The Freddy Cole Quartet Illuminates Spoleto with Soothing Playful Jazz

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Four nights; two shows a night of intimate music, meet and greet and a feeling of comfort, romance and seduction.? This is the menu prepared by The Freddy Cole Quartet for Spoleto 2016.? Led by younger brother of the late, legendary musician Nat King Cole, Freddy and his band put on a performance for the ages.

From the moment Freddy Cole walked to the piano, slightly hunched over, greeted the audience with a humble smile and began to tickle the ivory, the intimate audience of 200 knew they were in for a special evening.? As the first lyrics come through the microphone, you were instantly captured as you heard this blessed voice.? It was the fusion of Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole enchanting the crowd with soulful lyrical love making and flirtatious banter.? As he played, he looked over at the patrons sitting just a few feet away and gave that secret smile.

Accompanied by the incredibly talented ensemble of Randy Napoleon on guitar, Elias Bailey on bass and Charleston’s own Quentin Baxter on drums/percussion, the tight rhythmic sounds played into the palates of fans who were reminiscing of the days of Billie Holiday and Count Basie.

Throughout the performance, the band combined romantic journey’s with humorous anecdotal stories.? Best Man, telling the story of losing your love to your best friend and then being the best man at their wedding was a crowd favorite with clapping and laughter during the rendition.

Freddy, at the ripe young age of 84, still has the charm to woe an audience and the energy to give Charleston eight amazing performances over four days.

“Come back to me, even if to say goodbye”

As the evening concluded, Freddy removed himself from the secure front of the piano and left himself exposed, center stage to perform a fitting thank you and farewell to the audience.? With the line, “come back to me, even if to say goodbye, goodbye” and a wave, he showed his appreciation for the fans that continue to appreciate his musical contribution.? A true gentlemanly act.

Music evolves over time, but on occasion, some artists will transcend time and introduce a sound that is truly timeless.

Freddy Cole and his band erased the heat, the modern trials of the crowds on the streets of Charleston and took us on an 80 minute magic carpet ride to the jazz clubs of the 50’s and 60’s and reminded us that at the end of the day, no matter what your age, love is still the reason.


A Musical Tribute to George Gershwin

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

With the buzz around Porgy and Bess being featured as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration of Spoleto USA and George Gershwin’s rich and vibrant history in Charleston and Folly Beach, we thought we would pay homage to one of the great composers to ever bless us with eloquent musical composition.

His magic flow of music and story telling through each note have captivated audiences for a century.? For fans young and old, he continues to warm our senses.

To George Gershwin (1898 – 1937), though you only blessed us on this Earth for a short time, we thank you for bringing out the purest of emotions through your music.

We are honored you made Charleston? part of your life journey and inspiration.

Rhapsody in Blue

I’d Rather Charleston

Lullaby for Strings

An American in Paris

Porgy and Bess

Summertime – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

The Best of George Gershwin

I’ve Got Rhythm

Someone To Watch Over Me – Sung by Frank Sinatra

Now cuddle up with someone you love.