AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
From soul Patrol.....
Any of you familiar with Joe Evans?
PRESS RELEASE A Wonderful Life - January 20, 2014
Joseph James Evans, age 97, of Richmond, Virginia departed this life
January 17, 2014. Born on October 7, 1916 in Bonifay, Florida, he grew
up in Pensacola where his love of music was fostered. As a young man, he
moved to New York City where his professional career began to flourish.
Between 1939 and 1965, "Joe" Evans performed with some of America's
greatest bands and musicians. Throughout the 1940s and 50s Evans played
alto and baritone saxophone, flute, and clarinet in Europe and the
United States with celebrated bands including Oran "Hot Lips" Page, Sil
Austin, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Lunceford, Cab Calloway,
Andy Kirk, Jay McShann, Ivory Joe Hunter, Freddie Mitchell, Johnny
Hodges, Don Redman, Thomas "Fats" Waller and many others. Among the
musicians with whom he performed include Charlie Parker, John Coltrane,
Milt Hinton, and many others.
He backed up performers and groups such as LaVerne Baker, Walter Brown,
Al Hibbler, the Nat King Cole Trio, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald,
Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, the Mills Brothers, the Jubilaires, the
Platters, the Impressions, Jackie Wilson, "Fats" Domino, Sam Cooke,
Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Mary Wells, Joe Williams,
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and Harry Belafonte.
In the early 1960s, he traveled extensively with the Motown Revue
backing many of their celebrated performers including Stevie Wonder, the
Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Martha and the Vandellas and
many others. As a studio musician, he performed on several Motown
recordings at Hittsville USA in Detroit. In 1961, Joe Evans formed his
own label, Carnival Records. Evans arranged, produced, composed and
occasionally played on the label's recordings. Although the most
successful group that Carnival produced was the Manhattans, there were
more than thirty affiliate solo artists and groups.
After retiring as an active record producer, Evans, a high school
dropout, received a GED and enrolled as a student in Essex County
College in Newark. He received an associate's degree in 1973 and then
received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend graduate school. That
fall, he entered Rutgers University and received a Master's of Education
from that institution in 1975. Evans then began working as a dairy
inspector for the state of New Jersey. After retiring again, he and his
late wife, Anna Moore Evans, moved to Richmond, Virginia.
In 2008, his autobiography, Follow Your Heart: Moving with the Giants of
Jazz, Swing, and Rhythm and Blues (with Christopher Brooks) was
published by University of Illinois Press. That year, Evans was reunited
with cousins from Pittsburgh whom he had previously been unaware of and
in doing so added a new layer to the Joe Evans story.
He is survived by one son Thomas James Evans; two great grandchildren; a
host of nieces, nephews, cousins; other relatives, and friends.