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 Orleanian culture and formed strong collaborations with local musicians, namely clarinetist Evan Christopher and singer Sasha Masakowski. Tatiana’s new project aims to explore the musical connections between France and Louisiana, from Sidney Bechet to Django Reinhardt – including original compositions – and involving a cast of musicians from the Old Continent and the New World come together to celebrate a common heritage and a love for passion and revelry.
Click here for Downbeat coverage of the project’s debut at the NY Hot Jazz Festival.
1930s Paris. An escapist haven at the crossroads of many cultures: African Americans fleeing oppression, American bohemians fleeing prohibition, Russian aristocrats fleeing after the revolution, Jews fleeing mounting hostility in the East… Its French sister-city in the United States is New Orleans, which stands today as a beacon of freedom and fun, and where cultures have always fused in unexpected ways. Tatiana Eva-Marie explores this common spirit through the lens of the 1930s Paris music scene – a mix of French pop, jazz Manouche, Gypsy folk – and the music of Sidney Bechet, who famously made a wild and passionate playground out of the French capital. Tatiana’s fellow travelers on this musical adventure are clarinetist Evan Christopher – who released his album Django à la Creole in 2010 – and eclectic New Orleanian it-girl Sasha Masakowski. Together they will attempt to embody all the elation, melancholy, romance, light and darkness of these lands of exile.
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.