Bill Evans' Soulgrass and Guests Play The Blue Note, Now thru 3/3
Bill Evans' Soulgrass returns to the Blue Note this February/March for a week of shows with a star-studded lineup and all-star band audiences have come to expect from this Stellar genre-bending group.
Says Bill, "I have been very inspired over the past several years sitting in and playing with groups like The Allman Brothers, Warren Haynes, Blues Traveler, and the Tedeschi/Trucks band...they all push the threshold of music. The music we will play this time at the Blue Note incorporates everyone's unique personality and musicianship."
Special guest keyboardist John Medeski joins the group for the entire week-long run. Other special guests include harmonica player John Popper of Blues Traveler, guitarist Eric Krasno of Soulive and Lettuce, and guitarist Jake Cinninger of Umphrey's McGee. The band's regular lineup features Bill Evans (sax, vocals), Etienne Mbappe (bass, vocals), Josh Dion (drums, lead vocals), Ryan Cavanaugh (electric banjo, vocals), and Mitch Stein (guitar, vocals).
The concerts will take place on Tuesday - Sunday, tonight, February 26 - March 3, 8:00pm and 10:30pm; Guests: John Popper (2/26-28), Eric Krasno (2/26-27), Jake Cinninger (2/28-3/1) at The Blue Note, 131 West 3rd Street, New York, NY. Tickets: $20-35.
Grammy-winning saxophonist Bill Evans first joined Miles Davis's group in 1980 at the age of 22. He went on to record six records and tour the world with Davis numerous times over a four year period. He then toured and recorded with John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Steps Ahead, and Mick Jagger, among others, garnering Grammys along the way.
Since 1990, Evans has been touring almost exclusively with his own band, playing well over 100 concerts Worldwide per year. He has recorded 19 solo albums including his latest, Dragonfly (2011), receiving two Grammy nominations in the process. Throughout his more than 20-year career as a solo artist, he has explored a variety of musical settings that go well beyond the confines of traditional jazz, including rock, hip-hop, jam, fusion, soul, and slamming funk. He recently stepped into more adventurous territory with his 2006 Grammy-nominated release Soulgrass, blending jazz, funk, and bluegrass into a seamless and wholly unique hybrid of quintessentially American styles.
His follow-up to that widely acclaimed project found him pushing the envelope a little further in the hybrid direction on 2008's The Other Side of Something. "It's an extension of Soulgrass...so it seemed like a very natural thing for me to do." Evans returned to the studio to produce and record the third Soulgrass album Dragonfly, his latest effort, in 2011. Of the record, Evans says, "This CD is a melting pot of styles that work very well together. I have been working with banjo together with the guitar for over six years and, at this point, we have created our own sound. It is Americana-meets-soul-meets-jazz in a new kind of way. There are no boundaries here."
A member of Soulgrass since early 2006, banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh has explored the stylistic potentials of the banjo and electric banjo for over 20 years. The immensely talented drummer Josh Dion simultaneously sings and plays drums like only he can do, in his own unique and soulful way. Both he and Bill co-wrote many of the new songs on the new CD, Dragonfly. Fresh from touring with his own band, Cameroonian electric bassist Etienne Mbappe wears black silk gloves when he plays and got his start with the Zawinul Syndicate. New Yorker Mitch Stein is best known for his work with David Sanborn, The Brecker Brothers, and Steve Kimock. It is this combination of style and talent that make Soulgrass what it is.
Club Policies: Doors open at 6pm nightly. Reservations highly recommended - available online or by calling the club at (212) 475-8592. Reservations held no later than 30 minutes prior to showtime. Seating is first come, first served. We DO seat incomplete parties. American Express Preferred Seating available at www.bluenotejazz.com. Full dinner menu available and full bar with all premier liquors, domestic, and international beer available nightly. There is a $5 food/drink minimum per person, per set. No reservations are accepted for the bar - it is only available at the door, the night of the show.