In March 2020, I caught the last flight out of Moscow before the borders closed due to Covid-19 with no way of getting back to the U.S. Locked down in Europe and self-quarantined in isolation, I watched events around the world unfold. Wanting to contribute in some way, I reached out to my musical family online to do something to help heal and inspire. Bill Withers’ song “You Just Can’t Smile It Away” seemed perfect. It is a compellingly simple version, recorded online using new technology, with me playing saxophone, vocals by Yatron in Texas, keyboards by Jeremy Mage in Switzerland, synths by Jan Pulsford in London and mixed at Mothership Studios by Merlyn Bruce in the UK., resulting in my first release on Efficacy Recordings.

All proceeds will be donated to 

Chico Freeman Voices of Chicago is coming to Europe starting Nov 10.

This project creates music with the authentic sound of Chicago Gospel/Jazz and R&B, and will feature 4 of Chicago’s most well-known Gospel and Jazz voices; Yvonne GageSimbryt DortchBrandon Lampkin and Isaiah Robinson with Theodis Rodgers Jr. – pianist, Heiri Känzig – bass, Luigi Galati – drums and Chico Freeman – saxophones, bass clarinet, voice, and special guest Reto Weber – hang and exotic percussion.

Celebrating Swiss exotic percussionist Reto Weber’s Jubilee as part of Jazz in the Church

November 18, 2018 17:00
Chico Freeman’s Trio Exotica
Chico Freeman, saxophones
Svante Henryson, cello
Reto Weber, exotic percussion

November 25, 2018 17:00
Chico Freeman’s Trio Exotica w/ Squeezeband
Chico Freeman, saxophones
Reto Weber, exotic percussion
Nino G, beatbox
Christy Doran, guitar
Heiri Kanzig, bass
Rodrigo Rodriguez, percussion

Jazz In Church – Stadtkirche, Biel
Biel, Bern 2502

JazzCity2018: Celebrating Von Freeman’s 95th: Family Ties

October 12, 2018
Sherman Park
1301 W 52nd St
Chicago, IL

Von Freeman’s son, world-renowned saxophonist Chico Freeman and guitarist brother George Freeman illustrate how the family’s musical voice and traditions are directly connected and carried forward into the future. With reedsman Ari Brown, drummer Ernie Adams and bassist Harrison Bankhead.

First European tour for Chico Freeman Plus+tet announced

July 5: Gent Jazz Festival – Main Stage – 20:30

I’m pleased to bring my American group with Anthony Wonsey on piano, Kenny Davis on bass, Rudy Royston on drums and from the UK, we have the great Anthony Kerr on vibes performing on July 5 on the Main Stage at the Gent Jazz Festival in Belgium at 20:30.

July 14: North Sea Jazz Festival – Madeira – 22:30

It is has been a while since I last played the North Sea Jazz Festival, so it’s very gratifying that I bring my own group to the world renowned festival. We’ll be closing out the Madeira Stage following Netherlands.NL, Jazzmeia Horn, and Fred Hersch Trio.

July 15: Jazz Open StuttgartBix Club19:30

After the finale of the World Cup, we’ll have our own celebration as we’ll be performing at the Bix Club with me on tenor, Rudy Royston on drums, Kenny Davis on bass and Anthony Wonsey on piano. I hope you’ll join us.   

California Here I Come!

I’m delighted to return to Healdsburg as guest with the Festival All-Stars with
Bobby Watson, Azar Lawrence, David Weiss, Billy Hart, Babatunde Lea with the George Cables Trio (first set) at the Healdsburg Jazz Fest, Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m, at Raven Performing Arts Theater, 115 North Street, Healdsburg, CA

Then, Sunday June 10 is going to be really special at Bach Dynamite and Dancing Society. It’s been a long time since I’ve played at this wonderful venue on Half Moon Bay and it’s also a reunion with me, drummer Billy Hart and pianist Fred Harris who together were part of the Leaders, plus we are introducing a wonderful young bassist from Seattle, Evan Flory-Barnes. Tickets

Doors open at 3:30 pm; Music starts at 4:30 pm
Two one-hour sets with intermission, typically ends 7:00–7:30 pm
Catered meals, small plates, and bar available 3:30–6:00 pm
Advance online ticketing available through Saturday
Tickets sold only at the door on Sunday (higher price than online)
All seats reserved, purchase early for best price and selection

Chico Freeman Plus+tet Debut at Smoke Jazz NYC, March 9 -11

New York City Jazz Record named Chico Freeman Plus+tet among the best 10 concerts of the year for 2017. For their first New York City shows in 2018, the group is making their debut at Smoke Jazz Club from Friday, March 9 through Sunday March 11 with:
Chico Freeman – tenor saxophone
Theo Hill – piano
Kenny Davis – bass
Rudy Royston – drums

Smoke Jazz and Supper Club
2751 Broadway New York, NY 10025
Shows at 7:00, 9 and 10:30pm
Tickets available here