I’m Lee Frisari, aka Lee Free. I’m a drummer, composer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. I bring raucous, entertaining, and explosive energy to each of my diverse musical projects. I have a reputation as a risk taker, original thinker and melodic powerhouse. The influence of NYC is evident in my honest and eclectic mix of styles Rock, Punk, Hip-Hop, Funk, Folk, Italian Opera, and Electronica all grounded in my urban street smarts.
Some current news: Circus Amok is hitting the streets again with a new show for 2012. Sez Me recceived a 2012 grant from the Puffin Foundation. Brooklyn Bike Beat received The Brooklyn Arts Council 2010 Individual Artist Re-Grant and has manifested as an on-line forum to share the excellent drummers of Brooklyn with the on-line community. I was also chosen for the 2010 Fractured Atlas individual artist micro-grant allowing me to get some new gear to grow my studio and rehearsal spot. If you want to know a bit of my history read on…
I started playing drums at age 11. After years of school band and basement rock, I attended the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. Under the direction of New York Philharmonic veteran, Morris “Arnie” Lang, I studied marimba and percussion ensemble music. While earning my Bachelor’s of Music, I traveled to Seoul, Korea with the Master’s students to perform and study traditional Korean drumming.
Though my classical studies never overtook my love for rock, jazz, and pure percussion, I managed to earn myself The Harvey Lichtenstein Award for Excellence in Performing Arts and graduated summa cum laude, top student of my class.
As a youngin', I joined Jennifer Miller’s Bessie Award winning Circus Amok, a non-profit theater group also based in Brooklyn. Who says you need to run away to join the Circus? Under the musical direction of Jenny Romaine, I’ve played drum set and percussion with the Circus Amok Band for over 10 years. The Circus Amok Band has recorded two full-length albums and performed in many of NY’s most notorious public spaces including Union Square Park, Washington Square Park and Coney Island. The circus is always free to all. Yay free art!
I’ve performed, toured and recorded with MEN, recording artist Bitch (Kill Rock Stars, Short Story Records) and her band the Exciting Conclusion, Terry Dame’s Electric Junk Yard Gamelan, Circus Amok, Jewish kiddie rock star Shira Kline, Inner Princess, Amy Norwich’s NA+AN, Hanifah Walidah's Black Patti, and The Tiptons Saxaphone Quartet. I’ve developed an original screenplay in collaboration with my band Inner Princess and actress Michelle Matlock called “Sum of Us”. “Sum of Us” premiered as a work in progress in 2007 for Dixon Place’s Hot Festival with the support of the prestigious Mondo Cane! Commissioning Series.
I’ve taught drum workshops at the “Rebel Grrls” Music Project, an all girl rock and roll camp held at the Neutral Zone Teen Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, taught workshops at the Lower East Side Girls Club, led performances at the Lower East Side Howl Festival Parade, and have taught with the Electric Junk Yard Gamelan for the Roxbury Arts Group. As a teaching artist I was most recently employed by non-profit, Great Small Works
at Riker’s Island High School as part of a multi-media performance project.
I’ve composed original music for choreographer DD Dorvillier at Dance Theater Workshop at Saint Mark’s Church, collaborated with performance artist Susanna Cook at the Kitchen, improvised with master improv dancer Jennifer Monson’s Monsoon Orchestra at Judson Church and P.S. 122, and composed scores for artist “Mornography” and his animation short “Bim Boim’s Trip to the Western Wall” which has been showcased at festivals in Israel, Belgium, NY, and Berlin.
Thanks for reading,