WBEZ | Von Freeman http://www.wbez.org/tags/von-freeman Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Remembering Vonski, master of the jazz tenor sax http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/remembering-vonski-master-jazz-tenor-sax-102058 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3535073631_58f3ff0bc7_z.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="(Flickr/Vin)" /><font size="3" style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; "><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; "><b>&nbsp;</b></span></font><font size="3" style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; "><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; ">Famed Chicago tenor saxophonist Earle Lavon &ldquo;Von&rdquo; Freeman, &nbsp;once told Tony Sarabia that he was never meant to be a teacher. Saxophonist Frank Catalano and percussionist Kahil El&rsquo;Zabar strongly disagree. The two musicians, who both played with Von Freeman, and WBEZ&rsquo;s Richard Steele join&nbsp;</span></font><font size="3" style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; "><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; "><i>Eight Forty-Eight&nbsp;</i></span></font><font size="3" style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; "><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; ">to discuss the legacy of one of Chicago&rsquo;s greats, who died earlier this month.</span></font></p><hr /><p><strong>Tony Sarabia:</strong></p><p>This weekend jazz lovers will get two opportunities to remember Chicago&rsquo;s last link to the classic jazz era of the 1940&rsquo;s and 50&rsquo;s. Both the Chicago Jazz Festival and the African Festival of the Arts will pay homage to&nbsp;Earle Lavon&nbsp;&quot;Von&quot; Freeman, the late tenor saxophonist who was affectionately known as Vonski.</p><p>Von Freeman was a modest and loyal man. He once told me he never considered himself teacher to the young musicians who would come to play with him at his regular longtime gig at the small Chicago club The New Apartment Lounge; if anything, he would say, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m around&quot;, meaning he was here to play and play and play with whomever wanted to sit in and jam.</p><p>When I say Von was loyal, I mean in the familial sense. Von could have gone to New York, following in the tradition of other Chicagoans who headed east where the scene was centered; it started with Louis Armstrong in the 1920&rsquo;s when he left Chicago to work with Fletcher Henderson&rsquo;s band. Von&rsquo;s peer and fellow tenor man Gene Ammons left his hometown for the Big Apple and even Von&rsquo;s son Chico packed his horn for New York.</p><p>But Von Freeman had a family to raise and Chico once told me that no matter where his dad might be playing, whenever report cards came home, his dad was there to praise or lambast: all in all, to be a parent.</p><p>Once the kids grew and Von was divorced, there was his aging mother. He wanted to be around for her and he told me during an interview that the only regret he had was that his mother had died just as he started to get noticed around the country and the world for his &ldquo;tough&rdquo; tenor playing.</p><p>There was always something keeping him from leaving Chicago for good: his blind dog Benji, was another reason he gave. &nbsp;I suspect deep down, Von just loved Chicago and its music scene. He certainly was beloved.</p><p>Von benefited from staying, he played with some of the top names from the classic jazz era such as Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins, whenever those musicians came through town.</p><p>Von Freeman didn&rsquo;t make his first record until he was 39 years old; late for a jazz artist-his last was 2009&rsquo;s Vonski Speaks. Avid listeners may say they can detect a change in style thru those years, but Von would tell you that he always played the same -- tough, like the city itself. It was a robust sound in the vein of Coleman Hawkins&rsquo;s masculine tone.</p><p>It was a style that surely influenced a good number of up and coming Chicago area tenor players.</p><p>I think for many Chicagoans even casually familiar with jazz are familiar with the name Von Freeman; hopefully those folks will come out and hear those that played with Vonski over the years pay tribute to a man who truly belongs among those other great Chicago jazz artists that came before him.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe frameborder="0" height="250" src="https://rd.io/i/QX9-5DNNARU" width="500"></iframe></p><p><strong>Richard Steele:</strong></p><p>Many great things have been said about the late Von Freeman. They&rsquo;re all true.</p><p>He lived his entire 88 years in Sweet Home Chicago. When he was a youngster, he got to know great jazz players like Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Earl Hines. They would stop by his home to see his police officer dad, who was also a pretty fair piano player.