Evan Shay is a saxophonist and composer based in Montreal. He recently completed his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at McGill University with the distinction of Outstanding Achievement in Jazz Saxophone. He was also awarded the prestigious four-year Seymour Schulich Scholarship. Evan was a member of the top McGill Jazz Orchestra I for three years, and the McGill Chamber Jazz Ensemble.
Selected by the jury at the biannual Generations festival held in Frauenfeld, Switzerland for the Fellowship Award, Evan was a member of the Generations Unit Band that toured Switzerland and Germany during August of 2015. He also completed two tours of France, and has performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne, Festi Jazz international de Rimouski, and at major venues across North America. He was awarded an Exceptional Artist Award and featured at the NAC/Astral Radio Showcase. His jazz quintet, Redshift, placed as Jazz en Rafale finalists.
Evan has shared the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, Seamus Blake, Darcy James Argue, Dick Oatts, George Duke, Houston Person, Wycliffe Gordon, Miguel Zenon, and the Franky Rousseau Large Band. He has studied with renowned Canadian musicians including Chet Doxas, Remi Bolduc, Frank Lozano, Phil Dwyer, Joe Sullivan, Christine Jensen, and Fraser Hollins.
A dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., Evan is originally from Seattle, Washington. He was a member of the nationally acclaimed Garfield Jazz Ensemble. Evan played lead alto when Garfield won first place for two years in a row at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Competition in New York City. He also received Outstanding Sax Soloist at Ellington both years, as well as at the Lionel Hampton and Reno Jazz Festivals. He was a Grammy Jazz Band finalist, and a DownBeat Award recipient.
Photography, Video, and Design
Evan Shay’s photo and video work has earned a strong reputation in Montreal and Seattle. He is well versed in Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro X. Evan can work as a photographer for portraits, weddings, live performances, fashion, lifestyle, and others. As a videographer, Evan is capable of creating music videos, electronic press kits, wedding highlights, corporate content, or anything the client desires. He also designs websites, album covers, and posters.
Sax and Improvisation Lessons
As an educator, Evan Shay provides lessons for private students on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones in person, or via Skype. He also teaches improvisation for a variety of jazz instruments. From students just getting started, to more advanced levels, Evan helps to develop jazz phrasing, ear training, and technique. His lessons are individually designed for a student’s area of interest and skill level, and are taught with the philosophy that learning should be an enjoyable experience.