– Singer, Gospel and Smooth Jazz Guitarist –
His dedication to his craft spans more than three decades…meet singer, guitarist and composer Gene Evans.
In his teens Gene went to New York City to pursue his dream and be a part of the busy music scene. He performed in clubs learning and paying his dues to become a seasoned professional musician. After a year in New York, he moved to Philadelphia to be closer to family and performed in the R&B clubs in Philly. This led to performing on the College Circuit with Harold Melvin, the famous Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes about a year before Teddy Pendergrass joined the group.
Lady luck presented an offer to work with a band heading to Toronto. Gene packed his suitcases and hit the road. Arriving in Toronto was a marvelous experience. As Gene recalls, “it was an unbelievable city for live music. Yonge Street was like no other place on the planet, all the great musicians came to perform here”. There was never a shortage of gigs in the regular clubs or the after hour clubs. In Toronto, there were new opportunities to play in house bands where hit makers of the day such as Edwin Star (War! What Is It Good For) and Stevie Wonder (Signed, Sealed & Delivered) and other entertainers would drop by the Blue Note or the Jamaican club after their gig to jam and hangout.
With the British Invasion, the music scene changed in Toronto and Gene thought it was time for personal change. Inspired by the great Charlie Bird’s performance of Bossa Nova songs, Gene began studies in classical guitar with Elli Kasner, of the Royal Conservatory of Music. The curriculum covered the fundamentals of music and the art of playing classical guitar which was ennobling for this young self-taught guitarist.
In the late 70’s Gene entered “the jobbing scene” and was fortunate to be on the same gig with pianist John Gidens, head of the Jazz course at York University. John invited him to his classes because he felt Gene would learn some useful information about music…and did he ever.
Several years later Gene released his debut album "Catch the Groove" through Pinnacle Records, a Canadian Label. Executive producer Evanson Chung and producer Craig Rhunke, were responsible for making his first recording project a reality.
After some moderate success and touring in Canada and the America with his own band, Gene reached what can be called a "Watershed" moment in his life. With a young 5-year-old daughter growing up fast, he decided to return college to study Information Technology (IT). The decision to focus on IT allowed Gene to stay in Toronto.
During this period, Gene returned to his roots in the church. He has wind down his educational software development company and has returned to his first love…music.
In 2007, Gene founded a 10-member gospel band that played in the Inner City of Toronto for a year running an outreach ministry. On Sunday evenings, hope filled the atmosphere with inspiring music and relevant messages. On Wednesdays, the group was part of a team that provided music and dinner to feed the homeless.
Touched by the spiritual experience, Gene reflects, “It was during this time that I was moved to start writing gospel and smooth jazz songs again, with the goal to release a gospel music video, a gospel album and a smooth jazz album. My Christian faith is what drives me forward, knowing what God has promised and how He has blessed me in this life.”
The Gospel Video and Album will be released in 2011. The Gospel video title track "Walk by Faith" was inspired while my band and I ran the outreach in the inner city. I am currently an artist on my own independent label Re Vibe Yo Soul Records.”
Genres: Gospel, Smooth Jazz
Official Website; www.geneevansmusic.com
Talents: Guitarist, Vocalist, Producer, composer of music scores for film and voice over narration
Current label: Re Vibe Yo Soul Records 2007- present
Previous label: Pinnacle Records 1988 - 1994
Associate Producer: Greg Lassalle, Seoul Korea