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Ambassador of Jazz

Bridging Cultural Thresholds One Song at a Time



“Jazz is just another language,” says twice-Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, songwriter, and composer, Bill Evans. “You put together small phrases, sentences, in order to say something that makes sense. I am always trying to say more on my instrument.”

Evans has been saying more with his band, touring around the world, and in this country for three decades. Six months of the year he is on tour with his five-member ensemble he calls “soulgrass;” they go regularly to Japan, have toured Russia and Siberia multiple times, have fans throughout Europe and South America, and play in clubs, concert halls, and jazz festivals. They have made 21 recordings, with Evans as leader. He also performs with other bands and has played with Miles Davis, the Allman Brothers, John McLaughlin, and many others. He is among the most sought-after saxophone players in the business, and Miles Davis, with whom he played for four years, pronounced him “one of the greatest musicians I have come upon.” Evans was only 21 when Davis hired him to play in his band.

The saxophone, or “sax”, was created in the 1840s by a Belgian instrument maker, Adolphe Sax, who aimed for a woodwind with the agility of a clarinet but the projection of a brass horn. He made models ranging from soprano to bass, and Evans plays the tenor sax (bent), but also the soprano (straight), as well as the piano. As a boy in his native Illinois, he started on the clarinet, but quickly he switched to the saxophone, “because it was a sound I really connected with,” says Evans. “Then I met Stan Getz when I was 13 at the London House “Jazz is just another language,” says twice-Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist, songwriter, and composer, Bill Evans. “You put together small phrases, sentences, in order to say something that makes sense. I am always trying to say more on my instrument.”

Evans has been saying more with his band, touring around the world, and in this country for three decades. Six months of the year he is on tour with his five-member ensemble he calls “soulgrass;” they go regularly to Japan, have toured Russia and Siberia multiple times, have fans throughout Europe and South America, and play in clubs, concert halls, and jazz festivals. They have made 21 recordings, with Evans as leader. He also performs with other bands and has played with Miles Davis, the Allman Brothers, John McLaughlin, and many others. He is among the most sought-after saxophone players in the business, and Miles Davis, with whom he played for four years, pronounced him “one of the greatest musicians I have come upon.” Evans was only 21 when Davis hired him to play in his band.

The saxophone, or “sax”, was created in the 1840s by a Belgian instrument maker, Adolphe Sax, who aimed for a woodwind with the agility of a clarinet but the projection of a brass horn. He made models ranging from soprano to bass, and Evans plays the tenor sax (bent), but also the soprano (straight), as well as the piano. As a boy in his native Illinois, he started on the clarinet, but quickly he switched to the saxophone, “because it was a sound I really connected with,” says Evans. “Then I met Stan Getz when I was 13 at the London House Jazz Club in Chicago, and there was no turning back.”

Evans says he likes to play music that inspires him, much of which he composes himself. Be it straight jazz, bebop, funk, soul, Americana, or bluegrass, he is comfortable in all genres and likes to combine them. He also likes to infuse his music with the sound of traditional American instruments, such as the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and steel guitar, hence “soulgrass.” When he is holed up in his studio in North Salem, where he lives with his wife, Rebecca Hale (an expert in antique and racing cars), he gets his inspiration from imagining what a song will sound like before an audience. What really drives him, though, in his words, “is that music has no boundaries. Whether I’m playing in Irkutsk, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, or Fairfield, people are familiar with the music and react to our playing in the same way. American jazz binds the world together, and we are its ambassadors.”

Nothing makes him happier than seeing smiling faces in his audience, and he is a master at putting his listeners at ease. Abroad, before beginning to play, he says a few phrases in the local language (“Hello, so happy to be here!”) from a phonetically written crib sheet, and then continues in English to tell them about the newest songs the band will play for them. Sometimes, he goes off script—to good effect. 

Last year, on a U.S State Department-sponsored tour, his ensemble was asked to perform at the American ambassador’s residence in Moscow before an audience of high-ranking American and Kremlin officials. After his usual introduction, Evans continued: “I am not that interested in politics but I understand people, and I have observed that they are much the same around the world, have the same concerns, they want to provide for their families and be happy. People in Russia are very nice, we have had a wonderful time, and this is what it is all about. It is politicians who create the differences.” There were smiles all around, and Evans has been invited back. 

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December 2018

The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

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Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
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Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price with Museum admission: Free

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Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah , NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
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Cost: Free

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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James Lancel McElhinney, journal-artist, author, Yale alumnus and  Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient will unfold the epic story of painted books, from the Age of Exploration to the digital era. He...

Cost: 0.00

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Ridgefield Library
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Telephone: 203-438-2282
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
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149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: No Cost

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Mount Kisco Public Library
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Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Cost: Free

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North Castle Public Library
19 Wippoorwill Rd E
Yellow Monkey Village
Armonk, NY  10589
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Sponsor: Dr. Kaushik's Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Clinic
Telephone: 914-875-9088
Contact Name: Dr. Kaushik
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Join Us for Botanical Jewelry Making - Great Holiday Gift! Tuesday, December 11th 6:30pm to 8:30pm Create your own wearable succulent art. These botanical bracelets make beautiful and...

Cost: $100

Where:
Kahlo
65 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: KAHLO
Telephone: 917-604-5596
Contact Name: Tami McCarthy
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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: No Cost

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Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Bedford Chamber Concert Series continues its 2018-19 season, featuring an all-Vivaldi holiday program. Anthony Newman and the Bedford Chamber Ensemble will perform “The...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
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Sponsor: St. Matthew's Music Committee
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

Sign up for this community workshop to get important year-end info.  www.martinhouseworkspace.com/event-listings

Cost: no charge

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Martin House Workspace
69 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
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Sponsor: Martin House Workspace
Telephone: 914-764-3128
Contact Name: Erin Trostle

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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The magic of the season is tangible throughout the Rosen House! Take part in Caramoor’s great tradition of holiday music with charismatic musicians, festive decorations, and tea service in...

Cost: $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

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Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
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Telephone: 914-666-8041

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Cost: $33.00

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Taormina Restaurant
59 Hudson Avenue
Peekskill, NY  10566
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Telephone: 914-737-8872
Contact Name: Mary Mancini
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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Please join us Friday, December 14, 2018 at 7pm for our annual concert of joyful Christmas music at the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, NY.  Performers include Internationally Acclaimed...

Cost: $17

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Church of the Assumption
131 Union Avenue
Peekskill, NY  10566
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Sponsor: Church of the Assumption
Telephone: 914-737-2071
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Join us as the Traveling Lantern Theater brings a beloved classic Christmas story to life - The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge or: "A Christmas Carol". Light refreshments will be...

Cost: No Cost

Where:
Mount Kisco Public Library
100 East Main Street
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8041
Website »

More information

This a cappella vocal quartet brings their exquisitely blended voices to the Music Room in Sing Thee Nowell, a program of sacred Christmas music spanning seven centuries. The Rosen House,...

Cost: $25, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

This a cappella vocal quartet brings their exquisitely blended voices to the Music Room in Sing Thee Nowell, a program of sacred Christmas music spanning seven centuries. The Rosen House,...

Cost: $25, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
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149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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