Summer shows!

Marina & Berna in VT 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, hello! I write from a glowing screen in an old stone house in the hills of Chianti, the dark green Persian blinds drawn tight against the summer swelter outside. The wheat sways and glows gold, spilling down the hillside to the well in the valley below. Summer is here, the cicadas are singing, the jasmine is blooming… and I am booking, booking, booking!

After another few weeks in this blissful place, Berna and I will hop a plane and head back to salty New England, guitars in hand, where my trusty steed (… Honda) awaits. The trunk is already packed: tent, fishing pole, amps, CDs. We’ll hit the ground running — as usual — with shows booked in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and New York City (and more on the way). We’ll be stretching out some new tunes — including one in Italian (!) — off my forthcoming album Tide & Stars. And we would LOVE to see & sing to you. It’s been too long!

Click here to view upcoming gigs on the books. I’m adding more shows all the time, though, so check back often if you don’t find one in your area — or follow me (Facebook) (Instagram) to stay up to date! Thanks team… and see you SOON!

<3 <3 <3

Now Teaching @ Marblehead/Salem School of Music!

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Marina is excited to be joining the team at the Marblehead/Salem School of Music this winter! She will be giving lessons in voice, guitar, songwriting, and ukulele. Study with Marina while she’s home — she will only be in the States until the early spring, so catch her while you can! Click here to learn more and sign up!

More about the Marblehead/Salem School of Music:

At the Marblehead and Salem Schools of Music, we strive to provide a total musical experience for each student. Drawing on the wide-ranging talents of our teaching staff, we are able to match student and teacher based on a variety of criteria, including personality, learning style, goals, and interests. As part of private lessons, all students are given the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and to showcase their skills; either live, at a formal or informal recital, or in the recording studio.

We make lessons fun and our studios funky, but everything is rooted in pure, wholesome academics. We track student’s weekly progress in a password protected database to make parent-teacher communication seamless. We take pride in the accomplishments of all of our students and view their growth both as individuals and as musicians as our success.

Performing at Women’s March Rome

Women's March Rome

Photo by Micayla Mirabella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, January 21, Marina was honored to lend her voice & songs to the Women’s March in Rome, Italy! This was one of hundreds of “sister marches” to the Women’s March on Washington that occurred across the globe. Millions of people joined together across borders and oceans, across racial and gender and religious and economic lines, to call for JUSTICE and EQUALITY for all people.

In the folk tradition Marina strapped her guitar to her back, traveled to Rome, climbed the steps of the fountain facing the mighty Pantheon, and performed songs of protest, of peace, and of social justice — both her own original compositions, as well as some resounding crowd favorites (“Down by the Riverside” and “Amazing Grace”). Joined by guitarist and mandolin player Bernardo Baglioni, Marina started off the set with her most recent release, “Color Line (Old Man Trump),” an uncanny co-write with Woody Guthrie on the evils of the Trump dynasty (click here for the full story on Woody’s lyric & Marina’s song). She followed that with her song “Turtleshell Eyes,” a rumination on the persecution of women in the Middle East inspired by Azar Nafisi’s book Reading Lolita in Tehran. She ended her first set with “One Way or the Other,” another original song about overcoming adversity in the face of power.

The energy was tangible in that ancient square, in the imposing shadows of the Pantheon. Voices jilted and mingled and harmonized in chants and songs. Colors blended and slogans of hope, of resilience, and of defiance danced in the air.

“Today’s gathering of souls was much needed,” Marina said, “particularly for those of us who, being far from home, feel isolated or helpless in the face of recent events. It was heartening and inspiring to join together in song, fists raised, hearts full — but the freedom to gather and protest in this way is in itself a precious thing. Our liberty is a blessing, but it is also a responsibility: a responsibility to give voice to the voiceless the world over, to protect and defend those who are not free to do so themselves.”

Marina ended her set with a new original song, “Blessed Burden,” inspired by the refugee crisis that started in Europe and has now expanded the world over. Here’s a selection of the lyric (listen & read full lyrics here):

People, rise

And hold each other tight and near

Love defies

The dark, the anger, greed, and fear

We’re just one little planet

In a sea of stars

And whether we are gonna make it

Is a question of heart…

New Song! “Blessed Burden”

international-day-of-peace-logo

 

 

 

Hello all, in honor of the International Day of Peace on September 21, I am very excited to share a brand new song with you along that theme.

I wrote this song in a moment of helplessness — a feeling that is becoming all too familiar to many of us, unfortunately — when news of bombs and shipwrecks and shootings is constant and overwhelming. I got caught on the idea of peace as a burden that must be fought for, earned, and shared among the many, as opposed to a blessing bestowed upon and enjoyed by the few (hardly a new idea, I know, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it). But true peace is not easy, and neither is true love — and in this way, these challenges are also our sweetest blessings, both to give and to receive. I’ll leave it at that, and let the song say the rest. Click here to watch the video on YouTube if the below embedded preview isn’t working.

