Russ Freeman
and the Rippingtons
Definitely one of the most prolific talents in Smooth Jazz, Russ Freeman is not only a pioneer, but a visionary. Multi-talented, he is into photography, illustrating, and web design, as well as writing, producing, and being the bandleader of his own band, the Rippingtons. The "Moonlighting" CD, considered the #1 CD in Smooth Jazz was the creation of Russ and the musicians he played with at a small North Hollywood club, the Baked Potato. (Brendon Fields or Kenny G on sax, David Benoit on piano, Tony Morales on Drums, Steve Reid on percussion, and Bill Lanphier on bass, with guest spots by Dave Koz, Joe Sample and Kirk Whalum.) From there Russ has laid down a solid foundation of work, creating some of the best Smooth Jazz songs and CDs in the genre. Accolades abound, which are well deserved. We met up with Russ at Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA. He was in high spirits, it was a beautiful day and where better to be than in a winery?
The slideshow below features Russ Freeman on guitar, Jeff kashiwa on saxophones and EWI, Bill Heller on keyborad, Dave Karasony on drums, and new member, Rico Belled on bass. Yaredt Leon, Russ' very accomplished Spanish pop songwriter wife, can be seen in one of the photos. She's sitting on a speaker on the left side of the stage.
Rippingtons CDs
  Modern Art Rippingtons 20
  Wild Card   Drive
  Let It Ripp Life in the Tropics
  Live Across America Topaz
The Best of the Rippingtons 1997 Black Diamond
  Brave New World   Holiday
  Sahara   Live in LA
  Weekend in Monaco   Curves Ahead
  Welcome to the St James Club   Tourist in Paradise
  Kilimanjaro   Moonlighting
  Nocturnal Playground    
Rippingtons Tour 2009
August 8 Raisin River Jazz Fest Monroe, MI
14 Hyatt Newporter Newport Beach, CA
16 Thornton Winery Temecula, CA
September 5 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
  6 American Music Fest Virginia Beach, VA
  11 Kettle Moraine Jazz Fest West Bend, WI
October 4 Maxwell King Center Melbourne, FL
6 Ruth Eckerd Hall Clearwater, FL
10 Boulder Station Las Vegas, NV
November 19-20 Scullers Jazz Club Boston, MA
21 Buffalo State College Buffalo, NY
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Located south of the town of Healdsburg, CA, Rodney Strong Vineyards is in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country. Beautiful views, great weather and Smooth Jazz, no better combination.

Concert goers arrive early for a little wine tasting before the concert. Located close to the Pacific Ocean, Rodney Strong Vineyards grows grapes that like a cool ocean breeze.
Rodney Strong Vineyards and Omega Events hosts a Smooth Jazz concert series every summer on the winery grounds, nestled on the south west side of the winery building, below the tasting room.
Find out more about Russ Freeman at
Find out more about the Rippingtons at
Find out more about Rodney Strong Vineyards at
Find out more about Omega Events at

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