One night only at the Side Door Jazz Club
Chico Freeman – saxophones
Anthony Wonsey – piano
Kenny Davis – bass
Rudy Royston – 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 in May 2016, after more than a decade living and working in Europe.
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.
In graduate school, a memorable performance at the Notre Dame Intercollegiate Jazz Festival won him multiple awards including a tour of Brazil, with a stopover in New York, where he discovered his reputation had preceded him. He was immediately embraced by a remarkable array of Jazz masters and began touring and recording with Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Sun Ra, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Palmieri and Jack DeJohnette to name a few. Concurrently, he started recording as a leader with albums that met with immediate commercial success and critical acclaim.
Chico Freeman’s career has enjoyed non-stop growth. He has more than 30 albums as a leader/composer and is a 2-time GRAMMY® nominee. His writing for film, television and theatre has won him awards in Austria, Germany, Canada and Italy. In 2013, he was presented with the Bicentennial Exhibition Award, History Of Black Music in Los Angeles.
While he was dubbed a “young lion” three decades ago for his participation on the 1982 recording with other stars-to-be Wynton Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, Paquito D’Rivera, Bobby McFerrin and Anthony Davis, Freeman now merits being called a “master on his instrument.”
Freeman has perfected an immediately recognizable approach to music and composition, blending what he has experienced from his past and providing fluidity into a future of infinite musical possibilities.