Born: January 23, 1963 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, George Evans was raised in a musical environment. His mother a world-renowned voice teacher and father an equally revered musicologist, linguist, and vocal coach, it seemed logical that George would proceed to a career in classical music, but that was not to be. A fascination with classic pop records, Hollywood musicals and popular standards held far greater appeal than opera for George. He trained seriously in Musical Theatre at the first such school to offer a degree program in the field, but after working diligently on his chosen craft, George arrived in New York City in the 80s only to find that the business had moved away from the music he loved. He reluctantly left music theatre and found satisfaction in the research and performance of The Great American Songbook.
In 1991, George relocated to Montréal, Canada, where he studied the music in solitude, archiving and cataloguing the popular recording artists of the 40's, 50's and 60's, and broadcasting weekly from a campus-community radio station, that gave him the freedom to explore whatever he wished to play on the air. It was through these weekly broadcasts that George became known to Montréal music-fans, and they eagerly came out in support of his gigs with the many fine musicians on the local jazz scene. Offers in the field of radio came and went, and for a time, George broadcast on two stations simultaneously.
George created two successful radio pilots for the CBC network and contributed with regularity to local CBC Radio, but live music took priority, and he became increasingly active on stage performing in concerts and clubs, and in the recording studio,. In 1997 he recorded his debut album Moodswing with a Montreal band, and began receiving national attention. George was selected to perform with Canadian jazz greats Oliver Jones and Ranee Lee on a CBC 60th Birthday Celebration, broadcast live from Lion D'or in Montréal, and shortly after that was honoured by an invitation to appear as part of The Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention in New York City.
Opportunity of a different kind came knocking in 1999, when a major satellite television company requested George's ongoing services as staff announcer, and he was drawn “down the 401” to the mega-city of Toronto. Launching his second album, I'm All Smiles in this new environment, his career as a jazz singer/cabaret entertainer bloomed. Frequent high profile return engagements at The Top O' The Senator endeared him to local jazz fans, and gave him the opportunity to work with many of Canada's finest jazz-men in an intimate club setting. George Evans' new Toronto quintet first recorded in 2001, and went on to release two critically praised albums, From Moment To Moment in 2001 and Eyes For You in 2002, both of which garnered solid reviews and received regular play on Canadian jazz radio.
The media got on board, and George Evans was profiled in national print (The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The Montréal Mirror, The Star) and on television (Global, CoolTV, Bravo.) TVO's Studio 2 profiled George in 2000, and he was presented in-studio performing with an all-star band including Ed Bickert on guitar and Guido Basso on trumpet. He was invited back to TVO in 2003, and again in 2005; a testament to the level of notoriety and professionalism he had attained. Prominent engagements followed at The Montréal International Jazz Festival, The Lake George Jazz Festival, The Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and The All-Canadian Jazz Festival, and George was honoured with headlining engagements in The Royal Conservatory Jazz Series, JazzFM 91's Sound of Toronto Jazz Series, and the CBC Studio Jazz Vocal Showcase, broadcast live from the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.
The year 2004 was a creative milestone in his career, as he embarked on a path that began with the realization that most male singers in the field were still largely unknown, except perhaps to each other. Armed with that knowledge, he undertook the creation of a collection featuring 15 Canadian male vocalists on one successful CD, entitled Here Come The Boys: a Canadian Crooner Collection. As a promotional tool, he also developed an act entitled The Three Crooners in which he presented himself along side two of his contemporaries, John Alcorn from Toronto, and John Labelle from Montréal. Together they appeared in major club engagements, on the main stage at the Montréal International Jazz Festival, and in a television special recorded for CoolTV, which has now been seen around the world. George Evans then closed out 2004 with the release of his fifth album as a leader, Movie Songs for Maximum Jazz and Universal Music Canada.
