Evan Christopher

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Evan Christopher
Evan Christopher in 2010
Background information
Birth name Evan Christopher
Born August 31, 1969
Origin Long Beach, California, U.S.
Genres Music of New Orleans
Traditional Jazz
World Music
Occupation(s) Clarinetist
Instruments Clarinet
Labels Arbors Records
STR Digital
Frémeaux & Associés

Evan Christopher (born August 31, 1969 in Long Beach, California) is an American clarinetist and composer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Recognized mainly for a personal brand of "contemporary early-jazz,” he strives to extend the legacy of the unique clarinet style anchored in the musical vocabulary created by early New Orleans clarinetists such as Lorenzo Tio Jr., Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon, Barney Bigard, and Johnny Dodds.



His first musical training was at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. After high school, he studied saxophone at the University of Southern California with Dr. Thom Mason and went on to graduate from California State University at Long Beach where he studied clarinet with Gary Bovyer. Early mentors include clarinetists Kenny Davern, Tony Scott,soprano saxophonist George Probert and bassist, Marshall Hawkins


Tours with singer-songwriter A.J. Croce in the early 1990s first brought Christopher to New Orleans. He moved there in 1994 and enjoyed varied work before leaving to join the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio, Texas in 1996. For nearly three years, he appeared nightly as their featured clarinetist and recorded several of their syndicated radio programs, Riverwalk Jazz. Christopher returned to New Orleans, but was forced to leave again in 2005 when the Federal levees failed in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He traveled continuously and even based himself briefly in Paris at the invitation of the French government. During this artist-residency, he formed his current groups, the Jazz Traditions PROJECT and Django à la Créole. The latter fuses Gypsy Swing with New Orleans grooves and rhythms of “le monde Créole.” U.S. tours with Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra made it possible for Christopher to return to New Orleans where he has been permanently based since 2008. He is a charter member of jazz composer guild, NOLA ArtHouse Music as well as the Seahawk Modern Jazz Orchestra based in Southern California

Educator / Composer

Published research and presentations on the New Orleans clarinet style, and in 2002 initiated pursuit of a musicology degree at Tulane University. Although these studies were never completed, Christopher remains an advocate for the cultural workforce and music education. From 2008-2009, he taught part-time at the University of New Orleans where he coached a "New Orleans Music Ensemble" that performed alongside guest artists such as Lucien Barbarin and Marcus Roberts. As a composer, original songs appear on CDs such as "Delta Bound" featuring pianist Dick Hyman (Arbors, 2007), "The Remembering Song" featuring guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli (Arbors, 2010), and the Grammy-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra's "Book One." In July 2010, he debuted the "Treat It Gentle Suite," a concerto for clarinet and jazz band in the New Orleans style, with the Minnesota Orchestra.


As leader

  • 2010 Finesse - Django à la Créole (Frémeaux & Associés)
  • 2010 The Remembering Song - feat. Bucky Pizzarelli (Arbors Records)
  • 2008 Django à la Créole - Django à la Créole (Frémeaux & Associés)
  • 2007 Introduction: Live at the Meridien - JazzTraditions PROJECT
  • 2006 Delta Bound - feat. Dick Hyman (Arbors Records)
  • 2005 Clarinet Road Vol. II: The Road to Romance - feat. Jack Sheldon & Tierney Sutton (STR Digital)
  • 2002 Music Minus One: Chicago-Style Jam Session (Music Minus One)
  • 2002 The Ragpickers - including 1949 recordings by Tony Parenti (Jazzology)
  • 2001 Clarinet Road Vol. I: The Road to New Orleans (STR Digital)
  • 1998 (The Hottest Clarinet...) This Side of Evan feat. members of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band (Meridian Productions, re-released by Jazzology)

As sideman or featured guest

  • McDermott, Tom: Almost Native (Threadhead, 2011)
  • Krusche, Martin: Magnetic Ear, Aliens Of Extraordinary Ability (2010)
  • Perrine, Matt: Matt Perrine & Sunflower City - Bayou Road Suite (Threadhead, 2010)
  • Mayfield, Irvin: New Orleans Jazz Orchestra-Book One (World Village, 2009)
  • Ruffins, Kermit: Livinʼ a Tremé Life (Basin Street, 2009)
  • McDermott, Tom: New Orleans Duets (Rabadash Records, 2009)
  • Pistorius, Steve: Rags And Stomps, Solos And Duets (Solo Art, 2008)
  • Edegran, Lars: New Orleans Jazz (GHB Records, 2007)
  • Kellso, Jon-Erik: Blue Roof Blues (Arbors Records, 2006)
  • Heitger, Duke: Duke Heitger's New Orleans Wanderers w/ Bob Havens: What Is This Thing Called Love (Jazzology, 2006)
  • Braud, Mark: The Spirit Of New Orleans, Live In Barcelona, (Blue Moon, 2006)
  • Xudaydi, Abi mire dacar. HARGEISA INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR (HlBF, 2005)
  • Edegran, Lars: Lars Edegran Presents Uncle Lionel (Jazzology, 2005)
  • Heitger, Duke: Krazy Kapers (Jazzology, 2003)
  • Payton, Walter: Walter Paytonʼs Gumbo Filé Band (504 Records, 2002)
  • Patruno, Lino: Jamminʼ for Condon, Live in Ascona w/ Tom Baker (Jazzology, 2002)
  • McDermott, Tom: Danza (STR Digital, 2002)
  • Edegran, Lars: Lars Edegran and His New Orleans All Stars (Jazzology, 2001)
  • Richards, Trevor: Blame it on the Blues w/ Bernd Lhotsky (2001)
  • Magri, Ronnie: Shim Sham Revue (2001)
  • Heitger, Duke: Duke Heitgerʼs Big 4: Prince of Wails (Stomp Off, 2001)
  • Clark, Kevin: New Orleans Trumpet (Summit, 2000)
  • Sidney Bechet Society: Sidney Bechet Society Jam Session Concert (Nagel-Heyer Records, 2000)
  • De Cauter, Koen: A Little Corner of Paradise (Jazzology, 1999)
  • McDermott, Tom: Louisianthology (STR Digital, 1999)
  • Richards, Trevor: City of the Blues w/ David Boeddinghaus (Jazzology, 1999)
  • Cullum, Jim: Deep River feat. Topsy Chapman (Pacific Vista Productions, 1998)
  • Campesi, Sebastian: From the Heart (1998)
  • Cullum, Jim: The Jim Cullum Jazz Band: American Love Songs (Pacific Vista Productions, 1997)
  • Edegran, Lars: Crescent City Christmas feat: Big Al Carson (Jazzology, 1995)
  • McCuller, Arnold: Exception to the Rule (Coyote Records, 1994)
  • Edegran, Lars: Lionel Ferbos, with Lars Edegran's New Orleans Band (Jazzology, 1994)
  • Croce, A.J.: A.J. Croce (Private Music, 1993)

External links