Craig Freeman

WMUK Music Contributor

Craig Freeman is a freelance musician and teacher in west Michigan who performs with multiple ensembles and projects. At Western Michigan University, he studied trombone with Steven Wolfinbarger, graduating in 2011. Craig is originally from the Cleveland area.

Email: mercer03 (at) gmail.com

Craig Freeman

Keyboardist Brandon Fitzpatrick and guitarist Braulio Green, who grew up gigging together in Battle Creek, MI, are the visionaries behind Minor Element: an ambitious, 9-piece jazz fusion group that has just released its first EP, Stranger Things Have Happened.

Craig Freeman

Violinist Ahmed Tofiq has become, by neccessity, a bridge between Eastern and Western musical traditions, and a bridge between cultures as well. The co-founder of a youth orchestra for children of Syrian refugees, Orchestra Rouh, he speaks Arabic and excels in playing traditional melodies in the styles he learned growing up in Kurdistan. But Tofiq has embraced life in Kalamazoo since moving here to earn his master's degree in music at Western Michigan University in 2014. He knows that music is one way to form connections, and a feeling of home, quickly.

In the Takeda studio, with his violin, Ahmed Tofiq tells his story and plays a few of his favorite maqamat as he speaks with Craig Freeman. 


Craig Freeman

What does it take to be a professional classical musician while maintaining a private teaching studio of 40-50 students? Trumpeter Keith Geiman addresses that question with WMUK contributor Craig Freeman, performing some of his favorite pieces with his Britton-Geiman Duo partner, pianist Thom Britton. They play arrangements of Clark's Venus Waltz, Gershwin's Summertime, and the Thiele/Weiss tune, What A Wonderful World. In remembrance of influential Western Michigan University performer/educator  Stephen Jones, Geiman plays two verses of Amazing Grace.


Catalina Gonzalez

Jordan Hamilton is a performer who took his training in classical cello and transformed himself into a soloist who sings, raps, writes, and performs electro-acoustic arrangements on the cello. Originally from Maryland, he is a member of the Last Gasp Collective, and recently completed his master's degree in music performance from Western Michigan University. WMUK contributor Craig Freeman invited him to play his eclectic solo set live in the Takeda Studio and talk about his uncommon path to self-expression.


Craig Freeman

The musical duo Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, formed in 2014 by Sarah Fuerst and Phil Barry, two members of the six-piece group the Corn Fed Girls, will release their first full-length album, Songs for Mixed Company, on Saturday, July 29 at Louie's Trophy House Grill in Kalamazoo. WMUK contributor Craig Freeman invited them to preview their work in the studio at WMUK, where they performed three live versions of their songs and shared one of the album tracks, "Miss You." 


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