</p><p>All that close proximity to outstanding musicians and their music began to rub off on young Von. Pretty soon he was learning to play tenor sax. When he furthered his musical education under the tutelage of the great DuSable High School music director Walter Dyett, his professional career began to take flight.</p><p>In the beginning his playing was heavily influenced by Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. He later developed his own unmistakable style. Over the years &nbsp;&ldquo;Vonski,&rdquo; as he was known to his friends and admirers, played with everyone from Sun Ra to bluesman Jimmy Reed. Part of his enduring legacy is the many young musicians he mentored during his long career. One of those players came to Von&rsquo;s legendary Tuesday night sessions at The Apartment Lounge on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side when he was 13. His name is Frank Catalano, and we selected the title track from a duo album they did back in 2000 after Catalano had become a professional musician. It&rsquo;s called <strong><em>You Talkin&rsquo; To Me?!</em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Another choice selection is from Von Freeman&rsquo;s <strong><em>Live at the Dakota </em></strong>album from 2001. The track is called <strong>&ldquo;Crazy She Calls Me.&rdquo; </strong>You&rsquo;ll hear Von do his signature announcement before he begins to play: &ldquo;This one is for the ladies.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>I picked the next track because it showcases Von Freeman as a burner. He lights this one up. It&rsquo;s taken from the album called <strong><em>The Great Divide </em></strong>and the track is <strong>&ldquo;Never Fear, Jazz Is Here.&rdquo;</strong></p><p>Von Freeman is now blowing at that eternal jam session with the likes of John Coltrane, Gene Ammons and Coleman Hawkins, but his musical footprint on this planet will be deep and lasting.</p></p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/remembering-vonski-master-jazz-tenor-sax-102058 Remembering Von Freeman http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/remembering-von-freeman-101699 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Von%20Freeman%20Flickr%20Vin60.jpg" style="height: 474px; width: 620px; " title="Jazz great Von Freeman performing at Chicago’s New Apartment Lounge in 2005. (Flickr/Vin60)" /></div><p><strong>Lead story: </strong>Chicago music lovers are mourning the loss of jazz saxophonist Von Freeman, who died over the weekend at age 88. Freeman, who was admired by jazz greats like Miles Davis, went out of his way to avoid the spotlight; he rarely left Chicago even though his talents indicated he could have had a career alongside the likes of Davis or Louis Armstrong. Numerous obits have popped up in the hours since the announcement of his death. Whet Moser at <em>Chicago Magazine</em> has <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/August-2012/RIP-Von-Freeman-a-Very-Chicago-Jazz-Great/">an excellent piece</a> as does <em>Chicago Tribune</em> art critic <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/chi-von-freeman-dies-chicago-jazz-music-20120813,0,4655061,full.column">Howard Reich</a>. Also worthwhile are <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2012/08/13/158729811/saxophonist-von-freeman-a-chicagoan-from-beginning-to-end">this piece</a> at NPR and this excellent report by Richard Steele for our own <em>Afternoon Shift</em>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F56205447&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Also: </strong>File this under &ldquo;what in the hell is wrong with people?&rdquo; Just after a man was arrested for <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57492050-504083/david-conrad-51-arrested-in-chicago-mosque-air-rifle-shooting/">shooting a pellet gun</a> at a Morton Grove mosque, police announced that a two-liter bottle containing acid <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8772429">exploded outside an Islamic school</a> in Lombard. And this is only locally, not taking into account other recent attacks on mosques in places like <a href="http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/06/13146671-mosque-in-missouri-burns-to-the-ground-one-month-after-arson-attack?lite">Missouri</a> and <a href="http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/13/4720980/cair-video-shows-paintball-attack.html">Oklahoma</a>. All of the attacks come in the wake of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/eight-forty-eight/2012-08-06/7-dead-wisconsin-sikh-temple-shooting-101481">August 5 shooting</a> at a Wisconsin Sikh temple. Islamic groups are <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-14/news/ct-met-mosque-shooting-20120814_1_muslim-education-center-mosque-property-american-islamic-relations">understandably nervous</a>, especially given all of the above attacks have taken place during Ramadan. Feeding the fire, of course, are the likes of Illinois&rsquo; crazy uncle U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, who <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/08/09/walsh_muslims_are_trying_to_kill_americans/">went on an anti-Islam tirade</a> last week, because everyone knows that Christians have never once <a href="http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/the-crusades.htm">used their religion</a> to justify violence. