From the Spring of Song – A Tribute to Bill Evans

On April 4, 2014, the Quick Center for the Arts presented From the Spring of Song* – A Tribute to Bill Evans. American jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans is considered one of the most influential pianists in modern jazz. Despite personal struggles and tragedy, Evans broke new ground with his trios, expanding the roles for the bass and drums, creating a sublime, unforgettable sound.

The evening featured Fairfield University faculty member Brian Torff on bass, drummer Kurt Leon (who also happens to be the Quick Center’s Business Operations Manager), and pianist Nick Sanders, who’s Trio will be performing this fall in the intimate Wien Experimental Theatre on Friday, November 7 at 7 p.m. & 9 p.m.

Here is a short video to learn more about the project:


Learn more about the project as written by former Quick Center Director, Gary Wood:


The idea for a tribute performance for Bill Evans has been in the back of my mind for a long, long time. Evans’ sublime music is unforgettable – it stays with me every single day. By good fortune, the moon and the stars aligned, making it possible to create this tribute to an American jazz legend.

Having Brian Torff’s expertise as a musician and jazz historian is a wonderful gift to this project, and without his vision and leadership it would not be possible. Kurt Leon, the Quick Center’s budget manager just happens to be an outstanding drummer, and his support in seeing the project come to life has been invaluable, too.

But in many ways, it’s the playing of Nick Sanders that crystalized the moment in pulling the project together. I first met Nick in New Orleans many years ago, and his playing as a young musician then already possessed blissful subtleties so attractive to the ear, with dynamic technical skills to go with them. He rounds out this gifted trio, all to our listening pleasure.

Over a year ago – and with the encouragement of our friend and attorney, Alan Neigher along with the assistance of Steven Lowy (attorney for the Bill Evans Estate) –  we received endorsement to go forward from Mrs. Evans, something that brings a great deal of pride and humility to the project.

There are many words associated with tonight’s program – many inspiring words about Evans in this program. Yet, it is the music that speaks for him…let’s take in all that it has to offer.

The performance was made possible through a collaboration with the Bill Evans Tribute. In addition we are grateful to our sponsors for the evening: WPKN, Venü Magazine, and TVEyes.

*poet Bill Zavatsky