Mike Freeman Blog

2017 Recap

2017 Recap

The big news for 2017 was the putting together of a rousing new set of music of mine mostly written from late 2016 into early 2017. Initial dry runs of the music started late spring with the onset of full-fledged rehearsals beginning late summer into the fall. The music was recorded with an exciting new group of musicians in early October and the remaining months of the year were spent mixing. The recording will soon be mastered and my friend Tony Picco has begun work on some interesting cover art. Finishing everything up, manufacturing CDs, and making promo videos still needs to be done, but everything is looking good for a spring release of this new music. It’s turning out nicely and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!

Like everyone else I know, I wanted to help those suffering from the devastation of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Puerto Rico in particular is the origin of so much of the music I play and many of my musician colleagues are from the island, so I decided to produce Band Together 2, a benefit concert featuring performances by Oscar Feldman, Bill Nelson, Ken Rizzo, and Andy Winter; Amina Claudine Myers; Marcie Castro, Wendy Luck; Ray Mantilla's Tres Amigos; Chris Carter, Roger Bartlett, Bobby Harden; Jamie Baum, Jeff Hirshfield, Leonard Thompson, and Dan Stein. The funds went directly to the Jazz Foundation of America to benefit musicians affected by the hurricanes. (Band Together 1 was produced to benefit musicians in the aftermath of Katrina.)

2017 also marked the solar eclipse across the entire country that we watched with my son from a high hill on the CCNY campus. ZonaVibe performed at the Jazz and Blues Showcase and I did a fun a gig with my west coast buddy Louis Metoyer (look him up) in Omaha for our high school reunion! There were many gigs with Jose Mangual Jr’s Son Boricua and with Ray Mantilla. I was also happy to perform on Ray’s newest cd “High Voltage”, that did very well on jazz radio.

Cheers and Best Wishes in 2018!

–Mike Freeman