EVIYAN

World roots, post-minimalism and jazz in a singular, earthy and intense sound

In April 2016, EVIYAN (Iva Bittová, Gyan Riley, and Evan Ziporyn) presented, “Exploring Improsition—the melding of improvisation and composition.” They were joined in MIT’s Kresge Auditorium by the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, led by Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director, members of the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble and special guest Ricky Richardson ’12. Included were world premieres of arrangements of EVIYAN compositions by Jamshied Sharifi ’83 and arrangements by Richard Oates ’18 and Garrett Parrish ’17 of compositions by Kurt Rosenwinkle and Leslie Bricusse. Additional music by Thad Jones, Bob Mintzer, Cole Porter, and Hermeto Pascoal (in honor of his 80th birthday) was performed.

The musical trio EVIYAN is Iva Bittová, Gyan Riley, and Evan Ziporyn: three unique composer-performers merging into a singular sound. EVIYAN is a blend of Eastern European folk traditions, Indian classical music, gamelan, jazz, rock, cabaret and minimalism.

The group was was born in vocalist-violinist Iva Bittová’s house in the woods of the Hudson Valley after a few bowls of mushroom soup. In that rustic setting, performer-composers Bittová, Gyan Riley and Evan Ziporyn came together for the first time to create the kind of loose musical tapestries—weaving elements of the classical, folk, jazz, minimalist and global traditions—that debuted to high acclaim on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. “It felt like a family reunion,” says Ziporyn, Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music and Faculty Director of the Center for Art, Science & Technology.

EVIYAN was Ziporyn’s brainchild as the next phase after a 20-year tenure with the celebrated genre-smashing group Bang on a Can. For the past several decades, Ziporyn has combed the globe in search of new musical possibilities, most significantly working with Balinese gamelan musicians—from master teachers to adventurous teenagers—since the early 1980s. While much of his previous work took its shape from the sensation of cultural dissonance, where “the form and content [of the music] was the cultural clash,” his newest project demonstrates a more easy coexistence between diverse traditions. He describes the experience of playing with Bittová and Riley as “gliding.”

Clarinetist/composer Evan Ziporyn has toured the globe for over 30 years in search of new musical possibilities, studying with Balinese gamelan masters and collaborating with musicians from Asia, Africa and Europe on numerous groundbreaking cross-cultural works.

Legendary vocalist/violinist Iva Bittová’s captivating and unforgettable vocal palette, ever expanding, merges the age-old practices of her Moravian and Roma roots with an urban sophistication drawing equally on jazz, rock, cabaret and the avant-garde.

Acoustic guitarist Gyan Riley brings the virtuosity of two venerable traditions – western classical guitar and the rigors of Hindustani music – together with the harmonic deftness of jazz and the grit of rock-and-roll. The son of minimalist master Terry Riley, he is now a fixture on the New York new music scene.

 

 

More at the artist’s website: EVIYAN

 

Past Events

Exploring Improsition—the melding of improvisation and composition
April 22, 2016 / 8:00pm
Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble. Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director. Special guests:  EVIYAN (Iva Bittová, Gyan Riley, and Evan Ziporyn). Ricky Richardson ’12 and members of the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble are also featured. World premiere arrangements of EVIYAN compositions by Jamshied Sharifi ’83  and world premiere arrangements of compositions by Kurt Rosenwinkle and Leslie Bricusse by Richard Oates ’18, and Garrett Parrish ’17.  Also music of Thad Jones, Bob Mintzer, Cole Porter, and Hermeto Pascoal (in honor of his 80th birthday).

 

EVIYAN World Premiere
March 2, 2013 / 7:30pm
Kresge Auditorium, W16
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

The Boston Globe: In trio’s debut, exploratory musicians turn inward 

Santa Barbara Independent: Pilgrimage to the Fringe

The Boston Globe: Evan Ziporyn continues his musical experimentation

MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director

Portrait of the artists. Photo by Christine Southworth.