 

Lyrics

Verse:

Across wild seas and war torn lands

In droves they flee, screaming and wringing their hands

One fence, one borderline previously unseen

Is now a trench sharply defined, defended by artillery

Chorus:

We can spare it – a little love

We can share it – I know there’s more than enough

Verse:

I am sitting here in the warm cocoon of home

I’ve never known such fear, never was reduced to skin and bones

Who decided that this life

Was not for everyone, that this dream was divided?

Chorus/Bridge:

We can bear it – a little peace

We can bear it – to give love, give love is

Freefall – it’s scary

Trust entire

It’s a blessed burden

To light and tend this fire

Verse:

People, rise – and hold each other tight and near

Love defies the dark, the anger, greed, and fear

We’re just one little planet in a sea of stars

And whether we are gonna make it is a question of heart

Chorus:

We can bear it – a little peace

We can bear it – ’cause it’s love will set us free…

 

copyright 2016 Marina Evans

Harness the Wind to Escape the Land: Concert Aboard the Schooner Adventure

Adventure sail_prisma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a sultry summer evening, a hot breeze blows off the land over the cool Atlantic, bringing with it the cries of seagulls and the smells of an industrious downtown. It’s just before 5pm, and already the streets are jammed with workers eager to make an early return home after a long day. I pull around the generous bend of Harbor Loop, catching blue sliver glimpses of the harbor between buildings and street lamps, and park beside the entrance to Maritime Gloucester. The enormous masts of the mighty Schooner Adventure, now moored peacefully at her pier, peek out over the rooftop. The pennant bearing the ship’s namesake flutters in the wind from the highest mast, its swallowtail playful and proud. Fair winds, and warm — perfect for a sunset sail.

The breeze stiffens as the sun begins to set, and by the time all are aboard it’s strong enough to justify a delicate maneuver: departing from the dock under sail, with no help from the motor. The crew hauls the golden sails partway up and they billow and swell as the ship bows elegantly and silently away from her slip. She moves so gently, as if she is embarrassed by her own beauty. A real lady.

Once we’re safely away from the pier and in the middle of the deep harbor — fittingly deemed “Le beau port” by Samuel de Champlain centuries ago — I fall in line to finish raising the sails. Keeping the rhythm set by the crew, we lean and pull, sigh and shout, as the thick, coarse lines give our smooth “city folk” palms a run for their money. “Hey, aren’t you a guitar player? You should be watching those hands!” someone calls to me over their shoulder. I smile and shrug, proud of what little calluses I do have on the tips of my fingers, and oddly relishing the tingle of my now-pink palms. It’s a satisfying kind of suffering, to burn your palms hauling a line: comparable to that good kind of sore after a long run, but somehow more immediate, more fundamental. You’ve got to harness the wind to escape the land.

Today the wind proves itself to be quite the stallion, filling the sails with the joyous bluster of newly discovered strength. Adventure lays back, leisurely, leaning her dark shoulders into the ocean. We pick up speed as we pass the dog bar (breakwater) at the edge of the harbor. The blunt knockabout bow heads south towards Boston; the wind picks up and the ship leans further in, her decks tilting at a sharp angle, the lines beating out an exuberant battle cry against the sails’ taut canvas. The wind increases steadily, as does the frenzy of the singing lines and the heartbeats of all souls aboard. Though she reaches a thrilling speed of just over 10 knots, Adventure is just as graceful flying through the open water as she was in her delicate departure from the dock. Her new rigging relishes the wild wind, and shamelessly sings its praises; her wise old hull, cracked many a time by ice and sea and salt and heat and caulked by generations of seaman’s worn hands, silently drinks in the glory of the ship’s rebirth.

Built in Essex, MA in 1926, Adventure was the last dory fishing schooner left in the Atlantic when she retired in 1953. She was the biggest moneymaker of all time, a “highliner,” having brought in nearly $4 million of cod and haddock throughout her illustrious career as a fishing vessel. She spent the next 34 years windjamming off the coast of Maine, and her speed and elegance earned her the title “Queen of the Windjammers.” Then, in 1988, Captain Jim Sharp (who had owned Adventure since 1965) donated her to the people of Gloucester (her home port) and to Adventure, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is threefold: to restore & preserve Adventure in perpetuity; to use her as a research and educational resource; and to sail her as a symbol of Gloucester’s rich maritime heritage. This marks the second full summer Adventure has been back in the water after 20-odd years spent on dry land for renovations. The joy of her resurrection is tangible in the singing lines, the swooping sails, and in the shining faces of captain, crew, and passengers alike.

