MP3 Evan Knight - Reminiscence
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JAZZ: Contemporary Jazz, URBAN/R&B: Funk
Evan Knight began playing saxophone at the age of 11. After only one year, Evan began listening to and transcribing the music of various contemporary jazz artists. As he went on into Jr. High, music instructor David Frateschi recognized Evanâs knack for the instrument and began introducing Knight into the world of traditional jazz. âDave introduced me to many different styles from Johnny Hodges to Bird [Charlie Parker] and Cannonball to Coltrane,â Evan recalls, âUntil then, I didnât fully appreciate jazz in all its forms, or where it came from.â
As Evan grew up, long before he picked up his first sax, one of his favorite artists was Michael Jackson. So, as he became more serious about the sax, it was easy for him to relate to the funky modern styles of saxophonists David Sanborn, Gerald Albright, Maceo Parker and others.
Around the age of 13, Knight began studying with Syracuse Saxophone Clinician, Gerald Santy. Santy, former student of legendary sax guru, Joe Allard, helped implant the technical skills that gave Evan his solid playing foundation. âJerry is the best; he has had a great impact on both my playing and my career goals.â Santy is a highly sought after saxophone instructor in the Syracuse area who has had many successful students. Several recognizable saxophonists that have studied under Santy include: Rocco Barbato, who is headlining in Las Vegas, Paulie Cerra, who is playing in the Los Angeles area with national recording artist Larry Carlton, among others; also Mike Dubaniewicz, who is the musical director and lead alto player with Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band.
In his freshman year of high school, Evan put together a band with a group of musician buddies playing some of their favorite contemporary jazz songs. One day when school was cancelled due to heavy snowfall, Evan and his friends got together to fool around with some music, and ended up writing their first song, appropriately titled, âSnow Day.â What started off as just something fun to do, later developed into a working band. As the Evan Knight Band, Evan and his friends performed at the Syracuse Jazz Fest, Oswego Harbor Fest, Fulton River Fest as well as other locations around Upstate NY.
At the age of 16, Evan got a call to do his first âbigâ show. National recording artist Benny Mardones and his Syracuse-based band, âThe Hurricanesâ, were to perform their annual Christmas show at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. Benny decided at the last minute he would like to bring in a sax player. Benny had been without a sax in his act for several years, a job last held by Paulie Cerra. Evan got the call to do the gig the night of the bandâs last practice, one day before the show. At concert time, Evan joined Benny on stage for three songs. During one of the songs Benny had Evan follow him out into the crowd and stand up onto their tables! âIt was pretty exciting,â Evan recalls, âBefore then, I had never been a part of a ârealâ concert atmosphere.â Knight would continue to perform with Mardones for almost four years, traveling with him to Florida, Ohio and Delaware, in addition to numerous Central NY performances. âEven though his style of music is very different from my own, he was still a big influence on me.â Evan comments about Mardones. âHis performance and stage presence is fantastic and the way he puts it all out there and takes complete control of the stage when he is performing was definitely very inspiring to me.â
Also at the age of 16, Evan joined After FX, a 9-piece dance/horn band from Syracuse, NY that covered the music of various artists such as Earth Wind & Fire, James Brown, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and many others. Playing in a number of Central NY clubs, Knight was becoming more well-known to the Syracuse music scene. During that time period Evan was also being invited to sit in and play with several other bands performing various styles of funk, jazz, rock, soul, R&B and gospel. AFX was just getting started when Evan first joined, but is today one of Central New Yorkâs best known funk/soul/R&B bands.
After he had turned 18, Knight attended Warren Hillâs first annual Smooth Jazz Cruise in the Caribbean. While on the cruise, Evan won a Star Search Competition that afforded him the opportunity to perform on the main stage with Chieli Minucci and several other National Artists on board.
Today, Knight is an active member of the Syracuse live music scene. He continues to take part in events such as the Syracuse Jazz Festival, Jazz in the City, Oswego Harborfest, and the Syracuse Inner Harbor. Having been dubbed a âsax phenomâ and âmusical wunderkindâ by his peers and fans, Knightâs album âReminiscenceâ is a highly anticipated mix of cool Jazz, smooth R&B, and Funk. The album radiates with a fresh, stimulating vibe that is sure to appeal to all music lovers. With the release of this CD, Evan Knight is poised to become a true contender in the contemporary jazz genre.
People who are interested in David Sanborn Kirk Whalum Gerald Albright should consider this download.
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