The “We Always Swing”® Jazz Series, Central Missouri’s only all-jazz, community-based project founded in 1995, will officially recognize the late Von Freeman (Oct. 3, 1923-August 11, 2012), Chicago’s iconic tenor saxophonist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master recipient, in a public dedication of the organization’s namesake 7,000-CD/LP and literature lending library. Chico Freeman, Von Freeman’s son, will be on hand to serve as “Honorary Host” and participate in the ceremony, which takes place Wednesday, March 21, 7 p.m., in the University of Missouri’s Stotler Lounge in Columbia, MO.
The event, which will include some visual clips and accompanying remarks, is free and open to the public. “My father was a consummate musician,” says Chico Freeman, speaking from New York City where he now lives, having returned in the last couple of years after living in Europe for a decade. “My father was a great human being and a great father. He was always reaching out to help others. My father always did what he thought was right – always. He instilled that in me. He went through a lot and he came out of it a stellar human being. It was his example that allowed me to realize [that I needed to] rise above everything we have to deal with today. He never had held a grudge; he never held anything against anyone. He hired anyone no matter their color. He told the truth about who he was and what he knew. He was dedicated to what he did.”