There was a time, believe it or not, when it felt like dancing in a nightclub to a slinky song like “Sneakin’” might never be possible again. In New York City at the peak of the pandemic a man from Milwaukee named FREDDY DEBOE helped hold back the tide of gloom with his gleaming tenor saxophone. At outdoor gigs all over town - from Restaurant Row in Manhattan to wooden residential porches in Brooklyn - Freddy blew out notes of hope during some of the weirdest, bleakest months in anyone's memory. Undaunted, Freddy gathered his band in a Brooklyn basement and—drawing upon his years of experience gigging around the world with legends like Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, and James Hunter—laid down this timeless groove with an optimistic eye to a dance-party-filled future. With his songs "Savage" and "Remember (The Good Times)" and many more, That future is Now!
- Matt Weingarten (DJ Mr.FineWine)
Known for his soulful saxophone sound, Freddy DeBoe has traveled the world with some of the greatest soul singers of our time. He continues to tour worldwide and consistently performs as a bandleader in NYC at many notable venues including The Django at the Roxy Hotel and the Canary Club. His dynamic sound & energy keeps the room moving & grooving, guaranteed to make you get up & dance all night long!
Freddy as performed on stage or in the studio with these artists:
Charles Bradley - Sharon Jones & the Dapkings - Lee Fields - James Hunter Six - Antibalas - Saun & Starr - Menahan Street Band - Lady Wray - Gabe Roth - Mark Ronson - Tom Brenneck - Leon Michels - Cochemea Gastelum - Neal Sugarman - Ian Hendrickson-Smith - Dave Guy - Binky Griptite - Victor Axelrod - John Legend - Van Morrison - Taj Mahal - the Impressions - William Bell - Syl Johnson - Marva Whitney - Betty Harris - Irma Thomas - Archie Bell - Ronnie Spector - Renaldo Domino - Billy Prince - Don Gardner - Harvey Scales - Barbara Lynn - Pat Lewis - Maxine Brown - Otis Clay - Sugar Pie DeSanto - Darrow Fletcher - Willie West - Fred Thomas - Naomi Shelton - Fred Wesley - George Porter, Jr - Dr. Lonnie Smith - Soulive - Eric Krasno - Derek Trucks - Susan Tedeschi - Meshell N'Degeocello - Raheem DeVaughn - Nathaniel Rateliff - the Heavy - the Jay-Vons - the Right-ons - Streetlight Manifesto - David Johannsen - Jonathan Toubin - Aloe Blacc - Macy Gray - Allen Stone - Grace Potter - Ariana Grande - Daniel Merriweather - Andrew Wyatt - Kevin Parker - Theophilus London - Boy George - Peter Gabriel - Mary J Blige - George Clinton - Grand Master Flash - Ghost Face- the Last Poets - Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio - Daryl Hall - David Byrne - St. Vincent - Maya Rudolph - members of Snarky Puppy - BadBadNotGood - Eli Reed - Nick Waterhouse - Ryan Montbleu - WLSN - Remember Jones - Arlan Weiles - JT Bowen - Bobby Harden - Louis Cato - Kelly Finnegan - Durand Jones - Aaron Frazer - Jesse Dee - Grace Weber - Deva Mahal - Noe Socha - Moses Patrou - Will Bernard - Delvon Lamarr - Jimmy James - Scone Cash Players - Chop & Quench the Fela Musical - Kaleta - Zozo Afrobeat - Underground System Afrobeat - Y la Bamba -
Freddy DeBoe is a musician; saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, he developed a talent and interest in music at an early age in the inner-city creative arts programs at the Elm Creative Arts School and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music from teachers and mentors Berkeley Fudge, Mark Davis, and his older brother, Berklee Alumni Jack DeBoe.
Freddy also went on to study at Berklee College of Music under the leadership of such great saxophonists as: Walter Beasley, George Garzone, Dino Govoni, and Frank Tiberi (of Woody Herman's big band). He also had the opportunity to play with many visiting artists such as: Fred Wesley of the James Brown Horns, George Porter of the Meters, Raheem DeVaughn, the Last Poets, and Donte Winslow.
