George Freeman, a Wilmington, N.C. native now living in Fayetteville, is set for two featured performances on Saturday during the fourth annual Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival. He’ll take the stage with his band at 7 p.m. Oct. 5, 2019 on historic Carver Street in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and then back up Phil Denny at 8:30.
Freeman grew up in a musical family, learning the piano from his father, and he says that provided the foundation for future success. “I believe singing with my family at such a young age helped develop my ear to pick up different harmonies so well,” he has said. “My dad taught me four of five basic chords, and everything flowed from that knowledge.”
Experiences in the church informed his creativity, both then and now. “Since I was 13, I’ve played for worship services,” Freeman added. “In gospel, there is a lot of freedom to add blues and jazz chords. Today’s contemporary gospel is a melting pot of genres.”
Freeman recently released Limitless, which incorporates elements of R&B, pop, funk, rock and neo-soul into contemporary to smooth jazz. His debut album Make It Happen featured the single “Night Lights,” which spent nine weeks on the Billboard smooth-jazz song chart while soaring to a Top 30 finish; as well as a jazz remake of Anita Baker’s chart-topping R&B hit “Sweet Love.”
Over the years, George Freeman has collaborated with Pamela Williams, Vesta Williams, Gail Jhonson, Eric Darius, Althea Rene and Marcus Anderson, among others. Signature performances have included stops at the Soulful Jazz Fest in Birmingham, Ala.; the Port City Jazz Fest and Jazz Rendezvous Festival in Wilmington; the Uptown Jazz Cabaret in Fayetteville; Jazz at the Creek in San Diego, Calif., Taste of West Africa in Fayetteville, N.C.; Jazz Legacy in Hampton, Va.; and the Ocean City Jazz Fest in North Topsail Beach, N.C.
The lineup for this year’s festival, to be held Oct. 4-6, 2019 at 1420 Carver St. in Myrtle Beach, S.C., can be found here. Enjoy the VIP Experience for just $15!: This package includes front-row, covered seating, food and a wine tasting; we provide the chair. Passes will be sold on-site.