New York’s Highline Ballroom To Host Gil Evans Centennial Concert on May 21
Posted 5/21/2012

Musicians and industry veterans on both sides of the Atlantic have been celebrating the centennial of the birth of pianist, arranger and composer Gil Evans with concerts during the month of May, and more events are scheduled this summer.

In honor of the pianist, the “Gil Evans Centennial Celebration” musical tribute will take place tonight, May 21, at 9 p.m. at New York’s Highline Ballroom. With Paul Shaffer as the master of ceremonies, the performance will feature the Gil Evans Orchestra, which will include several longtime members and will be led by the late arranger’s son, Miles Evans. The evening will kick off with an audio and video presentation at 8:30 p.m. Among the guest artists slated to participate are Jimmy Cobb, Airto Moreira, Lenny White, Will Lee, John Simon and Matthew Garrison. Tickets are available at the Highline Ballroom website.

Miles Evans also honored the centennial birthday of his father during a May 13 tribute event at the Vortex Jazz Club in London. The concert, which was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, paired Evans with fellow trumpeter Henry Lowther and the London Jazz Orchestra for a performance of the 1957 Miles Davis album Miles Ahead.

Last week, composer Ryan Truesdell and the Gil Evans Project Ensemble performed four nights at New York’s Jazz Standard in conjunction with the release of Truesdell’s new album, Centennial: Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans (ArtistShare). Truesdell will honor Evans with upcoming performances on July 7–12 at Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival and on Aug. 5 at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, R.I. More information is at The Gil Evans Project website.

Gil Evans, who is best known for his collaborations with Davis, was inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1986. Evans was born in Toronto on May 13, 1912. He passed away in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on March 20, 1988. For more information on Evans’ life and work, see the May issue of DownBeat and visit his website.

Hilary Brown


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