Over the years, the signature sound that George Evans honed has been likened to a diverse field of singers from the jazz/pop and cabaret traditions. Though clearly a jazz artist, George's work is also deeply rooted in New York cabaret, and his ability to draw in an audience both musically and emotionally testifies to that fact. On stage, he conveys a warm presence, an easy charm, and an offbeat sense of humour that audiences find disarming, and it is this unique and intimate approach to presentation that has long set George apart from the many fine vocalists on the Canadian scene. His appreciation for the wider catalogue of popular music, however, no doubt stems from years of study and presentation of the music on radio.
George continues to dig ever deeper into the worlds of music production, promotion, and music media. A recognized music archivist, George has been tapped a total of nine times to select and sequence for Verve Records US. As a writer, George's column Vocalizing In Jazz was for several years a feature of Planet Jazz Magazine, a promising international publication, and his professional opinion continues to be sought out in the fields of print commentary as well as A&R.
Increasingly active on stage, George tours key Canadian cities annually, and in April 2006 reactivated his career stateside with a return to New York cabaret. His first NYC appearance since the 1998 season, George enjoyed an extended run at Danny's Skylight Room, home of classic vocalists such as Blossom Dearie and Annie Ross. The 2007 Season finds George performing widely in support of his sixth CD, Bewitched for his own M-Swing label, and enjoying invitations to return to the airwaves at the network level, which just goes to show that things often do come full circle.
Live At The Cellar, vol. 1
Tracks: This Can’t Be Love (Rodgers-Hart); Baubles, Bangles and Beads (Wright-Forrest); Secret Love (Fain-Webster); On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever) (Lerner-Lane); The Best Thing For You (Berlin); I’ve Got A Feelin’ I’m Fallin’ (Link-Rose-Waller); Autumn Serenade (De Rose-Gallop); Que Feras-Tu De Ta Vie? (Bergman-Legrand-Marnay); Seems Like Old Times (Loeb-Lombardo); I’ll Close My Eyes (Kaye-Reid).
Personnel: George Evans: vocals, Tilden Webb: piano, Jodi Proznick: bass, Jesse Cahill: drums, Cory Weeds: alto sax.
Tracks: You're Gonna Hear From Me (Previn-Langdon); Don't Be That Way (Goodman-Parish-Sampson); Bewitched (Rodgers-Hart); To The Ends Of The Earth (Sherman-Sherman); Believe It, Beloved (Burton-Johnson-Whiting); Watch What Happens (Legrand-Gimbel); Lazy Afternoon (Latouche-Moross); You Leave Me Breathless (Hollander-Freed); I'm Old Fashioned (Kern-Mercer); La Belle Vie - The Good Life (Distel-Brousole-Reardon); In Love In Vain (Kern-Gershwin); All Too Soon (Ellington-Sigman); Tonight May Have To Last Me All My Life (Borzage-Mercer).
Personnel: Group One - Nancy Walker: piano; Steve Wallace: bass; Archie Alleyne: drums; and Michael Stuart: sax; Group Two - Reg Schwager: guitar; Nancy Walker: piano; Neil Swainson: bass; Archie Alleyne: drums; Group Three - Reg Schwager: guitar; Mark Eisenman: piano; Neil Swainson: bass; Jerry Fuller: drums; With string ensembles* arranged by: Rick Wilkins and Jake Wilkinson.
M-Swing Music / Maximum Jazz / Universal Music Canada
Tracks: The Way You Look Tonight; Beginner's Luck; Change Partners; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; A Lot Of Living To Do; Dearly Beloved; It Was Written In The Stars; You Won't Forget Me; I Will Wait For You; I Dream Too Much; The Shadow Of Your Smile; Lover.
Personnel: John Sadowy: piano; Dave Watts: bass; Jim Doxas: drums; Mike Berard: classical guitar; Greg Clayton: electric guitar; Kevin Dean: trumpet; Chet Doxas: Tenor Sax; Dave Grott: Trombone; Dave Mossing: (horn section) Trumpet; Phil Dwyer: horn arrangements.
