Born: July 2, 1969 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Known as tenor sax legend Von Freeman’s guitarist since 1997, Mike Allemana is one of the busiest musicians in Chicago. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Mike became interested in jazz at age 12 after hearing George Benson. In high school he decided to pursue music and enrolled at Northern Illinois University. After graduating in 1991 and spending two years playing in Cincinnati, Ohio, he returned to Chicago where he has become an important guitarist on the jazz scene.
Soon after returning to Chicago, Mike began to make music with some of the most renowned local artists. His credits include playing for many years with organ great Charles Earland, and legendary tenor saxophonists Ron Dewar, Lin Halliday, and most notably, the ageless Von Freeman. Mike can be heard on Von Freeman’s 2002 release The Improvisor on Premonition Records. He has also made appearances with organ master Lonnie Smith, drumming legend Mickey Roker and in 2006 performed with drum-master Jimmy Cobb. His debut CD on the TuConn label, The Mike Allemana Organ Trio received three and a half stars from Down Beat magazine (April 2001). He appeared on the 2006 CD The Night’s Womb and the Morning Sun with singer Gingi Lahera with whom he has formed a popular vocal/ guitar duo. Mike can also be heard with the Model Citizens, a local big band lead by pianist/composer Brian O’Hern for which Mike has been a feature soloist and arranger for over 10 years.
In 2006 Mike’s quartet released their debut CD Inner Rhythm. The current quartet was formed in 2004 after years of composing a wealth of original material. The group consists of some of the most respected musicians in Chicago. Drummer Ted Sirota is best known for his progressive ensemble, The Rebel Souls, and his decade and a half run at Chicago’s famous jazz venue, the Green Mill, with the Sabertooth Organ Quartet. Saxophonist Geof Bradfield has an extensive resume that includes Charlie Haden, The Rebel Souls, Matt Wilson and his own trio. Matt Ferguson, who has been Von Freeman’s bassist for many years, has performed with such local luminaries as Lin Halliday, Ron Dewar, and the Model Citizens Big Band.