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Cleveland-born scholar/poet/writer Keith LaMar has been hard at work creating and performing new material for his first album, FREEDOM FIRST... from his cell at the Ohio State Penitentiary! He has spent 29 years in solitary confinement on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, and is scheduled to be executed in less than two short years, on November 16, 2023. Even as he continues the fight for his life, he calls this body of work his "last will and testament." The album is both personal and provocative, shedding painful light on the soul-murdering effects of systemic racism and the carceral system in the US. Keith's message of love and hope even from the darkest of places is one that every human being needs to hear. ​


Recorded in Girona (Spain), Brooklyn (New York), and Portland (Oregon), as well as from a prison cell the size of a closet at the Supermax in Youngstown (Ohio), FREEDOM FIRST is the first album in history recorded and released by an artist while on death row (and solitary confinement at that!); it features collaborations with many of jazz’ most incredible contemporary talents: Marc Ayza, Patricia Brennan, Milena Casado, Scott Colberg, Erin Corine, Caroline Davis, Xavier Del Castillo, Manel Fortià, Nick Hakim, Brian Jackson, Keith LaMar, Albert Marquès, Roy Nathanson, Adam O'Farrill, Arturo O'Farrill, Zack O'Farrill, Samora Pinderhughes, Bam Rodriguez, Walter Stinson, Gerald Appleman, and Salim Washington.                                             


NOTE: Domestic (US) shipping cost is included in the final price! 

Freedom First the Album (CD)

  • Audio CD, booklet with song lyrics

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