Show Time: 8pm
Cover Charge: $75.00/$50.00 at the bar.
About FREDDY COLE
"Gorgeous autumnal baritone, expressive phrasing and pitch-perfect feel for jazz standards, pop tunes and love ballads." People Magazine
"Freddy has an impeccable sense of swing... he is, overall, the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive." The New York Times
“Blessed with warmth, timbral beauty and grace, Freddy is always easy to take and the band is casually excellent.” Entertainment Weekly
Biography - Though Freddy Cole was born in Chicago, currently he is a 35-year native son and international celebrity of Atlanta, GA.
Lionel Frederick Cole was born in Chicago on October 15, 1931, the youngest of Edward and Paulina Nancy Cole's five children. His three elder brothers, Eddie, Ike and Nat (twelve years Freddy's senior) were all musicians.
"I started playing piano at five or six," Freddy remembers. "Music was all around me." In the Chicago home of his youth, regular visitors included Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billy Eckstein and Lionel Hampton. He also credits Billy Eckstine as a major influence. "He was a fantastic entertainer," Freddy recalls. "I learned so much from just watching and being around him." After a possible career with the NFL was shelved due to a hand injury, he began playing and singing in Chicago clubs as a teenager. Although he was ready to hit the road at 18, his mother intervened and he continued his musical education at the Roosevelt Institute in Chicago.
Freddy moved to New York in 1951, where he studied at the Juilliard School of Music and found himself profoundly influenced by John Lewis, Oscar Peterson and Teddy Wilson. He earned a Master's Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music and then spent several months on the road as a member of The Earl Bostic Band, which also included Johnny Coles and Benny Golson.
It was back in New York that Freddy successfully laid the groundwork for a career that continues to flourish today. He developed a vast repertoire of songs, notably a plethora of obscure standards, performing them in Manhattan bistros while concurrently supplementing his live performances with television and radio commercial jingle work.
A resident of Atlanta since 1972, he currently leads a quartet featuring guitarist Sam Raderman, bassist Elias Bailey, drummer Jay Sawyer, and now, also features his son, Lionel Cole, on piano and vocals as well. Lionel, a formidable artist in his own right, was musical director and co-writer with Mariah Carey for 10 years, in addition to playing piano and singing as part of her touring group during that time. Together with Mariah Carey, Lionel co-wrote Carey's Billboard chart single "Through the Rain," which appeared on Carey's ninth studio album, Charmbracelet (2002). The song peaked at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the U.S. sales and dance charts. As a composer, he collaborates frequently with Randy Jackson and other notable composers and arrangers from Jazz to Rock and Contemporary music. His group regularly tours the US, Europe, the Far East, South Africa, South America and Australia.
Freddy has been a recording artist since 1952, when his first single, "The Joke's on Me," was released on an obscure Chicago-based label. He recorded several albums for European and British companies during the 1970’s which helped him develop a loyal overseas following. Cole believes that becoming an international favorite “made me widen my scope a little bit." He developed a stand-up act, a more intimate rapport with audiences, and learned to sing in other languages. "This made me much more of a performer," states Cole.
Freddy doesn't apologize for sounding a bit like his brother, Nat "King" Cole. There are certain unmistakable similarities in the vocal timbres of all four Cole brothers. Freddy plays piano, sings and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, and perhaps, even jazzier. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother Nat, though his timing and unique phrasing swings a little more. His vocals and phrasing - suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate - are among the most respected in jazz. Cole's career continues to ascend as he has moved into the front ranks of America's homegrown art form with a style and musical sophistication all his own, now often referred to as the greatest “storyteller” in jazz. Freddy continues to tour throughout the US and internationally performing in theaters, performing arts centers, and well-known clubs, often in conjunction with large ensembles such as the Count Basie Big Band, the New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, and others throughout Europe and the US. Freddy continues to be a sought after and universally beloved “one of a kind” artist.
2012 Honorary doctorate from his Post Graduate Alma Mater, The New England Conservatory of Music; 2011 80th Birthday Celebration by WCLK Radio in Atlanta; “Freddy Cole SINGS MR. B” was nominated for a 2011 Grammy®; December 1, 2010 he received the "2008 Outstanding Male Jazz Vocalist" Award at the Playbill 2009 Nightlife Awards.
Freddy is a 4x Grammy Nominee in the Best Male Vocalist category, including 2019 for his newest cd, “My Mood is You.” He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Sept. 8, 2007; received the "2005 Outstanding Male Jazz Vocalist" Award at the Playbill 2006 Nightlife Award; inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame "2005 Living Legend Award" June 15, 2005.