Cathedral Park Jazz Festival Artist Feature: David Evans
Today's installment of Better Know a CPJF Artist, David Evans.
JazzScene: What is your main instrument, or role in your group?
David Evans: Woodwinds, primarily tenor sax, clarinet, and bass clarinet. And if there's any arranging to be done, I do it.
JazzScene: Can you describe your set for those that may not know a lot about jazz or blues music?
DE: A wise man and great musician once told me, "Jazz is not a repertoire, it's a way of dealing with music." We learn our instruments, we learn songs, we learn to pay attention and react, to extemporize. Then, making music is pleasurable, fresh and fun like a fascinating conversation. I will share the stage with wonderful musicians who share that attitude, and we will have fun playing with a variety of songs from Strayhorn, Charlie Haden, even The Brothers Johnson, and others.
JazzScene: What inspires you to perform, or compose?
DE: Practice is meditation. Performance is communion, a sometimes incredible joining of people making the music, and sometimes a beautiful connection with the people you are offering it to. That selfless moment of magic is the reward we are willing to work so hard for, to keep chasing for as long as we are able.
JazzScene: How did you end up becoming a professional musician?
DE: I started working at 14 or 15 years-old and stuck with it. Eventually, I moved to New Orleans and got very busy. In those days it seemed like a satisfying way to live, and to make a living, too.
JazzScene: Past or present, where have been some of your favorite places to perform in Portland?
DE: The Camellia Lounge with the Tom (Wakeling), Steve (Christofferson), Todd (Strait) and David band was ideal. Intimate. The music could be so subtle and so joyful. The Benson in the old days, subbing for the (Nancy) King, Lee Wuthenow, in Jean Ronne's band. It was a musician's hang. I played with so many great people who passed through. Kenny Hing, Jay Thomas, Bernard Purdie--even James Brown. The Brasserie, duos with Dave Frishberg. Vie de Boheme with Chuck Israels or Dave Stassens.
JazzScene: Who are some Portland musicians that were a big influence on you as an artist?
DE : Dave Frishberg, Randy Porter, Steve Christofferson, Rebecca Kilgore, Nancy King...many others...beautiful, complete musicians who can turn a song into a new universe for us to inhabit for a little while.
JazzScene: If you could wave a magic wand, is there anything about the Portland music scene that you might change?
DE: Maybe if we had to go back to scratchy little old-fashioned TVs without Netflix, more folks would come out at night.
JazzScene: If you had to pick one moment or professional accomplishment for which you are most proud, what would it be?
DE: I can think of many moments for which I am grateful, or about which I have felt overwhelmed or overjoyed, but not proud. My first duo with Dave Frishberg, where we went from strangers to a happy little band over the course of an extemporized medley. A ballad with Jed Wilson for a mesmerized audience in Bend...numerous experiences of being the lucky holder of the second chorus of some tune, wading into the spell cast by Rebecca Kilgore or Nancy King...maybe best of all, when I catch one of my students playing purely for pleasure
JazzScene: If you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
DE: Things change. Many infatuations have come and gone, and some new deep loves have arrived as the years have changed my perspective. For instance, it took me a long time to fall in love with Pres (Lester Young), and right now he would belong on the list. Maybe I should consider what has stood the test of time over my half-century as an engaged listener. I've lived with "Kind Of Blue" for 40 years and I'm not tired of it..."Solo Monk"..."Atomic Basie"..."Aja"..."The Bridge"...I can't pick three but five is close
Don't miss David Evans at 5:30 pm on Sunday, July 22nd at the 38th Annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival.