Mike Freeman

Mike Freeman

Musicians | Instrument: Vibraphone | Location: New York City

Latin jazz doesn't get any better than this.

—Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz

Updated: July 17, 2023

Born: August 25

Musician - Composer - Band leader - Recording Artist - Producer - Educator

With spirited soulful swing vibraphonist and composer Mike Freeman performs mambo- and salsa-inflused originals creating a distinct brand of jazz-Latin-blues. Dan McClaneghan of Allaboutjazz described him as "masterful" and ranked among other top names of the instrument. Freeman's performances have taken him from North America and Europe to the Azores, Caribbean, and South America. His recordings of original music include tributes to Cal Tjader, Tito Puente, and NEA Jazz Master Bobby Hutcherson. Freeman's recordings have received national and international attention and extensive radio airplay, charting on jazz, contemporary jazz, and World Music radio.

A Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement grant recipient Freeman produced the concert series Boricua Blues, Hell’s Kitchen Soul Sauce, and Latin Music In Hell’s Kitchen, A History that included guest legends Ray Mantilla and Jose Mangual Jr. performing at the Times Center, The Highline, Pier 84 and Riverbank State Park in NYC. He’s also produced two Band Together benefit concerts. One for musicians affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria with proceeds going to the Jazz Foundation of America and the other after Hurricane Katrina, benefitting the Tipitinas Foundation and New Orleans–area musicians.

Other endeavors include writing a decade-long series of commissioned compositions and arrangements for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Percussion Scholarship Program. In 2014 he was commissioned by the late drummer/educator Ed Uribe to write arrangements for China's national percussion curriculum that were performed by members of the Shanghai Symphony at Shanghai Symphony Hall.

Performance highlights for Freeman as a leader include the Fox Jazz Festival and Riverfront Jazz Festival in WI; the Trinidad & Tobago Steelpan & Jazz Festival; Festival Internacional, Terciera, Azores; Central Park’s Harlem Meer concert series in New York City; performing for Flood Relief in Des Moines, IA; Jazz on the Green in Omaha, NE; the Berks, Rehoboth Beach, Hennessy Greenwich Village, and JVC Newport (at Saratoga) jazz festivals; the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) convention, and an extensive tour of Portugal, cosponsored by the Fulbright Foundation and the American Embassy (USIA), where he received the Medal of the City of Guarda.

Freeman is also known for his work and recordings with several acclaimed Latin groups. The vibes behind the name, he worked extensively with legendary percussionist Ray Mantilla’s Good Vibrations Band (touring much of Italy), Ray's Tres Amigos, and as a regular guest with Space Station. "Good Vibrations,” Savant Records, was Jazzweek's top Latinjazz recording on radio in 2006.

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"Latin jazz doesn't get any better than this" –Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz
"frost-fresh…with off-beat rhythms driven hard" Latinjazznet September 27, 2018 –Raul da Gama

"Swinging sounds that are reminiscent of vintage Cal Tjader sessions…irresistible grooves. Oye!" Jazz Weekly November 1, 2018 –George Harris
"…Freeman is wildly talented on the vibraphone" –Mike Greenblatt, Classicalite
"brilliantly played…" "The music cooks; it burns; it swings…" – Steven A

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Primary Instrument



New York City

Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


35 Years of private teaching, clinic/workshop and camp experience.

Clinic/Workshop Information

The Vibraphone in Latinjazz and Salsa.

Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Cal Tjader
Dave Samuels

Artists who share similar musical characteristics to Mike Freeman.



Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services



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Slow Burn

From: The Bowie Project
By Mike Freeman