An aspiring singer-songwriter from Rockport has gone from Dogtown to Tuscany in pursuit of her musical inspiration.
Marina Evans, 25, is preparing to record an album abroad in Florence, Italy. She has been traveling back and forth between Cape Ann and Florence since she studied abroad there in 2008 when she was a junior in college.
Evans received her undergraduate degree in music theory and composition from Columbia University in 2009, but her music career started here when, at age 17, she started singing in a jazz duo with her older brother, Brendan Evans.
The duo performed at the Seaward Inn in Rockport and the defunct White Rainbow in Gloucester. She still plays at the latter venue — it is now the Dog Bar on Main Street — and she has performed at the Old Sloop Coffeehouse, The Rhumb Line, The Cape Ann Brewery, the Harbor Loop concert series, as well as other local venues.
Evans has combined a jazz background with her love of classic rock and traditional folk in her songwriting.
Her introduction to the Tuscan music scene came in 2008 when she performed some of her very first songs at an open mic event outside Florence, Italy. A Florentine bass player and producer heard her perform, and the pair started gigging and recording together. Evans applied for and received a grant from Columbia to return to Florence for the summer to continue working on the project.
“The musicians I met and worked with in 2008 became good friends and inspiring collaborators,” Evans says. “After that initial project, I did everything I could to return to Florence to gig, write, and record.”
In the ensuing years, Evans has been producing plenty of music. In 2012, she released two original EPs: “Dogtown,” written and recorded here in Gloucester, and “The Tuscan Sessions,” written and recorded while touring abroad in Italy last spring.