Bassist Bill Evans to perform in Cooper Creek in downtown Winter Park |

Bassist Bill Evans to perform in Cooper Creek in downtown Winter Park

String bassist Bill Evans will play a free concert at Cooper Creek Square in downtown Winter Park from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday as part of the weekly Music on the Mall series.

Evans has been a member of The Hall Brothers Jazz Band of St. Paul, Minn. since 1959. The band owned and performed at the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota, Minn. until the early ’90s where they hosted and played with almost every active New Orleans jazz musician who was on the road.

Some of the pianists he accompanied there were Eubie Blake, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Teddy Wilson and Don Ewell. From 1979 to 1986, Evans was featured on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” as a member of the Butch Thompson Trio. After The Hall Brothers hung up their horns, Bill picked up his trombone and founded the Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band, which continues to perform. The Hall Brothers continue to perform for special events, but in the past two years has lost two of its key members.

Throughout his career, Bill has performed all over the United States and internationally with his own groups, as well as a guest artist with numerous groups. He has played on over a dozen records made in New Orleans with many great players.

Evans will be joined Friday by pianist/vocalist Brad Pregeant. Pregeant has been playing New Orleans jazz professionally since 1984 when he played piano and trombone as a member of the Official Band of the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans. During this time, Pregeant studied privately with renowned pianist Ellis Marsalis. Pregeant and his wife, vocalist/musician/songwriter Lynnea Godfriaux met in New Orleans but relocated to Madison,Wisc. where they performed full-time until 2007. After spending summers in Grand Lake since 1998 they moved to the area permanently in 2007. Brad continues to perform frequently playing many types of blues and jazz with Lynnea’s group Tight Like That, and with other locals including Andy Irvine, Steve Cormey, Mango Chutney, Patrick Brower, Sara Clement and Arnie J. Green.

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Brad will begin a new career this August as Band/Choir Director at Middle Park High School.

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