LUCIA EVANS was born and raised in Zimbabwe but it was Galway where she received her musical education and fell in love with blues, jazz, and soul - the music that will dominate her new show 3volution.
Lucia Evans will bring her new show 3volution to the Town Hall Theatre on Friday March 27 and Saturday 28 at 8pm. It will be divided into three parts to allow the singer to perform some of her favourite songs in the jazz, blues, and soul genres.
Lucia has been living in Galway for most of this decade, but what brought her to Ireland originally?
“I went to a Dominican Convent school in Zimbabwe,” she tells me as we sit for the interview on a Thursday afternoon. “There I met a girl from Offaly. She was in school with me for about three years and I developed a fascination with Ireland.
“When I was about 18 I started gigging back home and while doing that I met a couple of Irish people. They were going back to Ireland and they said come along, and that’s how, seven years ago I got on a plane to here. I lived in Tyrrellspass for 10 days. Moved to Dublin but didn’t feel any grá for it, and people suggested Galway. I came here and, like so many others, I never left.”
Ireland was to prove the ideal choice for Lucia and she credits the country with truly educating her about music and making it a passionate focal point of her life.
“Moving to Ireland was the best thing for me musically,” she says. “In Zimbabwe I never experienced anything but chart music. I had no concept of what jazz or blues really were until I got here. People in Ireland grow up listening, not just to chart music, but to 1980s rock and Ella Fitzgerald, and old school jazz. There was such a variety of things to get into that it was a playground for me. It really opened up my eyes.”
Lucia would eventually sing Latin music in Massimo, perform in pantomimes, sing at Croí Christmas Cabarets, work in a Neil Diamond tribute band, sing covers, and perform jazz. She also got to work with the Galway based, Uruguayan singer and vocal coach Andres Martorell, who encouraged her to do the 3volution show.
“Andres said to me one day ‘If you don’t do something with this gift I will not teach you again.’” says Lucia. “I thought about it and my husband Shane suggested I do a couple of nights in the Town Hall. I eventually said ‘Yes’ and started looking at the kind of songs I could do for the show and they fell into three genres - jazz, blues, and soul. That’s how 3volution came about.”
What are some of the songs she will perform at the show?
“I will sing ‘Cry Me A River’,” says Lucia. “It’s such a simple song but when you sing it the room goes really silent, there’s such an atmosphere. ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ is my favourite love song and the fact that it was written by Ewan McColl makes it more satisfying.
“I’ll be doing ‘Trip’ which is very, very personal as it’s one of the first songs I wrote. I’ll also do Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘I Wanna Take You Higher’. I love the way it goes ‘Feeling’s getting stronger...’ really high and then it drops down low to the next line. I’m having a fight with my guitarist about who sings the low line, but I want to do it!”
Lucia will perform these, and many other songs, backed by Rick Harris (guitar ), Johnny Donneely (drums ), Ger Madden and John O’Dee (keyboards ), Fergal Gallagher (bass ), Bertrand Huvè and Danny Healy (brass ), Nicola Maguire and Martina Flaherty (vocals ).
Lucia regards 3volution as a “big step” for her and one that may chart the future course of her singing career.
“I will keep teaching singing. I love doing that and I will keep my base in Galway,” she says. “Will I record an album? I’ll see how these two shows go. I don’t want to run before I can walk. The show is a big step for me personally. I am surprised at myself I am doing it but I’m so excited about it and looking forward to it, and after that I will take it from there.”
For tickets contact the Town Hall on 091 - 569777.