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Daniel Freedman

Student of Max Roach, collaborations with Angelique Kidjo, Avishai Cohen & Lionel Loueke, Freedman continues his rhythm journey with a colorful album "Imagine That", a world tour from NY, Africa, Brazil and Middle East
One of the most in-demand drummers in New York - tapped by the likes of Angélique Kidjo, Sting and Anat Cohen - Daniel Freedman presents his third album as a leader, the rhythmically infectious Imagine That. Released in the U.S. by Anzic Records today, April 15, 2016, Imagine That draws on a world of music: tune-rich originals that channel African, Middle Eastern, Latin and Indian grooves, as well as an astoundingly fresh version of a rarely covered Radiohead song ("Codex").
Freedman, born and bred in New York City, leads an international quintet that features guitarist-vocalist Lionel Loueke (from Benin), keyboardist Jason Lindner (Brooklyn), bassist Omer Avital (Israel) and percussionist Gilmar Gomes (Brazil). Benin-born vocal star Angélique Kidjo, with whom Freedman has toured the world as drummer in her band,

Freedman, 41, has close connections to each member of the band for Imagine That. He went to LaGuardia High School for Music and Arts (the "Fame" school) alongside Jason Lindner, playing in various groups with him ever since. Lindner played on Bamako by Bus, and both the keyboardist and drummer have long been members of clarinet superstar Anat Cohen's bands. Freedman and Lindner met Omer Avital when they were all part of the fertile 1990s scene at the jazz club Smalls in New York's West Village; the three played together in Lindner's original hit big band), and Lindner and Avital featured on Freedman's debut album, 2001's Trio (Fresh Sound New Talent). For the past decade, Freedman and Avital have also played alongside each other in hit multicultural band Third World Love (with Avishai Cohen and Yonathan Avishai). Lionel Loueke played with the rhythm pair on Avishai Cohen's album After The Big Rain, as well as on Bamako by Bus. Freedman has played with Gilmar Gomes in studio sessions and tours with Kidjo, Anat Cohen and New York/Brazilian band Forro in the Dark.

Drummer, percussionist and composer Daniel Freedman grew up in a musical New York City family. In high school, he studied with master drummers Max Roach, Billy Higgins and Vernel Fournier and later traveled to study drumming in West Africa, Cuba and the Middle East. Coming up as part of the Smalls scene in the 1990s, Freedman was a member of Jason Lindner's acclaimed big band, as well as Omer Avital's sextet. The drummer has been a member of the collective Third World Love for the past decade, along with touring and recording with Anat Cohen. He also toured the world as a member of Grammy-winning singer Angélique Kidjo's band from 2009 to 2015.

Freedman has played and recorded with such artists as Sting, Youssou N'Dour, Dianne Reeves, Omara Portuondo, Tom Harrell, Wynton Marsalis and Meshell Ndegeocello. In 2012, Anzic released his sophomore album as a leader, Bamako by Bus, which featured a core band of Avishai Cohen, Lionel Loueke, Jason Lindner and Meshell N'degeocello, along with Mark Turner, Pedro Martinez, Abraham Rodriguez, Omer Avital, Joshua Levitt and Davi Viera. Freedman's debut album, Trio, received a nine-star review in Modern Drummer magazine, and he was featured as one of the publication's "Young Lions." The New York Times selected him as one of five young drummers on the New York scene who helped change jazz drumming for the piece "Propelled by Different Drummers." As founder of New York-based music house, Freedman has written and produced dozens of spots for television and the Web.

Encapsulating Freedman's talents, this praise recently came for Imagine That via TSF Jazz (French radio): "With one foot firmly planted in jazz and the other in world music, drummer Daniel Freedman synthesizes two vast universes."


2016 - Imagine That
Anzic Records

2015 - Luminosa Anat Cohen
Anzic Records

2014 - New Song Omer Avital
Plus Loin Music/Motema-Abeille

2012 - Bamako By Bus
Anzic Records

2011 - Angelique Kidjo-Spirit Rising

2007 - After the big rain Avishai Cohen
Anzic Records

2001 - Daniel Freedman Trio
Fresh Sound Records


There is no live planned currently

Imagine That Sampler 2017
Codex Radiohead