10th American Heritage Jazz Series: Led by Jon Faddis and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble
Artistic Director Jon Faddis and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble (The CJE) continue the celebration of the 10th American Heritage Jazz Series with The Art of the Composer: Music by William Russo and Frank Foster featuring Special Guest Von Freeman on Friday, March 20, at 8:00 pm at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 East Randolph, Chicago. In addition, Faddis and writer/broadcaster Neil Tesser will present a pre-concert conversation about the evening’s performance at 7:20 pm.
Join the Chicago Jazz Ensemble for a remarkable evening featuring the music of two of the great contributors to jazz repertory – William Russo, the late great founder of The CJE and former Stan Kenton Orchestra arranger and trombonist, and Frank Foster, the Grammy® award-winning veteran, NEA Jazz Master, and former leader of the Count Basie Orchestra who continues to create new music and entertain jazz audiences around the world. Chicago’s own Von Freeman adds his big rich sound as special guest with The CJE.
Earl Lavon “Von” Freeman, Sr. learned saxophone as a child and at DuSable High School under the direction of the renowned educator Walter Dyett. He began his professional career at age 16 in Horace Henderson’s Orchestra before joining the military and playing with the Navy band during World War II. After his return to Chicago, he performed with his brothers George on guitar and Bruz on drums at the Pershing Hotel Ballroom, where The Freeman Brothers backed numerous leading jazzmen including Charlie Parker, Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie.
In the early 50s, Von played in Sun Ra’s band and recorded with Andrew Hill, Jimmy Witherspoon and Al Smith. It was not until 1972 that Von first recorded under his own name, the album Doin’ It Right Now, with the support of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Over the years, he has played regularly and recorded in Chicago, including making records with his son, the tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman. The elder Freeman is considered a founder of the “Chicago School” of jazz tenorists along with Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin and Clifford Jordan.
Harris Theater (Millennium Park)
205 E. Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601