Orrin Evans Trio
Photo © Howard Pitkow
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. The New York Times described the pianist as "...a poised artist with an impressive template of ideas at his command," a quality that has undoubtedly assisted in keeping Orrin at the forefront of the music scene.
The latest release by Evans, Freedom (Posi-Tone, 2011) is an interpretive exploration of the music of his Philadelphia friends and mentors. This trio date features a hometown crew of sideman including the solid playing of bassist Dwayne Burno, the precise metrics of drummer Byron Landham, and the tenor saxophone stylings of special guest Larry McKenna. Also guesting on the record is up-and-coming Philly drummer Anwar Marshall.
Growing up in a musical city like Philadelphia was extremely 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, and 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 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, Branford 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, 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 on Palmetto Records, Meant To Shine and various recordings on his own label Imani Records.
Orrin Evans is a PennPAT (Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour) roster artist.