Happy Birthday Chico Freeman

July 17, 1949


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Tenor and soprano-saxophonist Chico Freeman was born on July 17, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois.

Chico is the son of saxophonist Von Freeman. He played the trumpet as a child, and did not pick up the saxophone until his junior year at Northwestern University.

Despite this, Chico became a highly skilled sax player with a prolific recording output beginning in the mid ‘70s.

After graduating in 1972 he would go on to teach in Chicago at the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians School of Music and earned a master’s degree in composition and theory from Governors State University.

He began playing local clubs with musicians including legendary blues pianist Memphis Slim, releasing his debut album as leader “Morning Prayer” in 1976.

The Following year Chico moved to New York where he would first achieve fame as part of a growing number of young musicians steeped in jazz tradition.

His repertoire includes interoperations of classic standards by artist like John Coltrane as well as those of written by himself and his contemporaries.

Chico Freem is featured performing live with McCoy Tyner in Salzau, Gremany at the Jazz Baltica Festival.


Chico Freeman, tenor sax
McCoy Tyner, piano
Avery Shaw, bass
Erin Scott, drums


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