Born: May 1, 1958 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Freedom Underground was born in 2003, starting primarily as a blues and R&B group. In 2004, the members decided to change their mission to include jazz, fusion, funk, and whatever else happened to sound good. Freedom Underground because sometimes that’s where you have to go to find the straight truth of who, what, and why you are. And the truth, as they say, shall set you free. Cornelius Fortune (trumpet, keyboards) studied classical composition with Karl Boelter, and jazz theory with saxophonist Rodney Bonner (an early mentor to Kenny Garrett). A native Detroiter, Fortune has composed/performed music for several independent and student films. He joined the group in 2006. Billy Furman, saxophones, flutes, harmonicas. Billy was born in Harrisburg, Pennslyvania, then moved to California at age 10, started music at age 12 , joined a rock-surf band called The Bel-Airs at age 15 and played the Hollywood bowl promoting their record Mr Moto. Billy played in numerous bands in the Hollywood area before moving to Detroit in 2000 where he met Keith Owens and joined his band The Family. Since then he has branched out to play with many other Detroit bands. Cody Morales (drums, vocals)hails from Austin, Texas. Morales has been performing professionally since his teen years and is equally comfortable with anything from hip-hop to fusion to rock. He also serves as Freedom’s studio engineer and graphic artist. Randy Streicher (bass) has performed on the road with a number of R&B and pop/rock groups for more than 34 years. Randy is a classically trained musician, starting out on trumpet in 3rd grade, adding bass in high school. He began playing weddings at 16, switching to local cover bands in his 20's. Randy has toured in five different states with two different bands, paid his way through college as a full time musician, and has played in a variety of groups in almost every genre from rock, R&B, and Top 40, to funk, Southern rock, and jazz. Keith Owens (guitar, vocals) has been playing professionally for 20 years. Owens earned his blues “chops” playing the South Side ‘joints’of Chicago during the mid-‘80s. Since being in Detroit, Owens has played with Luther “Bad Man” Keith, Joc’lyn B, Harmonica Shaw, Priscilla Price, the Butler Twins, Kenny Miller, and other local blues artists. For three years he also fronted his own group, “Blue Spirit Tribe”.