Free Radicals (band)

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Free Radicals
Free Radicals Protest Press Photo.jpg
Free Radicals in May 2012
Background information
Origin Houston, Texas, USA
Genres Funk, Ska, Klezmer, World Music
Years active 1996–present
Associated acts Pretentious Percussion, Sprawl, Plump
Members Chris Howard
Theo Bijarro
Jason Jackson
Pete Sullivan
Doug Falk
Marcos Melchor
Shawn Durrani
Nick Cooper
Doyle Odom
Denis Cisneros
Harry Sheppard
Michelle Yom
Al Bear
Subhendu Chakraborty
Ilya Kolozs
Dan Cooper
Bo Morris
Bob Chadwick
Jon Durbin
Stuart Smith
Lynn Bechtold
J.J. Watson
Mark Sound
Phindisela Mkhatshwa
Priyodarshi Majumdar
Chicken George
Giancarlo Caffarena
Khalif of Plifedis
K.Z. of I
Kirk Suddreath
Matt Kelly
Tom Sutherland
Paul Winstanley
Sashka Korzenska
Edmundo Ramirez
Richard Cruz
Jennifer DeVore
Felix Thedoublehelix
Joseph Corrales
Joseph Jackson
Ian Varley
Christine Wu
Jimmy Dupuy
Chris Anderson
Westside Johnny
Lucas Gorham
Aaron Hermes
Andra Haviland
Andrew Lenz
Charlie Perez
Gatot Winandar
Jesse Hoffman
Simeon Yurek
Leo Gola
Nadja Burns
Jeff Robinson
Gloria Edwards
Nelson Mills III
Henry Darragh
Billy Lovelace
David Craig
Kelly Dean
Aaron Lington
Carl Adams
Kerijemas 7
Clay Embry
Cherria Rattler
Sam Taylor
Tony Rorai
Mike Leonhart
Andrew Lienhard
Stephan Schultz
Greg Cruz
Dan Moriarty
Andy Nelson
Eddie Hawkins
Gary Zaragenca
Tony Dodrill - Barilla
Dru Rey
David Dove
Jeff Wells
Sarah McGraw
Jim Bedinghaus
Neil Hitchcock
Carolyn Kelley
Jamie Obstbaum
Woody Witt
Burke Snipes
Ramesh Misra
Chris Speed

Free Radicals is an American jazz, funk, hip-hop, avant-garde, ska, reggae, African music, Indian music, punk, klezmer, polka and latin jazz group based in Houston, Texas.


Free Radicals' live band includes six or seven members.[1] On recordings—The Rising Tide Sinks All (1998), Our Lady of Eternal Sunny Delights (2000), Aerial Bombardment (2004), and The Freedom Fence (2012)[2]—Free Radicals invites a group of 50 or more musicians and vocalists into the studio.

Drummer Nick Cooper founded the group in 1996, with a goal of specializing in improvised music.[1] In 2000, The New Yorker wrote "The horn-heavy, continually evolving collective Free Radicals produces a wildly eclectic fusion that has as many influences as there are items in the Houston, Texas, pawnshop in which they honed their sound during all-night jam sessions."[3] In 2010, Dawn (newspaper) wrote that the artwork and message about underwater oil-leaks, oil-wars, and bank-crashes on the band's first CD was like a "premonition waiting to become true." [4]

Free Radicals performs many concerts,[5] marches [6] and fund-raisers for anti-authoritarian and radical groups like food not bombs, peace festivals, and charities events including a continuous 24-hour concert in November 1999 to raise money for Kid Care, a health program for children.[7] They have protested against Halliburton, and participated in marches for immigrants' rights and for a Houston janitor's union.[7]

Free Radicals has won the following 19 [8] Houston Press awards:

  • 2014: Best Jazz [9]
  • 2013: Best Jazz [10]
  • 2012: Best CD, Best Song, Best Jazz [11]
  • 2011: Best Jazz,[12]
  • 2010: Best Jazz,[13]
  • 2009: Best Jazz, Best Drummer[14]
  • 2008: Best Jazz[15]
  • 2004: Best CD by Local Musicians[14]
  • 2003: Best Jazz[16]
  • 2002: Best Jazz[16]
  • 2001: Best Jazz[17]
  • 1999: Best Jazz, Best Funk, Best Drummer[16]
  • 1998: Best Jazz, Best Unsigned Band[16]


  • 1998: The Rising Tide Sinks All
  • 2000: Our Lady of Eternal Sunny Delights
  • 2004: Aerial Bombardment
  • 2012: The Freedom Fence
  • 2015: Freedom of Movement


  1. ^ a b Okuhara, Greg (2006-06-01). "Music Notes: Free Radicals set to bombard Bryan". Knight Ridder News. p. 1. 
  2. ^ Dansby, Andrew (2012-06-15). "Free Radicals Tear Down Fences". 2995. 
  3. ^ "Music". The New Yorker. 2000-03-27. p. 1. 
  4. ^ Ghazi, Sahar Habib (2010-07-12). "Jewish music for Palestine". Dawn (newspaper). 
  5. ^ Serrano, Shea (2009-04-29). "Fresh Fruit: Mango's attempts to resurrect Westheimer's bohemian past.". The Houston Press, Houston, TX. 
  6. ^ Capitan, Craig (2008-04-02). "Snook isn't the center of the world for Free Radicals". The Eagle, Bryan-College Station, TX. 
  7. ^ a b Okuhara, Greg (2007-07-05). "Musical reaction to Houston's Free Radicals". Knight Ridder News. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Rouner, Jeff (2011-01-28). "Free Radicals Blend Break-Dancing, Capoeira Into Fitz's Show". Houston Press. 
  9. ^ "The 2014 Houston Press Music Award Winners". Houston Press. 2014-08-08. 
  10. ^ "The 2013 Houston Press Music Award Winners". Houston Press. 2013-08-07. 
  11. ^ "The 2012 Houston Press Music Award Winners". Houston Press. 2012-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Your 2011 Houston Press Music Awards Winners". Houston Press. 2011-11-16. 
  13. ^ "Like Hell Yeah". Houston Press. 2010-08-19. 
  14. ^ a b "The 2009 Houston Press Music Award Winners". Houston Press. 2009-07-31. 
  15. ^ "2008 HPMA Winner List". Houston Press. 2008-07-30. 
  16. ^ a b c d Lomax, John (2006-07-27). "Bring Back the Jams!". Houston Press. 
  17. ^ "Mount Coy". Houston Press. 2001-07-26. 


External links[edit]