She purrs, she roars, her voice subtle then huge, nuanced then powerful, her phrasing always exact.” — Wyn Cooper, Poet and Songwriter
In New Orleans, a city known worldwide for its music, Samirah was one of its most popular jazz & blues vocalists. She first performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1990, and became a regular fixture as either a leader or featured vocalist for fourteen consecutive years. She has toured Europe, Asia, and both North and South America as a headliner, and shared stages with a multitude of legendary artists from B.B. King and James Brown, to New Orleans own Queen of Soul, Irma Thomas
Hurricane Katrina caused Samirah and her husband to seek out new living arrangements outside of New Orleans, so they moved to his native town of Brattleboro, Vermont in the fall of 2006. Her debut performance was at the Vermont Jazz Center with the VJC Big Band. She soon found herself sharing the spotlight with the legendary Shelia Jordan as a principal in a musical theater performance, Beatnik Café, depicting the beatnik generation.
Samirah’s live performance repertoire runs the gamut from raunchy blues to jazz smooth as silk. She has often been compared to Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and Etta James. Like many jazz and blues artists, Samirah dedicates time to perpetuating indigenous American music. She was a long time participant in the Blues Schoolhouse program sponsored by the International House of Blues Foundation. She also served as a volunteer show host on the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage radio station, WWOZ, for over ten years.
Samirah is the founder of Sam’s Set & Shed, a musical mentoring series featuring a performance by a teacher and their protégé, followed by a “Jazz Woodshed” jam session.
Offering all aspiring musicians and vocalists an opportunity to hone their skill with professional musicians. These events are held in Brattleboro. Find out more on facebook.
For more about Samirah visit http://www.samirahevans.com
Ms. Connelly brings her unmistakable brand of soulful, sensitive and lush jazz vocals to the Arts Block Café stage for her double bill with vocalist Samirah Evans.
A veteran of the music scene with extensive playing credits in and around Boston, Jill relocated to this area and immediately became involved with the Vermont Jazz Center, studying with Sheila Jordan, Eugene Uman and others. With her unmistakable enthusiasm and an engaging, natural style, Jill brings a personal approach to her music, living the lyrics and compelling us to listen closely.
“It’s all about communicating…” says Jill with a smile, which happens to hold true in her profession as a voiceover talent as well, being a signature voice for PBS’ flagship station in Boston among many other prominent clients Jill’s studio recording credits cover a wide range of styles, including rock, blues, a capella gospel, pop, R&B, and of course, jazz.