Ladies in Jazz Featuring Samirah Evans and Sheila Jordan - 5/31, 8:00pm

The Arts Block and Silktone Productions Present Ladies in Jazz Featuring Samirah Evans and Sheila Jordan Saturday May 31, 2014 at 8p 

Ladies in Jazz…an ongoing series conceived by Silktone Productions founder and jazz vocalist Samirah Evans. 

Each installment Samirah invites a fellow female jazz vocalist and/or instrumentalist to join her for an exciting evening of jazz with intrigue!

(Scroll down to purchase your advance discount tickets below)


NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan joins Samirah Evans to kick off this seasons series of “Ladies in Jazz” at The Arts Block in downtown Greenfield. Show time is 8:00pm on Saturday, May 31.

After relocating to Brattleboro, Vermont following hurricane Katrina, one of Evans’ first public performances found her and Jordan sharing the stage in T. Namaya’s musical theater production, “The Beatnik Cafe.” The two later discovered an important musical and personal connection. 

“Back when Sheila used to play clubs in Detroit, she was accompanied by a bebop pianist named  Willie Metcalf Jr. who happened to be my first musical mentor in New Orleans.” says Evans . “I’m honored that she now has a photograph of Willie and I hanging on her wall in her home. I felt an immediate connection to Sheila during the Beatnik Cafe production, not only as a performer but as a human being. I’ve considered her a new mentor for me since moving to New England and I’m thrilled she agreed to be featured in my Ladies in Jazz series.” 

 The Claire Arenius Trio will back the two singers for the evening’s program, which will consist of solo performances by both Evans and Jordan and a few duets, as well as a special performance  featuring participants in a workshop Jordan will have conducted the day before. The trio consists of Arenius on drums, Eugene Uman on piano and Wayne Roberts on acoustic bass. 

Advance tickets are $17 and can be purchased at or by calling 413-774-0150. Tickets will be available at the door the evening of the concert for $20. The Arts Block is located at 289 Main Street in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Doors open at 7:00pm. The Smithsonian Cafe will be serving dinner prior to the show. 

Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania's coal-mining country, Jordan began singing as a child and by the time she was in her early teens was working semi-professionally in Detroit clubs. Her first great influence was Charlie Parker and, indeed, most of her influences have been instrumentalists rather than singers. After moving to New York in the early 50s, she married Parker's pianist, Duke Jordan, and studied with Lennie Tristano, but it was not until the early 60s that she made her first recordings. One of these was under her own name, the other was “The Outer View” with George Russell, which featured a famous 10-minute version of "You Are My Sunshine.” Now in her eighties, she continues to perform concerts across the globe. She is also a faculty member for Jazz in July at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont, and conducts workshops internationally as well. The singer has received several honors, including the 2008 Mary Lou Williams Award for a Lifetime of Service to Jazz. 

Samirah Evans was a fixture on the New Orleans music scene for more than 15 years before relocating to Brattleboro, Vermont in the wake of hurricane Katrina. She formed Samirah Evans & Her Handsome Devils in 2007 and has performed at clubs, concert halls and music festivals throughout the northeast. In 2011, Evans released Hot Club: Live at the Vermont Jazz Center (Misha Records), her third CD and first recorded outside of Louisiana. She has shared stages with legendary artists James Brown, B.B. King, Irma Thomas, Sheila Jordan, Terence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison, Jr., among others in her career, and has toured Europe, Asia and South America as a headliner.

 Ladies in Jazz is a musical series conceived by Silktone Productions and co-produced with the Arts Block. Each installment brings Samirah Evans together in concert with another female jazz vocalist or instrumentalist. The goal is to introduce new women artists to audiences in western Massachusetts, as well as bring established women artists to the area. Featured artists have included Jill Connolly, Evelyn Harris, Rebecca Holtz, Elizabeth!, and Becca Byram.




Date: 5/31, 8:00pm
Price: $17.00
Location The Arts Block
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