Thursday November 8, 2012

GREENFIELD, Mass. -- The November edition of "Ladies in Jazz’ at the Arts Block brings jazz and blues vocalist Samirah Evans together with keyboardist/vocalist Becca Byram on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8:30 p.m.

The disparate backgrounds of the two artists promises an eclectic evening filled with jazz standards, originals composition and a few choice pop, R&B and soul numbers mixed in. Evans and Byram will perform solos and duets over the course of two sets, backed by Evans’ "Handsome Devils" Joe LaCreta (guitar), Dave Picchi (bass) and Jonathan Fisher (drums).

Born into a family of classical musicians, Byram began traveling back and forth to London to play in a jazz quartet while attending Clare College in Cambridge on a choral scholarship. She moved to New York City in 1995 and garnered a reputation for her knowledge and expertise with a number of vintage keyboards and synthesizers. She spent a year as the assistant musical director on NBC’s "Saturday Night Live," and her songs have appeared in such films as "Coyote Ugly," "The Heartbreakers," "Any Given Sunday" and "Sweet November." In addition to her own release, "Becca’s Smoke and Candy Store," she has written songs for Jennifer Lopez ("Only When I Dance"), Dead Presidents ("Round and Round") and No Mercy ("This is My Promise to You").

Evans was a fixture on the New Orleans music scene for more than 15 years before relocating to Brattleboro, Vt., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She formed Samirah Evans & Her Handsome Devils in 2007 and has performed at clubs, concert halls and music festivals throughout the northeast. In 2011, Evans released "Hot Club: Live at the Vermont Jazz Center" (Misha Records). She has shared stages with James Brown, B.B. King, Irma Thomas, Sheila Jordan, Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison, Jr., among others.

Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 at theartsblock.com or by calling 413-774-0150. Tickets will be available at the door the evening of the concert for $15 or $8 for students with a valid ID. The Arts Block is at 289 Main St.

Ladies in Jazz is a musical series conceived by Silktone Productions and co-produced with the Arts Block. Every other month, the series brings Samirah Evans together in concert with another female jazz vocalist or instrumentalist. The goal is to introduce new women artists to audiences in western Massachusetts, as well as bring established women artists to the area.