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    Freeman, Norm

    Percussionist from Maplewood, New Jersey, who started out on drums at an early age and expanded into timpani and vibraphone in high school.  He attended Juilliard, from whence he graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.  After graduation, he became an extra percussionist and substitute with the New York Philharmonic.

     

    Other groups with whom he has worked include Metallica, the Moody Blues, the New York Pops, his own Norm Freeman Quartet, N2K and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

     

    On 3rd October 1988, he participated in what is purported to be the first-ever all-snare-drum concert entitled “GAGEEGO presents The Noble Snare” at the Marymount Manhattan Theater, where he performed “Full Circle” by David Macbride.

     

    He was also present and accounted for at the world premiere concert of The New York Pops in Carnegie Hall.

     

    In 1994, he went on tour with Barbra Streisand, with whom he has performed many times since, including tours in 2006 and 2007, and Streisand:  The Concert in 2009.

     

    A change was in the works for him, however.  He decided to go back to school, not to study music, but theology.  In 1997, he graduated from the General Theological Seminary in New York with a Master of Divinity degree.  He began his new career at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Riverside, Connecticut.  Then he and his family relocated to California, where he became the chaplain at UC-Santa Barbara and vicar at The Church of St. Michael and All Angels Church in Isla Vista.

     

    He did not turn his back on music, but instead renewed his commitment to it, incorporating “Jazz Vespers” into his services.  Neither did he relinquish his association with the New York Pops, choosing to commute to their concerts, as he did when they performed at the World Trade Center in July 2001.

     

    On 22nd October 2004, he gave the world premiere of “57/7 Dash” by Melinda Wagner with the New York Pops in Carnegie Hall.

     

    The “Jazz Vespers” made a guest appearance at the St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Simi Valley on 7th December 2008.

     

    On 20th February 2011, The Norm Freeman Quartet performed at St. George’s Episcopal Church and Academy in Laguna Hills, where he has served as headmaster and rector.

     

    Recordings on which he appears include:  In the Spirit by Jessye Norman, Live Jazz @ St. G’s and Watch What Happens with the Norm Freeman Quartet; the Grammy-winning Mahler:  Symphony No. 3 in D minor with the New York Philharmonic; A Soul Break with violinist Katherine Cash (they bill themselves as N2K); and, The World So Wide by Dawn Upshaw.

     

    In the field of music education, he has given lectures and master classes, and served on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music and New York University.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4721/m2/1/high_res_d/dissertation.pdf
    2. http://www.newyorkpops.org/pop-a-question
    3. http://s3.amazonaws.com/ameravant-jazzministry-org-production/files/1/original.pdf
    4. http://www.jazzministry.org/article?author=13849&page=2
    5. http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/3577_79658_ENG_HTM.htm
    6. http://www.yamaha.com/artists/normfreeman.htmlE
    7. http://www.stpaulsriverside.org/
    8. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2008/dec/06/jazz-service-lets-priest-show-his-instruments-of/?printer=1/
    9. http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/?year=2008
    10. http://www.lajazz.com/kjazz_calendar.cfm?v=2&t=20110223&c=0&lc=0
    11. http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/world-so-wide
    12. http://dspace.sunyconnect.suny.edu/bitstream/handle/1951/25689/Statesman,%20V.%2039,%20n.%2018.PDF?sequence=1
    13. http://www.vcstar.com/news/2008/dec/06/jazz-service-lets-priest-show-his-instruments-of/?printer=1/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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