Evan's Bio

Composer Evan Solot's work has earned accolades and support from such diverse sources as National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Meet The Composer, and the American Composers Forum. Evan composes for orchestras, choirs, jazz groups, pop recordings, dance and theater. His music has been performed by some of the country's leading jazz and pop performers, including Randy and Michael Brecker, Stanley Clarke, Kurt Elling, Mel Torme, Dionne Warwicke and Bette Midler. He has collaborated with poet Sonia Sanchez, playwright Ntosake Shange, choreographer Judith Jamison, and Stevie Wonder. His commissions include pieces for Alaska, Mississippi, Illinois and Minnesota.

A former trumpet player, he toured with Bette Midler, Burt Bacharach, Frank Sinatra and Lou Rawls as well as serving as lead trumpet in over 50 Broadway shows.

As a Fulbright Scholar, he was a jazz education consultant in New Zealand and the USIA awarded him with the designation of American Cultural Specialist. His recent Senior Scholar Fulbright was in Sri Lanka where he helped with their first international music festival. Evan’s music underscores the award winning documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” and "baddDDD Sonia Sanchez" and is part of Naxos Records’ American Essentials series. He orchestrated the new NBC Nightly News Theme. When Evan retired as Professor and Head of the Composition Department at University of the Arts in 2015, the university created a scholarship in his honor and awarded him the stars of Professor Emeritus.

 

Commissions

  • BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez – Film score
  • peace is a haiku song
    a cappella choir piece in response to the mural honoring poet Sonia Sanchez
  • Exquisite Corpse
    in honor of Network for New Music's 30th anniversary
  • The Hawk
    Liturgical piece based on poem by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright for choir and chamber ensemble at St. Bartholomew's Church, NYC
  • Forbidden Boundaries
    for River North Chicago Dance Company
  • Philly Complaint Choir
    Composer and conductor for collaboration with sculptor/curator Shelley Spector and First Person Arts
  • Does Your House Have Lions?
    a jazz/funk opera based on Sonia Sanchez’ memoir in the form of an epic poem for jazz and pop vocal soloists, actors, dancers, choir, big band, bucket drums and African drum ensemble
  • Underground Movements
    for River North Chicago Dance Company and the Chicago Childrens Choir (Continental Harmony Commission)
  • Sonia Sanchez Song Cycle
    for Network for New Music
  • (Magic Shmagic) No Flutes Allowed
    for Mozart Reloaded at the Kimmel Center (Fresh Ink Commission)
  • Columbier Variations
    Three movement jazz work for the Grammy All-Star Hign School Jazz Ensemble (ACF Community Partners Commission)
  • Not So Fast
    for the string trio Time for Three (ACF Salon Commission)
  • Suite Mississippi
    A multi-media symphonic jazz piece celebrating Mississippi’s contribution to the development of jazz (for orchestra, choir, blues band, horns section, vocal soloists, actors, and dancers).
  • Glacier Blue
    Concerto for violin and big band, millennium piece for the state of Alaska
    (Continental Harmony Commission)
  • Straight On ‘Til Morning
    Joint commission for the Delaware Symphony and the Reading (PA) Symphony
  • Bass Concerto
    Bass soloist with orchestra and chorus, composed for and premiered by Stanley Clarke
  • Nick of Time
    For the D'Amico Percussion Ensemble
  • American Essentials
    Two songs recorded by the Chestnut Brass for Naxos Records’ series
  • Nepenthe
    For the Del’Arte Woodwind Quintet
  • Slip Knot
    For the contemporary chamber ensemble, Relache
  • Magnetic Fields
    For the contemporary chamber ensemble, Contrasts
  • Waltz for Debbie
    UArts Faculty Saxophone Quintet
  • A Tribute to the Beatles
    Montreux Jazz Festival

 

Compositions and Arrangements for Pop and Jazz Artists

Bette Midler, Mel Torme, Ben Vereen, Stanley Clarke, Bob Berg, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Joey DeFrancesco, Kurt Elling, Robin Eubanks, Stan Kenton, Mike Mainieri, Bob Mintzer, Greg Osby, Edward Simon, Mike Stern, Clark Terry, John Swana (partial listing)

 

