Bill Evans was a successful American music composer who departed back in September 1980.

Personal life

Bill Evans was born on August 16th 1929 in North Plainfield, New Jersey to parents Mary and Harry Evans. Bill’s mother Mary Evans belonged to Carpatho-Rusyn ancestry while his father Harry Evans was of a Welsh descent. Harry Evans used to run a golf course who divorced with his wife as he was into drinking, abuse and gambling.

For this reason, Bill Evans didn’t have a very peaceful childhood as he grew up. Amidst the family issues and abuse that Bill’s mother faced at home, Bill was blessed to have an elder brother Harold by his side who shared a very affectionate relationship as that of a brother with him.

Bill Evans loved to read a lot and his library was stuffed with books from famous writers such as Margaret, Plato, Whitehead, Thomas Merton, etc. Bill was mostly into humorous and philosophical books. Bill also had an inclination towards the religions of the east like Zen, Islam and Buddhism. Bill Evans had numerous hobbies.

Apart from music and reading books, he also liked to draw and paint. Besides, he was also an avid golfer. He was also fond on horse racing and would sometimes even gambled several hundreds of dollars on such games.


Bill Evans graduated in the year 1950 with a degree in music. In his senior year, Bill Evans performed the famous Beethoven’s piano concert. During his last year in college, Bill, along with Red Mitchell and Mundell Lowe, formed a music trio. The trio relocated to New York in order to perform.

Bill collaborated with Herbie Field’s band and began touring with the band in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington DC. As per the government’s rule, Bill received a conscription from the army wherein he was placed in the army band for a span of three years. After serving three long years in the US Army, Bill shifted back to New York in 1954 and enrolled himself at Mannes College of music.

Bill Evans recorded his debut album called ‘New Jazz Conceptions’ which featured the original versions of ‘Five’ and ‘Waltz for Debby’. Due to some reasons, Bill’s very first album proved to be a failure as it could manage to sell only 800 copies in it’s first year. Bill started receiving some attention when he released his album called ‘Everbody digs Bill Evans’. Bill had formed another trio by 1959 along with Paul Motian and Scott LaFaro.

Subsequently, Bill got his ‘big break’ as this trio become the most acknowledged piano trios of all times and in no time, they released their debut album called ‘Portrait in Jazz’. Following this success, Bill and his group began releasing numerous music videos and received a lot of adulation for their fans. The trio produced three albums within a very short period of time including ‘Waltz for Debby’ and ‘Sunday at the village vanguard’ which are still considered to be the best jazz recordings ever.

Last Modified: 30 Apr, 2018

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