Evans Bradshaw

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This pianist was born in Memphis and died there as well, but is associated with the Detroit jazz scene. Despite the fact that his name sounds quite classy, it is possible most jazz listeners have not…
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Artist Biography by

This pianist was born in Memphis and died there as well, but is associated with the Detroit jazz scene. Despite the fact that his name sounds quite classy, it is possible most jazz listeners have not heard of Evans Bradshaw, who began his professional career as a child and died when he was only in his mid-fifties. He was a childhood pal of the superb pianist Phineas Newborn, and may have even been influential in Newborn's interest in the keyboards in the first place. Bradshaw's first move upon learning to crawl was to try and mount the piano bench; he learned to play at the age of nine and was in his father's band three years later.

The pianist headed to Flint, MI in 1953, picking up a day job in an auto factory. At night, he was out and about gigging with his own trio. At one of these live gigs, a talent scout connected with the group and arranged a contact with the Riverside label. In both 1958 and 1959 the label released albums by Bradshaw which have continued to represent his entire discography. There are no recordings available of Bradshaw as a sideman in anyone else's groups. His own trio played at the Village Vanguard and the Detroit Jazz Festival as a result of the Riverside buzz.