Artist l Performer I Educator
During her career as a performer and recording artist, Samirah has become known for her dynamic and soulful approach to music, especially in the jazz and blues genres. Her musical style is heavily influenced by the New Orleans sound where she was one of the city’s most popular and in-demand singers for nearly 20 years.
Her 1990 debut at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival began a run of 15 consecutive appearances, either as a leader or featured vocalist, and she was a fixture in clubs and concert venues throughout the Crescent City, including Snug Harbor, Tipitina’s and the House of Blues.
Evans has toured North and South America, Europe and Asia, sharing stages with a multitude of New Orleans notables and legendary artists, including James Brown, B.B. King, Dr. John, Aaron and Charles Neville, Michael Ray & the Cosmic Krew, Sheila Jordan, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison Jr., Michael Franks, Poncho Sanchez, Katie Webster, Bob Dorough, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, Duke Robillard,
Levon Helm, Jaimoe (of the Allman Brothers), and Sam Kininger.
Hurricane Katrina caused Samirah to relocate to her husband’s hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont. She has since been performing in venues and festivals throughout the northeast with her band, Samirah Evans and Her Handsome Devils, and her classic New Orleans R&B choir, the NOLABratts, among other projects.
The New Orleans Times Picayune named Evans’ debut CD, Give Me a Moment, the fifth best new release of 2002. She has recorded two other full-length CDs as a leader, My Little Bodhisattva (2007) and Hot Club: Live at the Vermont Jazz Center (2009), in addition to several downloadable singles. She has also appeared as a featured or supporting vocalist on other artist’s recordings in New Orleans and New England.
Evans dedicates time to perpetuating American Jazz and blues music. She is currently an Artist Associate in Jazz Voice at Williams College, and offers vocal instruction from her home studio. She founded the “Ladies in Jazz” series to highlight collaborations between female singers and musicians, and the “Sam’s Sunday Set and Shed” musical mentoring program to spotlight artist-protege relationships in the region. In New Orleans, Evans participated in the Blues Schoolhouse sponsored by the House of Blues Foundation and hosted a show for the N.O. Jazz & Heritage Foundation radio station, WWOZ.