Film, TV, Commercials, Industrials

        • Standing in the Shadows of Motown – underscore
        • baddDDD Sonia Sanchez – documentary underscore
        • NBC Evening News Theme (new orchestration) – TV
        • What Harm Is It To Be A Woman
          Underscores for a 4 film documentary series
        • Comcast Cable – TV promotion
        • Genentech ONE – strings and rock band orchestrations for oncology drug introduction in Las Vegas
        • US Farm Report – TV orchestrations
        • SRO – TV show theme music
        • Ajunta – CD-Rom calling card
        • Jones Cable – TV
        • Dupont
        • David’s Bridal
        • Liberty Bell Track
        • HMO PA
        • Echelon Mall
        • Burlington Center
        • Door World
        • Glamour Kitty Litter Deodorant

 

Dance

        • Forbidden Boundaries for River North Chicago Dance Company
        • Underground Movements
          for River North Chicago Dance Company and the Chicago Childrens Choir (Continental Harmony Commission)
        • With Us
          Collaboration with choreographer Judith Jamison
        • Regeneration
          For Philadanco
        • Motorella
          For ISO
        • Gotta Dance!
          For Dance Affiliates
        • Beat
          For River North Chicago Dance Company
        • Ghettoscape
          For Traci Hall & Company
        • Polarities
          For DanceTeller
        • Reminiscence
          For Trina Collins’ Painted Bride performance and Russian tour

 

Theater

        • The Princess and the Pea
          orchestrations – Shakespeare Santa Cruz
        • Cinderella
          orchestrations – Shakespeare Santa Cruz
        • The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
          orchestrations – Prince Music Theater
        • Love Knot
          By Dorothy Louise, one of three American plays selected for performance at the Women’s International Playwrights’ Conference in Galway, Ireland
        • Hamlet
          Arden Theatre
        • Sparkle
          Collaboration with Ntosake Shange for Freedom Theatre
        • Coolie High
          Freedom Theatre
        • Purlie
          Freedom Theatre
        • Billie Holiday
          The Lady Behind the Gardenia – Freedom Theatre

Residencies

        • Fulbright Senior Specialist – commercial music appointment in Sri Lanka
        • McKnight Foundation residency – Minnesota
        • Fulbright Fellowship to New Zealand as jazz educator consultant
        • Grammy All-Star High School Jazz Ensemble (ACF Community Partners residency)
        • Continental Harmony residency – Chicago, Illinois
        • Continental Harmony residency – Juneau, Alaska
        • Continental Harmony residency – Gulfport, Mississippi
        • Compose Yourself – sponsored by Meet the Composer and Young Audiences, culminating in an educatoral CD-Rom
        • Atlantic Center for the Arts – composer residency
        • New Zealand Youth Jazz Orchestra residency culminating in recording and tour

Publications

        • Norton Scores– – transcribed Gerry Mulligan’s performance of My Funny Valentine
        • Randy Brecker Solo Transcriptions – special mention
        • Duke Ellington, Music Is My Mistress – special mention
        • Henry Pleasants, Serious Music – and All That Jazz – special mention

 

Educator

         University of the Arts – (Full Professor, retired 2016)

        • Served as:
          • Head, Composition Department
          • Chair, Graduate Studies
          • Head, Jazz Studies
          • Chair, Jazz Emphasis
        • Created and instituted curricula:
          • Master of Music in Jazz Studies
          • Bachelor of Music in Composition
          • Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies Performance
          • Jazz Emphasis Minor

 

Performer

        • First trumpet in the orchestras of more than 50 Broadway shows
        • Tours with Bette Midler, Frank Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, Lou Rawls
        • Member of MFSB, the band that backed all of the "Philly Sound" recording artists (Gamble & Huff/Philadelphia International records
        • Performed in the Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Woody Herman bands
        • Performed with the Philly Pops, Houston Opera Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia
        • Recorded with hundreds of artists in Philadelphia, New York and Boston

 

Professional Affiliations

        • The Recording Academy (Grammys)
        • Grammy Review Panel
        • American Composers Forum
        • Meet The Composer
        • American Federation of Musicians
        • BMI

 

Selected Recordings

      • Bette Midler “Songs for the New Depression” (Atlantic)
      • Lagbaja “Africano…the mother of groove” (Motherlan’ Music)
      • Underground Movements (RNCD)
      • Glacier Blue (JJC)
      • "Berlin For Brass" – American Classics Series (Naxos)

 

For a more detailed resumé, click here