Hail, hail Freedonia!
The debut album is out now. Pick it up at the show or order it on iTunes
Scott Laningham - Drums
James Fenner - Percussion
John Fremgen - Bass
Jeff Hellmer - Wurlitzer Piano
Christopher Cross - Vocals & Guitar
Russell Haight - Tenor Sax
Seth Carper - Tenor Sax
Justin Vasquez - Alto & Soprano Sax
LIVE WEBCAST HERE
AND ON FACEBOOK
There's a new band in town! Freedonia
is Austin's new all star band featuring original songs influenced by jazz and sophisticated pop. Get ready for this refined sound not often heard in Austin. Think Fagan and Becker, The Doobies, Chicago, only home grown right in the heart of Texas. The debut CD will be available for purchase at the show.
The group was the brain child of guitarist/vocalist Christopher Cross and producer Randy Miller. Born out of their shared desire to create a new ensemble with horns, reminiscent of the Steely Dan “Aja” period, and as CC puts it "just be the guitar player" and shine the light on these amazing players.
About the Band
has been a popular drummer in the Austin music scene for over 35 years. He is a core member of the award-winning soul jazz group Church on Monday
, as well as Austin's eclectic TresMusicos
Percussionist James Fenner
performed in sold-out stadium and arena concert tours throughout the world with Christopher Cross
. He is highly sought as a studio musician and is heard on many Austin recordings, including the Grammy Award-winning CD "Ah Via Musicom" by Eric Johnson
calls John Fremgen
“…an adroit craftsman on the strings slapping and popping away on electric or plucking resonant tones on acoustic.” He performs in Austin with Butch Miles, Mitch Watkins, and other lumiaries. He is an associate professor at The University of Texas, teaching jazz improvisation, jazz history, bass and he directs the AIME ensemble.
Jeff Hellmer is Director of Jazz Studies and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas. A versatile performer, he has been active on the Austin music scene for decades, and has toured as a leader and with artists such as Butch Miles.
Christopher Cross made history with his 1980 self-titled debut album, winning five Grammy Awards, including—for the first time ever—the four most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. is most recent solo relase is Take Me As I am. Freedonia is the result of a new crop of original songs and Christopher's musical relationships built over a lifetime.
Dr. Russell Haight is an Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Improvisation at Texas State University. His recent CD release, Destination, won a Silver Medal in the Global Music Awards. He has performed with luminaries such as Bobby Shew, Vincent Herring, Rufus Reid, and the late George Duke.
has shared the stage with jazz greats Ernie Watts
, Vincent Herring
, Maynard Ferguson
, and Kenny Werner
. He has also performed with Grammy winning groups The Temptations
and The Four Tops
, The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra
, and many more.
Alto and soprano saxophonist Justin Vasquez
's fiercely open-minded approach to composition is the hallmark of his artistry. He has honed a boundary-defying style as fluid and organic as it is impressive. “My goals are to play with very the best musicians and to push myself as far as I possibly can," Justin concludes.