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Kuumba Illumination Series

Adriana Evans

Adriana Evans

Adriana Evans was born into music, both genetically and geographically. Her mother is jazz recording artist Mary Stallings who sang with jazz artists likeCount BasieDizzie Gillespie and her godfather being jazz saxophonistPharoah Sanders.[1] As such, Evans finds a great deal of her musical upbringing in jazz music. In addition to being immersed in the sounds of jazz and blues growing up, she also heard Afro Cuban music from her father’s culture. And being a native of the musically rich city of San Francisco, she was exposed to soul, rock, hip hop, and everything in between.[2]

At the age of 18, Adriana moved to Los Angeles where she planned to attend college. While living in the city, she met rapper Dred Scott and the two quickly became friends. As their friendship grew, the two began working together in music. Because of this relationship, Adriana Evans appeared on Dred Scott’s “Check the Vibe” in 1993 and Evans relied heavily on Scott for production on her debut album.

Paul Stewart, CEO of PMP records, played a crucial role in helping Adriana Evans get a deal with Capitol Records during the 1990s. Stewart was attracted to Evans after hearing a demo featuring her and having seen her in the video for Scott’s “Check the Vibe.” As Capitol Records folded, Stewart brought Evans onto his PMP Records where she released her self-titled debut album.[3]

Adriana’s self-titled debut album featured two singles, “Love Is All Around” and “Seein’ Is Believing.” The two singles charted, with the former reaching #65 on the R&B charts and the latter reaching #50.

After the release of her debut record, Adriana became disillusioned with the music industry, took refuge in Brazil, and didn’t record a follow-up until 2004’s Nomadic, an album that explored various genres, held together by a theme of what she described as “African music.” The next year she released Kismet (a compilation album). In 2007 Evans released El Camino, an album that, more than her previous records, was influenced by her stay in Brazil. Evans’ fifth LP, Walking With the Night, was released in 2010; “Weatherman” was the album’s first single.[4]