From Paris to New Orleans
Tatiana Eva-Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band
After performing at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2018, Tatiana Eva-Marie fell in love with New Orleans culture and formed strong collaborations with local jazz musicians, such as clarinetist Evan Christopher and singer Sasha Masakowski. Tatiana and her band’s new project aims to explore the musical connections between France and Louisiana, from Sidney Bechet to Django Reinhardt – including her own Parisian and New Orleanian-inspired original compositions – and involving a cast of musicians from the Old Continent and the New World, celebrating a common heritage and love for revelry.
Click here for Downbeat coverage of the project’s debut at the NY Hot Jazz Festival.
Born into a professional musical family to a Swiss-French composer and a Romanian classical violinist, Tatiana Eva-Marie grew up between her father’s Dixieland jazz records and her mother’s heritage of Klezmer and Gypsy folk music, along with her own growing love for French poetry and chanson réaliste, Tatiana was naturally attracted to the music scene of 1930s Paris where all these influences met and intertwined, sprung from the diaspora of African Americans fleeing oppression, American bohemians fleeing prohibition, Russian aristocrats fleeing after the revolution and Jews fleeing mounting hostility in the East… Paris became an escapist party town at the crossroads of many cultures. New Orleans shares that reputation. Both cities stand as welcoming beacons of irreverent fun, where cultures fuse in unexpected ways. Tatiana wanted to explore this common spirit, centering her show mostly around the meeting of Gypsy Jazz and the music of Sidney Bechet, along with songs reminiscent of New Orleans – and collaborating with clarinetist Evan Christopher who released his album Django à la Creole in 2010.
Tatiana Eva-Marie is a Brooklyn-based singer, bandleader and actress who was recently named rising jazz star by Vanity Fair. Acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal, the NY Times, Downbeat and other renowned publications, she performs regularly in New York and around the world (New Orleans Jazz Festival, Jazz Aspen SnowMass, SummerStage NY, Midsummer Night Swing, the NYC Winter JazzFest, Jazz at Lincoln Center and world premieres of Hollywood films). Inspired by her French and Romanian heritage, she explores her love for jazz through the lens of 1930s Paris and the origins of Gypsy Jazz.
Evan Christopher’s highly personal brand of “contemporary, early jazz” strives to extend the legacies of early Creole clarinet heroes such as Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard and Omer Simeon. Now a staple of the New Orleans jazz scene, Evan has also performed in Paris at the invitation of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services division, where he formed his group, Django à la Créole. This Europe-based quartet fused Gypsy Swing with Latin-tinged grooves of New Orleans and beyond and was distinguished for an acoustic intimacy paired with driving swing.
Sasha Masakowski was born into a family of musicians in New Orleans and has been a leading voice on the New Orleans music scene since 2009, when she was awarded “Best Emerging Artist” by the Big Easy Association. She has since performed major clubs and festivals across the United States and abroad, and leads bands of her own that range from traditional New Orleans jazz to contemporary jazz and world music to experimental electronic art-rock. December 2015 issue of Downbeat Magazine named Sasha among the most innovative musicians coming out of New Orleans to date.
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