From 2008 to 2011, Freddy was an essential part of upcoming artist group "Eli 'Paperboy' Reed & the True Loves" in tours around the US, Europe, Australia and Japan. Along the way he has encountered and shared the stage with a wide range of artists, including Quincy Jones, Seal, Tom Jones, Macy Gray, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Duffy, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Robert Randolph, Booker T & the MGs, just to name a few. Eli’s group performed at a wide range of festivals around the globe including the notable Montreaux Jazz Festival and Fuji Rock Festival, as well as film appearances on the Rachel Ray show, BBC's Later with Jools Holland and Paris' Canal +. Freddy also contributed his baritone sax sound on Eli's newest studio album, "Come and Get It," released on Virgin Records in April 2010.
Freddy has settled in Brooklyn, New York since 2010, where he continues to apply his musical skills in various settings, including work with Cochemea Gastelum (of the Dap-Kings, Antibalas, Soulive, Greyboy Allstars,), Kaleta + Zozo Afrobeat (formerly Fela Kuti's guitar player), and songtress Deva Mahal (daughter of Taj Mahal). He also took part in a series of on-going concerts called Dig Deeper, showcasing the music & talent of many unforgotten soul singers from across the country, such as Syl Johnson, Marva Whitney, Archie Bell, Irma Thomas, Howard Tate, Maxine Brown, and many more legends of soul music.
In the winter of 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the independent Brooklyn label Daptone Records, Freddy was introduced to Sharon Jones and began working with her & the DapKings at the beginning of 2012 as a substitute horn player. This lead to many more doors opening for Freddy, including backing the Impressions with members of the DapKings, honoring Curtis Mayfield at the Lincoln Center with plethora of mainstream artists (Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Inyang Bassey, Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Mavis Staples, Meshell Ndegeocello, The Roots, Ryan Montbleau, Sinéad O’Connor and William Bell). Also a grand performance at the Kennedy Center for First Lady Michelle Obama of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On album in full with the DapKings and the National Symphony Orchestra, along with a set of Marvin & Tammi Terrell’s music featuring John Legend and Miss Sharon Jones.
Another introduction would change his life forever; in the spring of 2012 Freddy joined Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires. He toured with him & his band continuously for five years all over the US & Europe, Brazil, Australia & even Singapore; sharing the stage with some of the most popular artists of the years at some of the world’s most premier venues & festivals. Glastonbury, Coachella, Montreaux, Montreal; Vienna Opera House with Bonnie Raitt, Radio City Music Hall with Miike Snow, the Beacon Theater with Al Green; countless more with countless stars. Another memorable moment was sharing the stage at the Apollo Theater for the Daptone Super Soul Revue. All of the artists & musicians came together for three nights in a row in December 2014; Antibalas, Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, Sugarman 3, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, Sharon Jones & the Dapkings, and Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires. In this time together he got to know the man closely for his last & most successful years of his career & late life until his passing.
On September 25th, 2017, saxophonist Freddy DeBoe was featured in an article in his hometown’s newspaper, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, paying tribute to the late great Charles Bradley who passed away just then from liver cancer, and whom he performed with around the world for five years leading to his untimely death. He stated in this article that Charles and he shared a love for the music of Motown soul legend Jr. Walker and the Allstars, and that Charles motivated Freddy to continue the constant pursuit of becoming a great musician and fulfilling his dreams. Since Charles’ passing, Freddy has continued to stay in demand and has dedicated his time to playing soulful saxophone. He began leading his own band of instrumental musicians to play his original music, encompassing his influences & making everyone feel good no matter what you like. When he’s not gigging all over NYC, he’s splitting his time touring worldwide with Daptone artist Lee Fields, as well as the James Hunter Six. There’s nothing else he’d rather be doing but playing great music for everyone to enjoy.