The Four Freshmen
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The Four Freshmen’s profound influence on American Jazz and pop singing began in 1948 four students at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hal Kratzsch, brothers Ross and Don Barbour, and their cousin Bob Flanigan created a brand new vocal sound. Working without written music and choosing notes by ear, they spread their jazz voicing over a wider range than other groups, and they imitated the phrasing and aggressive feel of a big band brass section. Flanigan says, “After we heard ourselves make the sound, we never wanted to sing any other way.”

When band leader Stan Kenton heard the group at the Esquire Lounge in Dayton, Ohio, he immediately recognized their potential. At his urging, Capitol Records signed the Four Freshmen in 1950, initiating a string of hits with “It’s A Blue World.” The sound track of the movie “Lucy Gallant” introduced “How Can I Tell Her,” and the flip side, “Day By Day,” became a hit in days. The Freshmen have produced over 70 singles and albums.

Wherever The Freshmen went, they won fans and inspired vocal groups. They played nearly every college in the USA, performing in all fifty states and forty-four countries from Asia to Europe to Australia. Bob Flanigan retired from performing in 1992, but he continues as the group’s mentor and personal manager. There have been 22 different line-ups, and the current group consists of Bob Ferreira, Curtis Calderon, Stein Malvey, and Tommy Boynton.

BOB FERREIRA auditioned for The Four Freshmen in 1992 for bass voice and percussion,while a music student at Central Washington University. The group asked Ferreira to join, presenting him with a difficult decision of whether or not to leave his academics behind in lieu of a career in entertainment. Bob is still pleased with his decision and has not looked back since. H enjoys being part of such an iconic musical legacy having performed in fifty states, ten countries, and on nine Freshmen recordings. When not on the road with The Four Freshmen, Ferreira occasionally freelances as a drummer in Las Vegas.

TOMMY BOYNTON is the newest member of The Four Freshmen, singing 1st tenor and playing bass. Growing up in Aurora, Co., his musical journey began in the 3rd grade, singing in a children’s chorus, and studying piano and drums. Tommy’s love for music lead him to Phil Mattson’s prestigious School for Music Vocations in Creston, Iowa. He then graduated from the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, where he studied with Dominique Eade and Ran Blake. Boynton continued to share his love and passion for music by returning to SMV to teach. Tommy has shared the stage with several Grammy nominated musicians, including jazz pianist Fred Hersch, and critically acclaimed jazz vocalist Kate McGarry. While on the road, he does miss his kitties, Alice and Little Brother, more than anything.

STEIN MALVEY sings the 2nd tenor and plays guitar with The Four Freshmen. He began his musical journey at age four, studying piano at St. Olaf College in his hometown of Northfield, MN. Growing restless with classical repertoire, he discovered guitar at age 12, and fell in love. Just two years later he was playing guitar professionally. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar performance from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Stein spent years in both the New York and Minneapolis music scenes, recording and touring with groups in many genres: rock, pop, r&b, soul, funk, jazz, country, and avant-garde. When he isn’t touring with The Four Freshmen, Stein lives in Los Angeles.

CURTIS CALDERON was born and raised in San Antonio.  He joined the Four Freshmen in 2001 and has loved every minute of playing for audiences throughout the US and world.  He began playing trumpet at the age of eleven and was already working shows by the time he hit high school.  After high school he continued right on and toured with various big bands including the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  He sings Baritone and plays trumpet/flugelhorn with The Four Freshmen.  On his time off he loves spending time with his family and is part of a non-profit that plays for nursing homes and retirement centers.

"They were a sensation and in the 17 years
I have produced the series at Tilles,
I can't recall such a great response from the audience."