14 Apr Kickin’ it Up With Concerts in the Courtyard: April 17th – Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road
The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Concerts in the Courtyard Series sponsored by AOS is back in action for the month of April. With festival season being in full swing, we are glad to make this series part of our must see list. In the spotlight this Friday is clarinetist Evan Christopher. Christopher’s musical journey began in 1994 when he left his native California to join the New Orleans music scene. He landed a variety of freelance gigs with musicians like Al Hirt, funk and brass bands the Nightcrawlers and Galactic, and veterans of Preservation Hall. After two years of freelance work, he left for San Antonio to appear nightly for three years with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, with whom he recorded several radio programs.
He returned to New Orleans in 2001 in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Musicology from Tulane University, and soon after began touring internationally while producing his Clarinet Road series of CDs. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Christopher landed in Paris at the invitation of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services division where he formed the group Django à la Créole. The Europe-based quartet fuses Gypsy Swing with the Latin-tinged grooves of New Orleans. Their albums have earned the group critical attention and a worldwide reputation for its sophisticated character.
Since returning again to New Orleans in 2008, Christopher actively advocates for cultural workforce and music education in the city. With a brief teaching stint at the University of New Orleans, he was able to see the creation of a New Orleans music ensemble that performed with guest mentors like Lucien Barbarin and Marcus Roberts. In July 2010, he debuted his Treat It Gentle Suite with the Minnesota Orchestra—the first concerto written for clarinet and jazz band in the New Orleans style. Christopher frequently appears with well-known local groups like the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and the jazz composer guild, NOLA ArtHouse Music. You can hear him featured as a soloist on New Orleans-based artists’ recordings in various genres and read his contributions as an occasional columnist for NolaVie.com, an online journal about New Orleans culture.
Evan Christopher performs this Friday, April 17, from 6 to 8 PM with doors opening at 5:30 PM. General Admission is $10 (free for THNOC members), and includes three complimentary beverages. Be sure to check out these other great acts in the coming months: Friday, May 15, with Banu Gibson. Friday, June 12, with Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses.