"Who does Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, among a multitude of others have in common? Bill Evans, that’s who.
Evans is a world class saxophonist and producer who made his debut on the international music scene in the 1980’s with Miles Davis (at the age of 21) and recorded 6 records with Davis. This led to touring and recording with the likes of John McLaughlin and Herbie Hancock to name a few. Bill started touring the world with his own band in 1990. He explored several different genres over the next 14 years which included soul jazz, acoustic groove and contemporary funk. He recorded 12 solo CDs during this period. In 2004 he continued to improvise and stretch musical boundaries with the group Soulgrass and a CD by the same name. It was jazz meets Americana on a very high level. He blended banjo, fiddle & saxophone in a truly unique and innovative way and toured throughout Europe with this group for over 12 years.
Recent highlights include touring Europe and Japan with the Robben Ford/ Bill Evans Soulgrass meets Blues band, The Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band, The Randy Brecker/ Bill Evans Soulbop Band and a variety of special guest billings.
This Spring 2024, Bill will release his latest recording Who I Am. A year in the making. Bill deftly included all of his past influences to make one of his most exciting recordings to date, featuring Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Victor Wooten, Keith Carlock and John Medeski to name a few. Bill has this to say about his recent release, “ Ive always written and recorded music that inspires me, from the very beginning. The music on Who I Am is very personal. I love listening to it. If you can’t write music you don’t like to listen too, why write it ?”
With 26 solo albums to date, Grammy nods, and countless collaborations and tours, Bill is making his debut at Blues Alley and his first appearance in the USA with his own band in over 15 years. When asked why it’s been so long Bill responded,“ I tour several times a year. Europe, Brazil, Japan . I have a loyal following in other parts of the world . It just kind of worked out that way.” When asked about his USA comeback, Bill replied, “ I didn’t want to play just anywhere. It had to be someplace special. Intimate. A place I can also showcase my new recording Who I Am. Blues Alley seems like the perfect place, and this band of Allstars made the decision easy.”
With Bill is Kevin Hays on Piano. Kevin is a Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter. His many recordings have received critical acclaim worldwide. A leader in his own right , Kevin has appeared on countless albums as a guest artist and currently tours with James Taylor and Steve Gadds Band as well as his own Trio. This will be Kevin's exciting debut at Blues alley with Bill Evans.
Dennis Chambers is legendary in the Drum world . He has recorded and performed with George Duke,The Brecker Brothers Band, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic and many others. Bill and Dennis have a history that goes back to 1989 When they recorded Bills’ let the juice loose live in Tokyo, and Bills seminal Petite Blonde 3 years later.
Gary Grainger has performed and/or recorded with Lonnie Liston Smith, Nancy Wilson, Dennis Chambers, George Duke and many many others including Bill’s recent Who I am. Gary has been a rhythm section powerhouse for decades.