During his kaleidoscopic quarter-century as a professional jazz musician, pianist Orrin Evans has become the model of a fiercely independent artist who pushes the envelope in all directions. Never supported by a major label, Evans has ascended to top-of-the-pyramid stature on his instrument, as affirmed by his #1-ranking as “Rising Star Pianist” in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll. Grammy nominations for the Smoke Sessions albums The Intangible Between and Presence, by Evans’ raucous, risk-friendly Captain Black Big Band, stamp his bona fides as a bandleader and composer. In addition to CBBB, Evans’ multifarious leader and collaborative projects include the Eubanks Evans Experience (a duo with eminent guitarist Kevin Eubanks); the Brazilian unit Terreno Comum; Evans’ working trio with bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr.; and Tar Baby (a collective trio of 20 years standing with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Nasheet Waits). One of Tar Baby’s two 2022 releases will be released on Evans’ imprint, Imani Records, which he founded in 2001 and relaunched in 2018.
Jonathan Michel is a bassist, composer and producer of Haitian descent born and raised in Waterbury, CT
From 2005-2010 he was a first call bassist in Philadelphia, performing locally, nationally, and internationally with many of that city’s great artists. These experiences were highlighted by serving as bassist and musical director for Grammy Award winning vocalist, Billy Paul, for 4 years.
In the summer of 2010 Jonathan moved to New York City where he has quickly became entrenched in that city’s musical community. You could find him playing at New York’s top venues; leading jam sessions and playing with a host of artists and groups including Orrin Evans, The Revive Da Live Big Band, ELEW, Godwin Louis, Dominick Farinacci, and Laurin Talese.
Since then Jonathan continues is growth and development, working as a producer he’s helped release projects of various styles including his own debut album MDR. Imani Records 2018. A strong believer in the cultural importance passing along musical traditions, Michel has worked as a teaching artist and clinician with Philadelphia’s Clef Club of Jazz, the Litchfield Jazz Camp, Carnegie Hall, Experience Ayiti and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Jonathan is endorsed by Lakland Basses and can be found touring with Melanie Charles and Tiwa Savage.
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