Jazz Master Chico Freeman Performs with The Makanda Project at AHS

Tenor saxophonist Chico Freeman joins The Makanda Project for a special event on November 24, from 7 to 9pm at Arlington High School’s Old Hall, featuring and performing the music of CHICO FREEMAN. The Arlington High Jazz Band led by Tino D’Agostino will perform an opening set. Admission is free for students, $20 general admission, and $10 seniors. Tickets are available at the door or available for advance purchase. This concert is made possible by a grant from the The Boston Foundation.

This concert will mark only the second time The Makanda Project has performed in Metro West. The Makanda Project will present a program consisting entirely of Chico Freeman compositions. 

Chico Freeman is the son of legendary saxophonist Von Freeman and a product of Chicago’s famed Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. He arrived on the New York scene in the late 1970s and immediately established himself as one of the leading tenor saxophonists of his generation.  In his illustrious career since then, he has worked with a long list of jazz greats including Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack DeJohnette, Sam Rivers, Sun Ra, Wynton Marsalis, John Hicks, Mal Waldron, and Bobby Hutcherson, as well as leading musicians from other genres such as Memphis Slim, Tito Puente, Earth, Wind & Fire, and the Eurythmics. He has also been a prominent band leader and has recorded over two dozen albums, mostly featuring his own compositions, including classics such as “Kings of Mali,” “Destiny’s Dance,” and “Spirit Sensitive.” He also organized the all-star groups The Leaders and Roots.

The Makanda Project

The Makanda Project was formed in 2005 to play the previously unrecorded compositions of Boston native Makanda Ken McIntyre (1931-2001).The 13-piece group includes several of Boston’s leading jazz musicians as well as some top musicians from New York. The Makanda Project has been presenting its own regular series of free concerts in Roxbury MA for over a dozen years, and through them has developed a strong local following and reputation. Pianist and leader John Kordalewski also functions as the group’s arranger; to date he has arranged over 50 McIntyre compositions for the band along with some works by other composers. Recently he has begun working with Chico Freeman to create what are the first big band arrangements of his music.

Chico Freeman and The Makanda Project will feature the following musicians:

Kurtis Rivers – alto saxophone
Arni Cheatham – alto saxophone
Paavo Carey – soprano saxophone, clarinet
Chico Freeman – tenor saxophone
Sean Berry – tenor saxophone
Charlie Kohlhase – baritone saxophone
Jerry Sabatini – trumpet
Haneef Nelson – trumpet
Ku-umba Frank Lacy – trombone
Tyler Bonilla – trombone
Bill Lowe – bass trombone, tuba
John Kordalewski – piano
Avery Sharpe – bass
Yoron Israel – drums

Photo credit for Chico Freeman: Thrassos Irinis