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1994/04/27/us/11-year-term-in-abortion-clinic-shooting.html">Nope</a>. <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/06/christian-taunts-and-violence-mar-arab-festival-in-michigan/">Never</a> <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1004966,00.html">ever</a>.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> The Mayo Clinic continued to trickle out details about U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. yesterday when it announced that the congressman is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/mayo-clinic-jackson-has-bipolar-depression-101680">being treated for bipolar disorder</a>, possibly in connection with gastric bypass surgery he had in 2004. <em>The Wall Street Journal</em> has <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444772404577587492724366640.html">a bit more background</a> on Jackson&rsquo;s surgery and how it could affect the disorder. But even as Jackson undergoes treatment, there&rsquo;s still business to attend to in his district, particularly his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/water/will-county-pushes-peotone-action-while-jacksons-absent-101654">much-touted airport plan in Peotone</a>. With Jackson suddenly disappearing over two months ago, there are no contingency plans in place for issues like this. You&rsquo;d be hard-pressed to find anyone who <em>doesn&rsquo;t</em> wish Jackson well in his treatment and recovery, but it once again draws attention to the secrecy that surrounded his disappearance and the way that secrecy around his absence left his constituents in the lurch.</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong>In addition to Von Freeman&#39;s death this past weekend, the world lost two legends yesterday of very different stripes: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/business/media/helen-gurley-brown-who-gave-cosmopolitan-its-purr-is-dead-at-90.html?pagewanted=all">Helen Gurley Brown</a> and <a href="http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/2012/08/13/red-sox-legend-johnny-pesky-dies/4FIyv55aZMCrkTUhkQTsTO/story.html">Johnny Pesky</a>. Brown was a publishing great, both a writer and the former editor of <em>Cosmopolitan</em> for over 30 years. She will be best remembered for her work in the 1960s, bringing to the world&rsquo;s attention the shocking revelation that unmarried women also enjoy sex. Pesky, on the other hand, was a more regional icon: He was a member of the Boston Red Sox organization for several decades, first as a player, then as a coach and broadcaster. The right field foul pole in Fenway Park, &quot;<a href="http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/2012/08/13/explaining-pesky-pole/GaPGxrsuRw0jmdW0uwjpaP/story.html">Pesky&rsquo;s Pole</a>,&quot;&nbsp;remains named for him.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere: </strong>So much for that post-announcement bump: One poll puts presumed GOP VP nominee Paul Ryan&rsquo;s approval rating <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-pn-poll-paul-ryans-early-numbers-worst-since-dan-quayle-20120813,0,4769997.story">below that of legendary bumpkin Dan Quayle</a> &hellip; A new study shows that more drivers than ever&nbsp;<a href="http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/20120813study-more-car-buyers-bypass-test-drives.html">aren&rsquo;t even bothering with a test drive</a> before buying a new car. Screw it, right? The Mayans said we&rsquo;re all going to die before Christmas anyway &hellip; There <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/r-kelly-cruise-cancelled-due-to-lack-of-r-kelly,83754/">will be no R. Kelly cruise</a> &hellip; The co-founder of the company that makes those hideous Crocs shoes your dad wears <a href="http://gawker.com/5934431/busted-on-suspicion-of-drunk-driving-crocs-co+founder-tries-to-blame-his-girlfriend-taylor-swift">was arrested for DUI</a>. During the bizarre incident he blamed his &ldquo;girlfriend,&rdquo; singer Taylor Swift, and threatened officers &hellip; Coincidentally, last night Swift <a href="http://taylorswift.com/news/91921">announced</a> the October 22&nbsp;release of her fourth album, <em>Red</em>, and revealed the album&rsquo;s lead single, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWudXb0idJs">We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together</a>.&rdquo; The song <a href="http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/08/taylor-swift-we-are-never-ever-getting-back-together-lyrics-who-is-it-about.html">makes no mention</a> of anyone who wears Crocs. Trust me. I listened to the song 15 times. For research.