By Tania Soussan

Local Musician Freddie Chavez Traded Fame for Family

Freddie Chavez didn’t need any formal training to develop a successful career as a musician with a loyal following. His band opened regionally for legends like the Platters, the Drifters, and Fats Domino, and he had fans as far away as the United Kingdom.

Chavez started playing the piano at age 9 by simply listening to a song and then replicating it. He never learned to read music. He learned instead by watching his father, who was also a self-taught musician.

“Freddie had one of the biggest followings in the whole state,” said Ben B.T. Torrez, who played guitar and trumpet with Chavez for 22 years. “Anywhere Freddie would play, there would be people.”

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