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Mike Freeman

2018 Recap!

Mike Freeman 2018 Recap

The first half of 2018 was filled playing lots of gigs with Jose Mangual Jr’s Son Boricua, Julio Salgado-Nicky Marrero, and Ray Mantilla. At the same time, mixing, mastering and wrestling with the artwork for my latest recording was in high gear. There was plenty of busy work preparing for and leading up to the release of the new CD.


“Venetian Blinds” hit the radio and online music stores in August receiving robust airplay and reviews across the US and other parts of the globe through the end of the year.

“The Vibesman” was released in 2012, “Blue Tjade” in 2016 and “Venetian Blinds” in 2018. During that short period of time it’s interesting, and eye opening, to see the drastically changing landscape of the music business in terms of CD sales, versus download sales, versus music streaming. The trend is clear! Given that, it’s important to learn more about tapping into Spotify playlists etc. If you’re a curator please consider adding ZonaVibe music to your streaming playlist! You can also follow us on Spotify


In addition to another summer time gig at Third Street Music and a CD release at LaFonda, ZonaVibe had the pleasure of performing two nice Labor Day festival concerts in Wisconsin; The Fox Jazz Festival and Riverfront Jazz Festival. We had a great time performing and the music was very well received!

Last year I pledged to keep in better contact with everyone by email and through by my website blog. I’m happy to say I did manage to do a bit better in that regard with a few more email shoutouts and more blog posts in 2018.

Website Revamp:
Speaking of the website, I finished off 2018 and launched 2019 with a fresh coat of coding paint, as well as content update, to the Jazzvibe.com website! The current revamp makes navigating the site much easier and, for the first time, makes it truly mobile friendly. It was painstakingly sampled on most all device formats from iPhone and iPad up to 27" iMac.

The results are an overall cleaner, more focused viewing experience. And, most importantly, the music store has a greatly improved CD buying experience. Head over and check it out! http://www.jazzvibe.com

As my cycle goes, it’s now time to start writing a new batch of music for my next recording project!

Best Wishes in 2019! 🎉🎶🥂

Grammy Voting Week

Grammy voting takes place this week and next. Venetian Blinds is in the running! Apart from that, it's always interesting and great fun listening to all the years best music! –Mike Freeman

Summer 2016 wrap-up

The summer has wound down with some memorable gigs starting in late spring with a Bronx rooftop concert at Casita Maria with Ray Mantilla followed by the annual stickball tournament with Julio Salgado. ZonaVibe, in promotion of "Blue Tjade", was in the East Village at the Third Street Music series in late June and Jose Mangual Jr.’s Son Boricua was in the Bronx at Olivias in July. Then there was Ray Mantilla’s Jazzmobile gig at Riverbank State Park and a Jazz Foundation gig at Union Square Park. In August ZonaVibe had a great time on a beautiful evening as part of Jazz Forum Arts music series at Dobbs Ferry where the audience called for an encore! And to top it off Ray Mantilla’s Good Vibrations band just finished a prestigious and well received gig at The Kitano Jazz. I’m now taking a short break to head to the midwest but next up is Son Boricua at BB Kings on Sept. 15th! –Mike Freeman


Old Mike Freeman Portugal Poster from 1985

In 1985 I was invited to tour Portugal. The tour was funded by the American Embassy and the Fullbright Foundation. It was arranged by American bassist Dave Gausden, who was living in Portugal, and Rui Martins, director of the Hot Clube De Portugal in Lisbon, with the help of Wally Keiderling from the USIA (United States Information Agency) who was Cultural Affairs Officer for Portugal. It was an extensive (5 week) tour that took me to every part of the country including towns and cities where few American musicians had performed before and no vibraphonist had ever performed. I received over 30 pages of press and the red carpet treatment everywhere I went with dinners and receptions in my honor and received the Medal of the City of Guarda.
Portugal Tour Photos 1985

Mike Freeman's Medal of the City of Guarda, Portugal

Portugal Fulbright and American Embassy Tour Letter

It was during that tour I wrote a tune called "Praça da Alegria" (Happiness Sguare, named after the Square in Lisbon across from the Hot Clube de Portugal) and got the idea to write more music like it for a group I would form after returning from the tour. The group was called Spellbound and produced two recordings, "Mike Freeman & Spellbound" and Mike Freeman & Spellbound "Street Shuffle" about 5 years apart. Spellbound performed to a standing ovation at the JVC Newport Jazz Festival in Saratoga, NY, 1989, and "Street Shuffle" received significant distribution and radio airplay in 1991. Now years later in 2007 I was invited to perform with my group ZonaVibe in Terceira, Azores, Portugal for the Festival Internacional.
Azores Tour Photos 2007

–Mike Freeman

WBGO's Latin Package

"Blue Tjade" is part of WBGO's Latin Package for their winter fund drive. It's been fun hearing it mentioned and played often over the air! –Mike Freeman

WBGO radio latinpackage winter 2016

A new CD and a new look!

Wow 2015 is closing out with a bang! Blue Tjade was released 12-22-15 and now a nice looking update to the Jazzvibe web site! I like the look and feel so of this so much I think I might actually blog here more regularly from now on! –Mike Freeman

Birthday Gig Success

My Birthday gig at FB Lounge was a big success and the band sounded great!

An afternoon gig of mine was rained out today but ZonaVibe is headed out to Top of the World in Bushkill, PA tonight. –Mike Freeman


I'll be celebrating my 50th Birthday with a performance of ZonaVibe at LaFonda Borciua on Aug. 27th. This also marks 28 years since I arrived in New York City in August of 1981. I hope you'll make it out to celebrate with me, it won't be the same without you, really!

ZonaVibe will also be at Top of The World in Bushkill, PA on Aug. 29th this month.

–Mike Freeman