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Looking ahead: </strong>Police are warning residents of <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/13/police-warn-public-about-west-side-sexual-assaults/">a potential serial rapist</a> on the West Side &hellip; Authorities are calling a death at a Gold Coast motel <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/14462464-761/death-at-gold-coast-hotel-ruled-a-homicide.html">a homicide</a> as their investigation continues &hellip; Chicago gas prices are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ethanol-pushes-chicago-gas-prices-highest-us-101681">getting higher</a> because of ethanol &hellip; Groupon profits <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/groupon-2q-beat-profit-estimates-sales-disappoint-101690">were down</a> in the second quarter but execs aren&rsquo;t panicking &hellip; Dueling autopsies will continue to be <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19271262/drew-peterson-kathleen-savio-pathologists-testify-murder-trial-homicide-accidental-death-classification">the focus</a>&nbsp;of the Drew Peterson murder trial this week.</p><p><strong>Sports: </strong>As we head into week two of the NFL preseason, there&rsquo;s <a href="http://tracking.si.com/2012/08/14/nfl-officials-lockout-referees-replacement-football-season/">no real sign</a> the lockout of refs will end so get prepared for some awful calls &hellip; The Chicago Fire <a href="http://gapersblock.com/tailgate/2012/08/pappa-heading-for-holland.php">are preparing</a> for post-Pappa life &hellip; <em>The Reader</em>&rsquo;s Mick Dumke is <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/08/10/reflections-of-an-olympics-junkie">having a rough</a> post-Olympics come-down &hellip; Here&rsquo;s <a href="http://chicagosidesports.com/the-ripken-of-wrigley-field/">a great feature</a> on the Cubs Dixieland Band &hellip; Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers faces a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/14469567-419/agent-defends-julius-peppers-college-record.html">new controversy</a> stemming from the University of North Carolina&rsquo;s <a href="http://deadspin.com/5934103/it-appears-north-carolina-has-published-julius-pepperss-transcript-for-some-reason">decision</a> to post his college transcripts online.</p><p><strong>Finally: </strong>LEGO turns 80 this year and besides topping this <a href="http://legowrigley.blogspot.com/">LEGO replica of Wrigley Field</a>, the best way to celebrate is by watching this 17-minute video celebrating the company&rsquo;s history. [via <em><a href="http://www.thehighdefinite.com/2012/08/the-lego%C2%AE-story/">The High Definite</a></em>]</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NdDU_BBJW9Y" width="601"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 14 Aug 2012 09:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/remembering-von-freeman-101699 Art tips for August 13-19 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-08/art-tips-august-13-19-101683 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bud%20billiken.jpg" style="height: 479px; width: 600px; border-width: 10px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; " title="Beauty Queens in the Bud Billiken Parade circa 1973 (John H. White/Calumet 412) " /></div><p>Bud Billiken&rsquo;s come and gone, the aisles of school supplies are looking picked over and many store mannequins are sporting fall colors. Where ya going summer? Still, there&#39;s plenty of culture in and outdoors to enjoy this week.</p><p>1. <a href="http://mattulery.com/wordpress/">Matt Ulery</a> has gotten some rave reviews for his double disc <em>By A Little Light</em>. Thursday the bassist will bring an expanded ensemble to perform in Millennium Park, as part of the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series. The album is what sounds like an impossible blend of musical styles and periods, from classical Romantic composers (which seem to be having a moment &ndash; <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-08/legendary-dj-atom%E2%84%A2-makes-his-chicago-debut-101617">here&rsquo;s another musician re-working the Romantics</a>) to minimalist American music and Eastern European folk.&nbsp; Everything I&rsquo;ve heard on the album has the air of a movie soundtrack, another source of inspiration from Ulery. If you prefer your music indoors, Ulery will also play the Green Mill (Monday) and the Jazz Showcase (Wednesday) before Thursday&rsquo;s show at the Pritzker Pavilion.