Karl Evangelista

Filipino-American guitarist/composer Karl Evangelista (b.1986) ranks among a new wave of musicians pushing the traditions of jazz and experimental music into the 21st century. Synthesizing the heavy legacy of contemporary improvised music with popular song and 20th century composition, Evangelista explores multicultural concepts with sonic intensity and political fervor.

Signal to Noise magazine hails Evangelista as „one of the most original instrumentalists and composers of his generation,” and as the creative force behind boundary-breaking group Grex, Evangelista’s music has been called an „otherworldly experience” (Eugene Weekly) and „a near-seamless blend of modern jazz, contemporary structuralist composition, indie rock, and blues rock” (Tiny Mix Tapes).

Evangelista has explored new realms in sound and intercultural collaboration across a vast spectrum of musical situations. He has worked with or under the direction of Muhal Richard Abrams, Bobby Bradford, Andrew Cyrille, Marc Edwards, Fred Frith, Eddie Gale, Oliver Lake, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Zeena Parkins, Trevor Watts, Michael Zerang, Scott Amendola, Steve Berlin, Jordan Glenn, Ben Goldberg, Alexander Hawkins, Lewis Jordan, Lisa Mezzacappa, Marcus Shelby, members of ROVA, and Asian Improv aRts masters Francis Wong, Jon Jang, Hafez Modirzadeh, and Tatsu Aoki, and he has studied under Myra Melford, Art Ensemble of Chicago co-founder Roscoe Mitchell, and the legendary Milford Graves. Evangelista has presented work at the Guelph Jazz Festival, the United States of Asian America Festival, Myra Melford’s New Frequencies Festival, the Switchboard Festival, the Sonic Circuits Festival, and the Outsound New Music Summit, and his work in Filipino American jazz and experimental music has received support from the California Arts Council, Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Evangelista holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UC Berkeley (Summa Cum Laude, ’06) and an MFA in Improvised Music from Mills College (’09).He currently lectures in the department of Race & Resistance Studies at San Francisco State University, directs the guitar ensembles at San Francisco Waldorf High School, and offers private instruction throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.