Jazz Profile: Eve Haslam

Matt Getman, Eve Haslam, Mike Holstein, and Brian Felix. Photo: Frank Zipperer

by Eddie LeShure

“Jazz was always around my life, along with classic rock and Broadway influences, which is why I’m basically a belter. The problem, for years, was I became so focused on singing correctly and emotionally, it was more of a release than art! I only attempted jazz later on and now I’m gloriously coming into my full voice.”

New York born and bred, even in early childhood Eve Haslam was the vocalist for her Juilliard-grad composer and dad Herb Haslam. In the fifth grade they co-composed a four-part piece for the school chorus, performed at graduation. By senior high she was exempt from her music studies and was selected with five other class members for an a cappella group called “The Minstrels”. Later on, she studied the famous Bel Canto technique under the renowned opera coach James Partridge. It is a very specific method of warms ups established in Italy that is practiced by some of the greatest crooners and opera singers in the world.

“Eve’s singing comes from deep down in her heart and spans the spectrum of human emotion. She chooses gorgeous songs to sing and makes them her very own. Listening to Eve is a beautiful experience, and I’m so lucky to get to play for her.” ~ Trumpeter Rich Willey

Eve moved to Asheville in 2007, bringing with her great ambitions for positioning her career in business and music. The following years have taken her through a journey of unprecedented struggle, (see www.wncwoman.com/2012/01/02/homeless-with-dogs-how-i-found-grace-while-losing-everything). Today she’s the visionary for the newly launched Satin Steel Jazz Ensemble (SSJ), which started in 2008 with the desire of capturing the organic sounds of an all-acoustic group. Typically, SSJ is Eve with Brian Felix on piano and Zack Page on bass, yet can also be a fluid, hand-picked representation of many of the finest jazz musicians in this region, plus male vocalist Jesse Earl Junior.

“Eve’s extensive background in the world of jazz has helped her to create a repertoire that’s both unique and satisfying. This is a difficult task in today’s jazz world. Eve delivers this repertoire powerfully, drawing on her deep musical and life experience.” ~ Pianist Brian Felix

Eve’s debut album, “Beginning To Sing Like Me,” will be released in 2013 and features several Bossa Novas, some standards, and a special introduction to compositions by her father, Herb. It’ll be done at Big Creek Recording with musicians Brian Felix, Zack Page, Andy Page, Justin Watt, Bill Bares, Rich Willey and Byron Hedgepeth.

I asked Eve how she picks her songs. “It’s a mind-body connection. If I hear something, even briefly in a movie that moves me, I’ll search it out to learn it. I’ve never been able to sing just anything I’m told to sing — I have to feel the story in the tune, it’s always personal.”

“While Eve has been in the midst of recording at my studio, I’ve been able to witness a unique view of her artistry. She encourages the musicians to thrive and create, while keeping everyone focused on a common musical vision.” ~ Guitarist Bruce Lang

Eve resides just outside of Asheville with her three loving dogs: Kaya, Sampson and Shannon. Along with her music career, she’s also a published writer and strategist for business owners. Her vocal style is collectively influenced by Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Horn, Etta James, Anita O’Day, Elis Regina, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, and Keely Smith.

Asked about writing music, she commented, “All I did throughout my teens and early twenties was ride horses and compose! For endless hours I’d be at the piano playing and singing. I’ve only recently decided to return to composing. My musical growth is hungry for some freshly composed material, and I think I’m ready!”

“Eve works tirelessly to promote the WNC jazz scene! She can always be seen out enjoying and supporting local talent, and is, in her own right, a fine jazz vocalist.” ~ Saxophonist Matt Getman

For gigs, samples, and more about Eve, visit www.evehaslam.com/fr_home.cfm

Upcoming performances for SSJ include the October Fall Fest, The Smoky Voices Project, and her debut CD Release.