(MADISON, NJ) -- Drummer Evan Sherman spent the summer of 2020 as a New York City street musician – in front of a fruit stand on 207th Street and Broadway, outside Terremoto Coffee on West 15th Street, and, finally, outside Good Enough to Eat, a comfort food restaurant at 85th Street and Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side.
It was at the latter location that his band was discovered by The Today Show, which aired a segment in December 2020 featuring a guest appearance by Wynton Marsalis. Listeners gathering at the location would ask, "Why don’t you guys have a CD to sell?" So, the band members went into the studio and recorded an album called Sidewalkin'. It was released in September 2021 and introduced at a CD release party in January 2022 at The Django in Tribeca
On Sunday, June 5 at 3:00pm, Sherman, who grew up in Millburn, NJ, will lead a quartet at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s first live concert since February 2020. Playing with him at the Madison Community Arts Center will be tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon, bassist John Lee, and pianist Davis Whitfield.
Weldon is a veteran saxophonist who spent several years with bands led by Lionel Hampton and Harry Connick, Jr. Lee, a resident of South Orange, was Dizzy Gillespie’s bassist for nine years. He is Executive and Musical Director of the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience. Whitfield, who grew up in Jersey City, is the son of jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield. He maintains a residency at the West Village jazz club, Mezzrow, and will be touring Spain this summer with Spanish trumpeter Felix Rossy. Whitfield and Sherman have been playing together since they were teenagers.
As a student at Millburn High School in 2010, Sherman was one of 28 high school music students from around the country selected to perform at Grammy Week events in Los Angeles. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music, he exploded onto the New York/New Jersey scene, only to be slowed by the pandemic. Sherman is excited that live music is “coming back”, and he’s named his June 5th band the “Homecoming” quartet. In August, his big band will perform at the Morris Museum’s Jazz on the Back Deck series, and, in September, he and pianist Emmet Cohen, originally from Montclair, will be touring “all over the West Coast.”
The Madison Community Arts Center is located at 10 Kings Road in Madison, NJ. Admission to this event will be $10 for NJ Jazz Society members and $15 for non-members, payable at the door with cash or credit card. There will be light refreshments for purchase. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required.
Funding for the NJJS Socials has been made possible, in part, by funds from Morris Arts though the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Photo of Evan Sherman by Mark Shelby Perry