Orrin Evans, piano
Luques Curtis, acoustic bass
Donald Edwards, drums
Since moving to New York in the winter of 1995 Orrin Evans has been recognized as one of the most distinctive and inventive pianist of his generation. In a short span of time Orrin has earned the titles of pianist, composer, bandleader, teacher, producer and arranger and most recently, a recipient of a 2010 Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
Growing up in a musical city like Philadelphia was extremly important to early development of Orrin’s career. Philadelphia afforded Orrin the opportunity to study informally with the likes of Trudy Pitts, Shirley Scott, Mickey Roker, Bobby Durham, Edgar Bateman, Sid Simmons, and formally with William Whitaker, Jack Carr, and Charles Pettaway. In 1993, after attending Girard Academic Music Program, Orrin was accepted into the Mason Gross School of The Arts at Rutgers University. While attending Mason Gross some of his teachers included Kenny Barron, Joanne Brackeen, Ralph Bowen, & Ted Dunbar. They instilled in him the importance of the fundamentals of jazz as well as the necessity of listening to and living the music.
After moving to New York in August of 1996 Orrin was invited to join Bobby Watson’s band “Horizon” on their European tour. This opportunity introduced Orrin to the New York jazz scene. His recording and performing resume includes Wallace Roney, Mos Def, Common, Pharoah Sanders, Antonio Hart, Carmen Lundy, Ralph Peterson, Ralph Bowen, The Mingus Big Band, Roy Hargrove, Nicolas Payton, Brandford Marsalis, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, Sean Jones, Tim Warfield, Ravi Coltrane, Robin Eubanks, Duane Eubanks, and Dave Douglas.
Orrin’s recording career started in 1994 with a self-produced trio release called “The Trio” featuring Matthew Parrish on bass and Byron Landham on drums. The release can now be found on the Imani Record label under the title “Déjà Vu”. In 1996 he was introduced to Gerry Teekins from Criss Cross records. This relationship afforded Orrin the opportunity to release six critically acclaimed recordings for the Criss Cross label. During a hiatus from Criss Cross Orrin released a recording for the Palmetto record label “Meant To Shine” and various recordings on his own label Imani Records.
In 2002 Orrin combined forces with drummer Donald Edwards, vocalist JD Walter, saxophonist Ralph Bowen, and his wife vocalist Dawn Warren to form the band Luvpark. The band recorded the critically acclaimed self titled album “Luvpark” and is presently working on the release of their sophomore recording. In 2008 Orrin released the debut recording, from “Tarbaby”, a co-lead band with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Eric Revis on his Imani Records Label. Orrin then signed with PosiTone Records and released, his highly acclaimed cd, “Faith In Action”. His composition, “Don’t Call Me Wally” has been nominated for a Grammy for “Best Improvised Jazz Solo” and the brand new sophomore project from Tarbaby “The End of Fear” (PosiTone Records) is already generating a buzz. The New York Times wrote, “You feel they’re in a continuous tradition… They could go down this road for a long time, balancing repertory and originals by all three core members, and balancing 50 years of approaches to the small band in jazz.”
Evans spent 3 years as a teacher at the coveted Germantown Friends School where he taught middle school music and conducted three jazz ensembles. He returned to Settlement Music School to teach individual piano lessons, theory lessons and an advanced jazz ensemble. He continues to be a musical commentator, conducting workshops, clinics and master classes both in the United States and abroad, while continuing to record and tour with his own bands.
Lately Orrin’s greatest joy has been producing projects for other artists like Sean Jones and playing with his own band, which at different times, has included such notables as Ralph Peterson, Jr., Sam Newsome, Ralph Bowen, Nasheet Waits, Reid Anderson, Eric Revis, JD Allen and Duane Eubanks.
131 W. 3rd St
New York, NY 10012