Evan Arntzen is a saxophonist, clarinetist and vocalist born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and currently residing in New York City. Born into a musical family, he was instructed by his grandfather, Lloyd Arntzen, who taught him traditional New Orleans jazz from the age of seven. Evan obtained a B.A. in Saxophone Performance from Capilano University in Vancouver and performed extensively with such groups as the October Trio and Amanda Tosoff Quartet, as well as with many of Canada’s most prominent musicians, such as Brad Turner, Ron Samworth and Dave Robbins. Since moving to NYC in January, 2014, Evan has performed at some of New York’s most prestigious venues such as Town Hall, Symphony Space, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, Smalls, and the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Evan’s travels have taken him all over the United States and Canada and he has been a guest soloist at festivals in the Netherlands, France, Hungary and Japan. His long-time musical partnership with fellow west-coast Canadian trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg (3-time Downbeat rising star) continues to this day. As a member of Bria’s Quintet, Evan performed at the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival, the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and recorded on her most recent, 2017 Juno-award winning album, Bria (Sony Records), which also features Ali Jackson, Stefon Harris, Reginald Veal and Aaron Diehl. Evan performs alongside 2017 Grammy® nominated vocalist Catherine Russell, daughter of legendary bandleader Luis Russell.
In New York, Evan takes part in a vast and vibrant traditional jazz scene, performing regularly with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks (Boardwalk Empire, The Aviator), Terry Waldo’s Gotham City Band, and Jon-Erik Kellso’s Earregulars. In 2015 he recorded with the Nighthawks on the soundtrack to the HBO film Bessie, a biographical film about Bessie Smith. He is also the co-leader of the Animule Dance, a quartet of young musicians possessing a unique interplay.
Evan played in Michael Bublé’s orchestra for his 2012 and 2013 “Home for the Holidays” TV specials, the Dinah Washington Tribute Concert with Jaclyn Guillou on CBC TV, and was a featured soloist for the Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympic Games in 2010. He also played with the notable Jim Cullum Jazz Band in San Antonio in for a season in 2011. Evan is the recipient of several awards, such as the Mayor of Vancouver’s Arts Award as an Emerging Artist in Music (2010), the Kobe Award at the Breda Jazz Festival in the Netherlands (2010), and the Grand Prix de Jazz at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival (with the Amanda Tosoff Quartet).