Orrin Evans

2010 PEW FELLOW
Updated
30 Nov 2016

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Orrin Evans, 2010 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

"I have years of experience teaching, recording, touring, and leading bands, backed by press, awards, and accolades, but I still struggle trying to figure out that formula."

Orrin Evans (b. 1975) never stops thinking about the traditions and evolution of jazz music, as well as renewing jazz's legacy in the African-American community. "My goal is to utilize my relationships to create memorable musical experiences and document our history," Evans says. A gifted improviser, noted composer, and seasoned bandleader, Evans has worked alongside jazz veterans such as saxophonist Bobby Watson and drummer Ralph Peterson. He is invested in continuing the apprentice–mentor relationship in jazz music, hiring up-and-comers to work with him on his projects, including his recently formed Captain Black Big Band. In addition to collaborations with artists ranging from hip-hop stars Common and Mos Def to noted poet and 1993 Pew Fellow Sonia Sanchez, Evans is the founder of Imani Records and 88 Keys Productions. He has gained notoriety as a cultural advocate for Philadelphia, working as a 2010 Philly 360 Creative Ambassador for the Greater Philadelphia Marketing and Tourism Board.


Orrin Evans live at the Candlelight Lounge, 2010.