Freddy Cole



Biography

Freddy Cole (vocalist/pianist), suave, elegant, formidable, articulate, and polished, is among the most respected of jazz singers. Born Lionel Frederick Cole in Chicago Illinois, he was the youngest of four brothers, all musicians and who included the late Nat “King” Cole. Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton all visited his childhood home. He started to play the piano as a child, and after a hand injury in his teens halted a possible career with the NFL, Mr. Cole began performing in Chicago clubs. He continued his musical education at the Roosevelt Institute in Chicago, at the Juilliard School of Music where he was influenced by such musicians as John Lewis, Oscar Peterson, and Teddy Wilson and at the New England Conservatory of Music. He spent several months touring with Earl Bostic in a band that included Johnny Coles and Benny Golson, and then performed in Manhattan bistros. Mr. Cole has been a recording artist since 1952. His first hit single, “The Joke's on Me” (Topper) was followed by “Whispering Grass” Columbia/Okeh). After making singles and albums for Dot, De-Lite, and others fifties and sixties, he recorded for European companies and developed a loyal following overseas, especially in Brazil. He cut albums for his own labels, First-Shot and Dinky, during the seventies and eighties and for the Sunnyside and Laserlight labels in the early nineties. His albums on the Fantasy label include A Circle of Love (1993), I Want a Smile for Christmas (1994), Always (1994), To The Ends of the Earth (1997), and Love Makes the Changes (1998) and others. On the Telarc label, Mr. Cole recorded Merry Go Round (2000), Rio De Janeiro Blue (2001) and his most recent offering, the contemporary pop CD In the Name of Love (2003). A resident of Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Cole regularly tours the U.S., Europe, the Far East, and South America with his quartet, whose members include guitarist Jerry Byrd, bassist Zack Pride, and drummer Curtis Boyd. Freddy Cole appeared in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on New Year's Eve 2001.

April 2004
Freddy Cole