Chico Freeman (born Earl Lavon Freeman Jr.; July 17, 1949) is a modern jazz tenor saxophonist and trumpeter and son of jazz saxophonist Von Freeman. He began recording as lead musician in 1976 with Morning Prayer, won the New York Jazz Award in 1979 and earned the Stereo ReviewRecord of the Year in 1981 for his album The Outside Within.
Freeman was introduced to the trumpet by his brother Everett, who found a trumpet in the family basement. Freeman began playing, inspired by artists such as Miles Davis. He went to Northwestern University in 1967 with a scholarship for mathematics and played the trumpet in the school, but did not begin playing the saxophone until his junior year. After practicing eight to ten hours per day and trying out for the saxophone section, Freeman quickly changed his major to music, and graduated in 1972. By that time he was proficient in saxophone, trumpet, and piano.