Russ Freeman (guitarist)

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Russ Freeman
Russ Freeman.jpg
Background information
Born (1960-02-11) February 11, 1960 (age 61)
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
GenresSmooth jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, record producer, record label owner
InstrumentsGuitar, Keyboards, Bass, Drums
Years active1985–present
Associated actsThe Rippingtons

Russ Freeman (born February 11, 1960) is a smooth jazz guitarist who is the founder and leader of The Rippingtons.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Nashville, Tennessee,[1] Freeman started on guitar when he was ten years old. His first teacher was a session musician in Nashville who knew his father. He followed his teacher around Nashville studios and after six years worked in a variety of sessions as a professional guitarist. Two years later, he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work playing for commercials and with vocalists Englebert Humperdinck and Anne Murray. He cites George Benson and Larry Carlton as influences.[2]

For one year he attended the California Institute of the Arts. He recorded his first solo album, Nocturnal Playground. In 1985, he founded the band The Rippingtons as an opportunity to record with a variety of musicians.[3] The first version of the band included David Benoit, Brandon Fields, Kenny G, and Dave Koz. By 1993, The Rippingtons had solidified into a sextet of Freeman, Jeff Kashiwa on saxophone, Dave Kochanski on keyboards, Kim Stone on bass guitar, Tony Morales on drums, and Steve Reid on percussion. In 1994 Freeman reunited with Benoit for The Benoit/Freeman Project. Freeman and his manager, Andi Howard, formed Peak Records in 1994. In 1998 he collaborated with guitarist Craig Chaquico of Starship for the album From the Redwoods to the Rockies.

A record producer and arranger, Freeman also plays bass guitar, keyboards, and drums. His music can be heard during The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s segments, and his song "Brave New World" is included in the 2008 compilation album, The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II.

His wife, Yaredt Leon, has composed music for The Rippingtons' albums.[4][5]



As leader[edit]

With The Rippingtons

With David Benoit

As sideman[edit]

With David Benoit

With others


  1. ^ Lannert, John (1991-02-22). "Name Game Aside, Freeman Delivers". Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  2. ^ Arnold, Thomas K. (15 December 1987). "Jazz Fuses With Country for a Top 10 Sound". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Gary (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 1 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries Inc. p. 853. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  4. ^ Wilkins, Woodrow (6 April 2009). "The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman: Modern Art". All About Jazz. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  5. ^ Whitmer, Mike (2011-05-19). "CD review: Rippingtons and Freeman bring the house on new CD". Retrieved 2013-12-13.

External links[edit]