Recognized as one of the great practitioners of American Song, Freddy Cole, like his late elder brother Nat “King” Cole, is widely regarded as one of the most influential singers in jazz music. Growing up in a musical household, Freddy remembers, “music was all around me." Visitors of the Chicago home of his youth included greats such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Lionel Hampton. He credits Billy Eckstine as a major influence. "He was a fantastic entertainer," Freddy recalls. Freddy Cole doesn’t apologize for sounding like his brother, Nat "King" Cole. There are certain unmistakable similarities. He plays piano, sings, and performs live with guitar and upright bass- just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, perhaps even jazzier. Freddy has emerged from the awesome shadow cast by his elder brother. His vocals—suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate—are among the most respected in jazz. Cole’s career continues to ascend as he’s moved into the front ranks of America’s homegrown art form, with a style and musical sophistication all his own.
His latest CD, Talk to Me (High Note Records, 2011) features new arrangements of three Bill Withers songs and is one of his most sublimely swinging recordings to date.
BLUE NOTE NAPA
Blue Note Napa is located on the first floor of the Historic Napa Valley Opera House at First & Main. We are an intimate 150-seat jazz club and restaurant, where you can enjoy performances of world renowned and local Bay Area artists alike. We offer a full menu with Wine Country Comfort market-driven cuisine, as well as an elegant wine and cocktail list. Enjoy fantastic sharing plates, desserts and wonderful main courses while you take in the show.
All ticket prices are based on per person.
“Sapphire” Booth Seating:
Booth seating for parties of 4, 5- 6 persons: Our premier level of seating! Booths are only available as tables of four, five or six and are not available as singles or pairs. Booths are 1st come, 1st seated. You will be seated when you arrive. Each ticket is your reservation. (seating is dark blue color on map)
“Royal Blue” Center Table Seating :
Seating in premier center table areas in front of stage: Pairs are seated across from each other. 1st come, 1st seated in center section. Each ticket is your reservation. (seating is light blue color on map)
Standard Side Table Seating :
Seating in side table areas left and right of center section: Pairs are seated across from each other. 1st come, 1st seated. Ea ticket is your reservation. (table seating is yellow on map)
Bar Area Ticket Seating: For Ages 21+
Great View!! Bar Chairs with cushioned seat and back are 1st come, 1st seated. Dinner is also served at the bar. Ea ticket is your reservation. (bar area is pink on map). Only 21+ can sit at Bar.
Dinner served in all seating areas.
Ticket prices and fees are the same on line, over the phone or in person at the Box Office.
A percentage of all fees goes to the preservation of the Napa Valley Opera House Bldg.
"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
"Gorgeous autumnal baritone, expressive phrasing and pitch - perfect feel for jazz standards, pop tunes and love ballads." - People Magazine
Biography - Lionel Frederick Cole was born 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. Though Freddy Cole was born in Chicago, he is a 35-year native son and international celebrity of Atlanta.
"I started playing piano at five or six," Freddy remembers. "Music was all around me." In the Chicago home of his youth, visitors included Duke Ellington, Count Basie, 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 got a Master's degree at the New England Conservatory of Music and then spent several months on the road as a member of an Earl Bostic band that 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 to this day. He developed a vast repertoire of songs in Manhattan bistros and concurrently began to supplement his live performances with television and radio commercial jingle work.
A resident of Atlanta since 1972, he currently leads a trio made up of himself, guitarist Randy Napoleon, drummer Curtis Boyd and bassist Elias Bailey that regularly tours the US, Europe, the Far East and South America. 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.
Freddy recorded several albums for European and English companies during the 1970s that helped him develop a loyal overseas following. Cole believes that becoming an international favorite made him "widen my scope a little bit." He developed a stand-up act, a better rapport with audiences, and learned to sing in other languages. "It made me much more of a performer."
Cole doesn't apologize for sounding like his brother, Nat "King" Cole. There are certain unmistakable similarities. He plays piano and sings and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. But he has emerged from the awesome shadow cast by his elder brother. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother and his timing swings a little more. His vocals - 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.
September 2013 – Best Male Vocalist, Best Jazz Artist, and Best Ensemble from The Hot House Jazz/Metropolitan Room Jazz Awards
June 2012 - Honorary Doctorate of Music from The New England Conservatory of Music
October 28, 2011 - WCLK Atlanta 80th Birthday Celebration honoring Freddy Cole
2011 Grammy ™ Nomination for Freddy Cole SINGS MR. B
2009 Playbill Nightlife Award
2008 Outstanding Male Jazz Vocalist Award
Sept. 8, 2007 - Inducted into The Georgia Music Hall of Fame
2006 Playbill Nightlife Award
2005 Outstanding Male Jazz Vocalist Award
June 15, 2005 - inducted into The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
2005 Living Legend Award