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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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October 2017

Registration is open for the annual Walk/Run for Abilis that will be held at Greenwich Point Park (Tod's&nbs...

Cost: $35 for 5k run

Where:
Greenwich Point Park
Tod's Driftway
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Sponsor: Abilis
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Cost: Free

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255 Westchester Ave
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Keeler library
276 Titicus Road
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Cost: $36-$98

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Performing Arts Center, Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Road
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Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

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Philipsburg Manor
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Van Cortlandt Manor
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Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

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Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
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Cost: free

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Canfin Gallery
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Cost: Free

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
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Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

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For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
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For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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Where:
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Cost: $40 per person; $210 for the series

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382 Cantitoe Street
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Sponsor: Music Committee of St. Matthew's
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Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
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Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
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Cost: free

Where:
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Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
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Cost: Free

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255 Westchester Ave
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Telephone: 914-764-4333
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More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
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Website »

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The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
Red Hook, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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More information

Show More...
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Cruise through history and the majestic beauty of the Hudson River We specialize in Weddings and Private Charters Elegance for all affairs 2 Hour narrated sightseeing cruises Customized cruises...

Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
Hudson River Adventures, Inc
90 Front St
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Website »

More information

The Pound Ridge Historical Society will open “Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle” at the Pound Ridge Museum on April 23, 2017. This is a real departure for the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
Website »

More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
Sleepy Hollow, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

The tri-state area’s biggest, most electrifying fall event returns with more pumpkin power than ever before! Meander through an historic, 18th century riverside landscape and discover a...

Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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View map »


Website »

More information

Our founder, Cole Palen, grew up next to a great 1930’s Hudson Valley airport dreaming that he would own and fly the machines he saw overhead and spent the rest of his life bringing the...

Cost: $8.00 - $10.00

Where:
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
9 Norton Rd
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

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The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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More information

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Show Less...

New Canaan Country School will host an event specifically designed for young explorers (ages 4-6) and their parents, Saturday, Oct. 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Wonder of Worms will...

Cost: no charge

Where:
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635 Frogtown Rd
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: New Canaan Country School
Telephone: (203) 801-5608
Contact Name: Cathy Schinella
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Cost: Adults $22 Seniors Ages 65 and up $20 Children Ages 4 to 11 $18

Where:
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Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Museum
255 Westchester Ave
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Sponsor: Pound Ridge Historical Society
Telephone: 914-764-4333
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Cost: $75

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Bedford Village
Village Green
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Sponsor: Bedford Historical Society
Telephone: 914-234-9751
Contact Name: Sophia Bernier
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Cost: $35, Children 18 and younger enter free

Where:
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210 N. Broadway
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Cost: $20, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
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More information

Taking the tale of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to its darkest extremes, Horseman’s Hollow returns to the village for 15 evenings of highly entertaining haunted mayhem....

Cost: $20 (Saturdays $25) -- Fast track $15/ticket upgrade

Where:
Philipsburg Manor
For GPS: Use 100 Continental St
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View map »


Website »

More information

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Where:
Van Cortlandt Manor
For GPS: Use 525 S Riverside
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Food prices

Where:
John Jay Homestead
400 Jay Street
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View map »


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The arrival of the recent works of Jylian GUSTLIN is always a joyous affair. One can rely not only on a definitive maturation, as evidenced in her new and beautifully rendered works,  but by...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
Website »

More information

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