</p><p>2. Staying with our light in August theme, a remarkable film plays Thursday at <a href="http://docfilms.uchicago.edu/dev/">Doc Films</a> at the University of Chicago. <em>Let There Be Light </em>is the final of three war documentaries made by John Houston, consists mainly of a&nbsp;series of unscripted interviews with soldiers being treated at a military hospital in Long Island, New York. All of them are&nbsp;suffering from psychological wounds (we call it PTSD, those soldiers were considered &ldquo;nervously wounded,&rdquo; or suffering from &ldquo;shell shock&rdquo;). Houston&rsquo;s film was put together with the help of screenwriter Charles Kaufmann and the great cinematographer Stanley Cortez (among other cinematic accomplishments, Cortez is responsible for the incredible photography of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFzTBPy7nl8"><em>The Night of the Hunter</em></a>).</p><p>Censored until 1980,&nbsp;<em>Let There Be Light&nbsp;</em>circulated in degraded form (a 16 mm copy of the original 35 mm print, with a distorted soundtrack) until <a href="http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/movies/2012/05/a-restored-version-of-let-there-be-light-available-online/">its recent restoration by the National Film Preservation Foundation</a>. You can also <a href="http://www.filmpreservation.org/preserved-films/screening-room/let-there-be-light-1946">watch it online</a> at the NFPF site until August 31st. While there, I encourage you to take a look at <a href="http://www.filmpreservation.org/preserved-films/screening-room/the-reawakening-1919"><em>The Reawakening</em></a>, a 1919 film about the rehabilitation of World War I veterans at Fort Sheridan hospital north of Chicago.</p><p>3. There&rsquo;s a film connection at the <a href="http://www.southshorechamberinc.org/summerfestival2012.php">South Shore Summer Festival</a>, a one-day celebration this coming Saturday. Cuba Gooding Sr., father of the movie star, will appear along with his band&nbsp;The Main Ingredient. Their big hit is &ldquo;Everybody Plays the Fool&rdquo; which aptly sums up some of the more unfortunate turns of his son&rsquo;s career (he got a better gig in the recent <em>Red Tails</em>). Also appearing, Chico DeBarge, younger brother of the 80s-era DeBarge musical-siblings clan.</p><p>4. Just like white shoes and seersucker, art deserves a summer airing, which seems to be the logic behind a couple of current shows. Both Northwestern University and the Art Institute of Chicago decided to pull some treasures out of their respective vaults, which means you&rsquo;ll get a rare opportunity to see some cool works on paper.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/view/exhibitions/2012/art-on-paper-prints,-drawings,-and-photographs-from-the-block-museum-of-art.html">Art on Paper: Prints, Drawings and Photographs from the Block Museum</a></em>&nbsp;is up at Northwestern University&#39;s Block Museum through August 26th, and includes work by Andy Warhol, Robert Mappelthorpe and Laura Letinsky of the University of Chicago.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/rarely-seen-contemporary-works-paper">Rarely Seen Works on Paper</a></em>&nbsp;at the The Art Institute of Chicago includes a gorgeous collage by Romare Bearden, Martin Kippenberger&rsquo;s sketches on various hotel stationery, and work by UIC art professor Julia Fish. The show runs through next January. But if you go this Thursday after work, stick around for<em> <a href="http://www.artic.edu/event/pechakucha">PechaKucha</a></em>, which takes place in the Modern Wing from 6-8 p.m. Crafty creative types will share their mindsets &ndash; in the classic &#39;20 slides at 20 seconds per frame&#39; format of PK.</p><p>5. Everyone is analyzing the fiscal and intellectual priorities (and the connections therein) of the GOP&rsquo;s just named candidate for Vice President, Paul Ryan. Ryan has both claimed and renounced the writings of objectivist philosopher and uber-capitalist Ayn Rand, particularly as detailed in her book <em>Atlas Shrugged.</em> The novel is epic and all I remember from my college days read are the plentiful odes to the beauty of roadside billboards. But the fervor also reminded me of another <a href="http://www.theatlasphere.com/columns/031215_iannolo_trotter.php">&ldquo;randian&rdquo;</a>: local celebrity chef and self-made man Charlie Trotter. Trotter will shutter his remaining restaurants at the end of August to embark on a master&rsquo;s degree in philosophy and political theory. Not sure whether Rand will be a major part of studies, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/business/13572319-420/trotter-to-go-closes-as-famous-chef-heads-for-hiatus.html">which at last word he&rsquo;ll undertake at Northwestern University.</a></p><p>6. Just as funeral arrangements were being announced for legendary music producer <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/carl-davis-architect-chicago-sound-101647">Carl Davis</a>, along comes word of the death of another great Chicago musical light. Condolences to the family of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/chi-von-freeman-dies-chicago-jazz-music-20120813,0,4655061,full.column">the great jazz tenor saxaphonist, Von Freeman</a>.