures and create new avenues of expression.
As part of the Freeman family legacy of Chicago; his father, legendary NEA Jazz Master saxophonist Von Freeman; his uncles, guitarist George Freeman; and drummer Bruz Freeman, Chico amassed a diverse résumé of performing R&B to blues, hard bop to avant-garde. His collegiate studies in Advanced Composition and Theory at Northwestern University led him to teach composition at the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) Music School, and while attaining his Masters in Composition and Theory at Governor State University, he studied composition with NEA Jazz Master Muhal Richard Abrams.
Although jazz was the first music Freeman was exposed to, many of his early professional gigs were at Chicago clubs with such blues artists as Memphis Slim, and Lucky Carmichael. Freeman went on to play with pop and R & B greats The Temptations, Michael Jackson, The Four Tops, Jackie Wilson, The Dells, The Isley Brothers, and The Eurythmics.
After arriving in New York, he immediately began working with Jeanne Lee, Mickey Bass, John Stubblefield, and Cecil McBee. Through apprenticeships in New York and abroad with such innovators as Elvin Jones, Don Pullen, Sam Rivers, Sun Ra, and Jack DeJohnette, Freeman developed his own group and rapidly rose to prominence with his energetic and exploratory style.
A legendary concert at Lincoln Center, by The Young Lions, a group critics hailed as the brightest hopes of jazz in the 1980’s — Chico Freeman, Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D’Rivera, Kevin Eubanks, and others — produced an album on which Freeman plays nearly every cut. His 14-minute composition “Whatever Happened To The Dream Deferred?” was called “one of the best of the album” by the New York Times.
When superstar bands were being organized by promoters in Europe, Freeman brought together The Leaders — an all-star sextet of internationally recognized bandleaders. The group, consisting of Cecil McBee, Kirk Lightsey, Lester Bowie, Arthur Blythe, and Famadou Don Moye, set the stand
With his latest album Spoken Into Existence on Jive Music, Freeman served addresses a cohort of beautiful melodies framed within a diverse array of styles (hip hop, funk, bebop, post-bop, the blues, melodies conjured from African and Asian scales) and renders them on tenor and soprano saxophones with keen intention, authoritative execution, and tonal control that transforms his metal instruments into analogue for the human voice.
$22 in advance/$25 at door/$10 full-time student with ID
Senior (60+): $20 in advance /$23 at door