Eyes For You
Tracks: Track; Track. The Lamp Is Low [De Rose – Parish - Ravel - Berta]; I Only Have Eyes For You [Warren - Dubin]; Darn That Dream [Van Heusen - De Lange]; I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life [Coleman – Mc Carthy]; Where Have You Been? [Cole Porter]; You Do Something To Me [Cole Porter]; The Very Thought Of You [Ray Noble]; I’ll Never Be The Same [Kahn – Malneck - Signorelli]; I’m A Fool To Want You [Herron – Sinatra - Wolf]; Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year [Frank Loesser]; Love For Sale [Cole Porter]; Alfie [Bacharach - David].
Personnel: Reg Schwager: guitar, Mark Eisenman: piano, Neil Swainson: bass, Jerry Fuller: drums, and Denny Christianson: trumpet.
From Moment To Moment
Tracks: You'd better love me (Martin - Gray); It's bad for me (Porter); Love walked in (Gershwin - Gershwin); When she makes music (Fisher - Segal); Make me rainbows (Williams – Bergman – Bergman); It's June in January (Robin - Rainger); Born to be blue (Torme - Wells); Moment to moment (Mancini – Mercer); All or nothing at all (Altman – Lawrence); Lullaby of the leaves (Petkere); All my tomorrows (Cahn - Van Heusen); I'm gonna live till I die (Hoffman – Kent - Curtis).
Personnel: Dave Restivo: piano; Jerry Fuller: drums; Neil Swainson: bass; Reg Schwager: guitar; Fred Raulston: percussion; and Michael Stuart: tenor sax.
I'm All Smiles
Tracks: [Re-issue sequence] I Believe In You (Loesser); You’re Mine, You (Green - Heyman); When In Rome (Coleman - Leigh); May I Come In? (Fischer - Segal); One Morning In May (Parish - Carmichael); I’m All Smiles (Leonard - Martin); I Hadn’t Anyone Til You (Noble); One At A Time (Legrand - Bergman - Bergman); Almost In Your Arms (Livingston - Evans); My Heart Tells Me (Warren - Gordon); How Am I To Know? (Parker - King); Two For The Road (Mancini - Mercer); Sweet And Lovely (Arnheim - Tobias - Lemare); On The Other Side Of The Tracks (Coleman - Leigh).
Personnel: Group One - Tilden Webb: piano; Fraser Hollins: bass; Dave Laing: drums; Greg Clayton: guitar; and Kevin Dean: trumpet; Group Two - Steve Amirault: piano; George Mitchell: bass; Dave Laing: drums; Greg Amirault: guitar; and Steve Kaldestad: sax; Group Three - Andre White: piano; George Mitchell: bass; Dave Laing: drums; Greg Amirault: guitar; and Art Roberts: vibes.
Tracks: [Re-issue sequence] Ridin' High (Cole Porter); Fun To Be Fooled (Harburg - Gershwin - Arlen); So Near And Yet So Far (Cole Porter); I Can't Escape From You (Robin - Whiting); Just You, Just Me (Klages - Greer); Whisper Not (Golson - Feather); Listen Little Girl w/ When Sunny Gets Blue (Landesman - Wolf / Fischer - Segal ); Devil May Care (Bob Dorough - Terrell Kirk); Indian Summer (Herbert - Dubin); Autumn Nocturne (Myrow - Gannon); I See Your Face Before Me (Dietz - Schwartz ); Somone To Light Up My Life (Jobim - Lees).
Personnel: Andre White: piano; George Mitchell: bass; Dave Laing: drums; Greg Amirault: guitar; Art Roberts: vibes; Steve Kaldestad: sax; and Kevin Dean: trumpet.
Here Come The Boys: A Canadian Crooner Collection
M-Swing Music / Maximum Jazz / Universal Music Canada
Selected and Sequenced by George Evans
The Diva Series
Seven Discs - Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Carmen MacRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Astrud Gilberto
Buddy Greco: Talkin' Verve
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