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 13 Aug 2012 14:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-08/art-tips-august-13-19-101683 Legenday jazz saxophonist Von Freeman receives local and national accolades http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-27/legenday-jazz-saxophonist-von-freeman-receives-local-and-national-accola <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-27/Von Freeman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago-style jazz is bold and innovative. Nobody represents that better than the legendary tenor sax player <a href="http://go54321.tripod.com/vf/vonfreeman.html">Von Freeman</a>, known to his many friends, fans and fellow musicians as "Vonski." Back in the '40s, he shared the stage with such jazz luminaries as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie when they performed in Chicago. Unlike some of his contemporaries Freeman was not lured to New York to be part of the burgeoning be-bop scene. He remained loyal to his home-town roots and became the originator of the Chicago style of playing jazz on the tenor sax.</p><p>The other thing he’s most famous for is mentoring hundreds of young musicians trying to learn the finer points of playing this music, holding court in the form of impromptu jam sessions at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-new-apartment-lounge-chicago" target="_blank">The New Apartment Lounge</a> on Chicago’s South Side for over 30 years. One of the grateful graduates of that school is Grammy Award-winning vocalist, <a href="http://kurtelling.com/" target="_blank">Kurt Elling</a>.</p><p>While the Chicago jazz community marveled at Freeman’s extraordinary talent, national recognition mostly eluded him - until now. In June, the <a href="http://www.nea.gov/" target="_blank">National Endowment for the Arts</a> announced that Freeman would receive the nation’s highest honor in jazz: The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Award.</p><p>At almost 90 years old, he can still light it up. His tremendous impact on Chicago jazz will be celebrated with a <a href="http://explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/jazz_von_freeman.html" target="_blank">tribute</a> at <a href="http://www.millenniumpark.org">Millenium Park</a> on Thursday evening, July 28,at 6:30 p.m. to kick-off for the <a href="http://explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/special_events/dca_tourism/Made_in_Chicago.html" target="_blank">Made In Chicago World Class Jazz Concert Series</a>, presented by the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/specialevents" target="_blank">Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events</a>. The tribute will feature an all-star lineup performing some of Freeman’s original music. The celebration of a true original: Von Freeman!&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-left: -9pt;">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 27 Jul 2011 21:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-27/legenday-jazz-saxophonist-von-freeman-receives-local-and-national-accola Chicago's Von Freeman among new class of NEA Jazz Masters http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-23/chicagos-von-freeman-among-new-class-nea-jazz-masters-88308 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-24/neajazzmasters_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The National Endowment for the Arts will announce the latest recipients of its Lifetime Honors today, including the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2011/02/15/133790734/nea-jazz-masters-award-to-disappear-under-new-federal-budget-plan" target="_blank">last foreseeable class</a> of NEA Jazz Masters. The Jazz Masters distinction, which will celebrate its 30th year, recognizes living musicians for career-long achievements.</p><p>The 2012 NEA Jazz Masters are drummer <strong>Jack DeJohnette</strong>, one of the most sought-after musicians for decades; saxophonist <strong>Von Freeman</strong>, known also for his mentorship of musicians in Chicago; bassist <strong>Charlie Haden</strong>, a composer with broad stylistic interests and educator of renown; vocalist <strong>Sheila Jordan</strong>, a distinctive singer-songwriter who has taught many; and trumpeter <strong>Jimmy Owens</strong>, who receives the A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy largely for his work with the Jazz Foundation of America.</p><p>Everyone in the new class of honorees receives $25,000, and will be recognized in a concert and ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center in January 2012. NPR Music has co-hosted a live webcast of the NEA Jazz Masters gala in <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122457086" target="_blank">2010</a> and <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/01/14/132738102/the-2011-nea-jazz-masters-awards-concert" target="_blank">2011</a>.</p> <p>Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-23/chicagos-von-freeman-among-new-class-nea-jazz-masters-88308