Chico Freeman premieres a new work celebrating his musical journey and his family
The Legacy Project with The Chico Freeman Orchestra
Thurs, June 23, 2022, 7pm
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street
$35/$15 for 21 and under
(Chicago) In honor of the legacy set by his legendary family, Chico Freeman has composed a new extended suite, “The Legacy Project,” orchestrated by John Kordalewski. Celebrating his grandmother Earle Kree Freeman, grandfather George Freeman Sr., father Von Freeman, and uncles George and Bruz Freeman, this new work will be performed by the nineteen-piece Chico Freeman Orchestra and premiere at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago. An all-star Chicago ensemble will feature include Dee Alexander, Ari Brown, Mike Allemana, Richard Johnson, Ernie Adams, Victor Garcia and Geof Bradfield, with special guest George Freeman.
This new work will be presented in partnership with the Logan Center, and made possible with support from Jazz Road, a national initiative of South Arts, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Southside Jazz Coalition, The Chicago Park District, The Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Epiphany Center for the Arts.
Heralded as one of the most important saxophonists of our
time, composer and producer Chico Freeman has perfected
an immediately recognizable approach to improvisation and
composition, blending what he has experienced from his
past and providing fluidity into a future of infinite musical
possibilities. As part of the Freeman family legacy of
Chicago—including his father, legendary NEA Jazz Master
saxophonist Von Freeman, and his uncles, guitarist George
Freeman and drummer Bruz Freeman—Chico has amassed a
diverse résumé of performing R&B to blues, hard bop and
avant-garde. Chicago has more than 30 albums as a
leader/composer and is a 2-time GRAMMY® nominee and
worked with a long list of jazz greats including Sun Ra, Sam
Rivers, Billy Hart, Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby
Hutcherson, and John Hicks, as well as Latin music greats
such as Chucho Valdes, Tito Puente, and Machito. His
writing for film, television and theatre has won him awards
in Austria, Germany, Canada and Italy. His recent recordings
“Spoken into Existence,” “The Essence of Silence,” and “The
Arrival” are testament to his continued high level of creative
Guitarist George Freeman has been a crucial figure on the Chicago jazz scene since the 1940s when he
and his brothers Von and Bruz Freeman were the house band at the famed Pershing Hotel backing such
jazz greats as Lester Young and Charlie Parker. George has performed and toured in the groups of Jackie
Wilson, Groove Holmes, and Gene Ammons and has been leading his own projects in Chicago for several
Guitarist Michael Allemana has been performing in Chicago since the 1990s, including fifteen years with
Von Freeman at the New Apartment Lounge. In 2020, Mike earned his PhD in Ethnomusicology from the
University of Chicago with a dissertation that explores in part the contributions of the Freeman family to
Chicago cultural history. George Freeman and Mike have been performing together since 2013 with the
George Freeman/Mike Allemana Organ Quartet featuring Bernard Purdie and continue to rehearse and
develop new musical endeavors, including a new duo project.
John Kordalewski is leader, arranger, and pianist for the Boston-based Makanda Project, a 13-member
ensemble originally formed to explore the previously unrecorded compositions of Makanda Ken
McIntyre. Over the past 17 years, the group has established an important presence in the Boston scene
through regular, self-produced free concerts in community-based settings. In addition to arranging over
60 of the McIntyre compositions for this group, he has worked as an arranger with Michael Gregory
Jackson and South African musicians Feya Faku and Ndikho Xaba. He has been collaborating with Chico
Freeman since 2018. As a pianist, he currently performs with the Ricky Ford Quartet, leads a trio, and
has worked with Carl Grubbs, Webster Young, Oliver Lake, Odean Pope, Charlie Rouse, and many more.
This event is open to the public. Tickets are $35, $15 for 21 and under.
Tickets can be purchased at tickets.uchicago.edu
For more information regarding the program, please contact Leigh Fagin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago
Banner image: Bruz, Chico, Von and Geo (1984). Photo by Lauren Deutsch.
Bio Image of Chico Freeman: Courtesy Thrassos Irinis.