As we approach Salem harbor, we come about in a broad, smooth arc. The boom swings effortlessly across the deck, and the sails billow and shake for only a brief moment as they find the wind. The Captain catches my eye from his post at the wheel and I pull out my guitar, settling down on a bench, looking towards the bow. Although the wind has died down since the jubilant departure from the harbor, I still have to brace myself (and my mic stand) with one foot steady on the deck, leaning into the weathered boards to keep my balance as I begin to play. At this moment I am particularly grateful for my coastal upbringing, and for my sea legs, without which both I and my precious guitar would probably have ended up overboard.

Marina on adventure_prisma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I play and sing for an hour or so, and the setting throws into sharp relief the fact that I grew up here, that this place and these waters are inextricable from myself and my songs. The sea, the horizon, the rocks, the wind — and the idea of a safe harbor solidified through longing from afar — these things often find their way into my songs and lyrics. These themes are all too familiar to the fishing families of Cape Ann, and have seeped into the island’s culture so that even first generation locals like myself can perceive and appreciate them. My voyages away from home have not been by sea, but they have been far, and frequent. I can understand, at least on the surface, the concept of feeling at home while on the road (or on the water), in flux — the apparent contradiction between the happiness and freedom of travel, and nostalgia for the fixed place in the world that formed you — and I wrestle with this through my music. And as I play, an eerie familiarity settles over me, as if Adventure already knows these songs — she’s heard it all before.

Breathing the salt air and singing into the sunset, it really feels like we are in another world — as if Adventure is floating freely in a summer snow globe filled with flecks of gold instead of snowflakes. We are untouchable here, with nothing but wind and song and sea to fill our hearts. We lounge on the decks alongside ghosts of sailors past, whose feet wore down the boards, whose heads rested below in the fo’c’s’le, whose voices echoed over calm seas or disappeared into furious winds, and we join them in awe and humility before the benevolent, endless, wild sea. And with a reverence far deeper than our own — hard-earned over a 90-year love affair with the Atlantic — Adventure bows and sighs, her hull kissing the wavelets, her sails blushing at their own beauty.


Marina will be performing aboard Adventure with Bernardo Baglioni while the ship is docked in Gloucester harbor on Friday, August 12 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $20 / $15 members; for more info, to learn about the ship, and to purchase tickets, visit schooner-adventure.org

Photos: first photo taken & edited by Marina; second photo taken by Peter Souza & edited by Marina

 

 

 

 

 

Homeward Bound: Stateside Summer Shows

Marina & Berna in VT 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s that time of year again – when I fly across the Atlantic from Italy to Cape Ann, Massachusetts, only to hit the ground running (& singing!) for a summer tour across New England. And I couldn’t be more excited!

This summer, it’s quite the mix: solo acoustic shows, concerts in duo with my musical partner & killer slide guitarist Bernardo Baglioni, and performances fronting the incredible Compaq Big Band. Everything from house concerts (in living rooms, recording studios, and one on the stunning shores of Lake Winnipesaukee!) to museums, from the decks of one of Gloucester’s historic schooners to the hallowed halls of aged New England churches — there’s a concert for everyone. Click here to see the full calendar!

I’m also looking forward to a benefit concert for the Schooner Adventure, “the last of the Gloucestermen,” a historic ship that is a living testament to our rich maritime history (August 12). I’ll be performing in acoustic duo with Bernardo aboard the ship as she’s docked in her beautiful home port of Gloucester, MA. Come join us for a sunset concert beneath the spars!

More concerts are being added all the time, so stay tuned — click here to view the full concert calendar, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram for up-to-the-minute news. Many thanks all — looking forward to seeing you (and singing to you!) along the road!

 

Back in the Studio for New Album “Tide and Stars”!

donny drums_tide and stars 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big news, everybody: I’m back in the studio again working on a brand new original album entitled Tide and Stars! As with my two most recent records, Unbound and The Tuscan Sessions, I am working with Italian producer (and my husband & musical partner, incidentally) Bernardo Baglioni. Unlike our past two records — both recorded here in Italy, with our Italian band — this time we’ll be recording with a mix of Italian and American musicians, and we’ll be doing so on both sides of the pond.

We hit the studio this week in Florence, Italy with Florentine drummer Donald Renda (pictured above), who is also featured on both Unbound and The Tuscan Sessions. And as usual, he nailed it! Next up are the basses, followed by guitars, mandolins, and possibly dobro & banjo — and finally, we’ll wrap things up with the vocal tracks.

This record takes a decidedly more acoustic, folk/americana turn than my last two projects, and I’m looking forward to realizing these songs in a more pared-down context. The songs are direct, to the point, and hark back to traditional song forms & structures. It’s raw, it’s true, and it’s me — so it’s thrilling, and more than a little scary, to bring this music to life and to share it with the world. That said — I can’t wait! Stay tuned for more news & updates as the project moves forward. Onwards!

Singing for Pathways: Volunteer Appreciation

Over the past few years, Marina has been volunteering at Pathways for Children, a local non-profit organization providing care, support, and services to children & families in need. Visiting a few times per week, Marina has worked with the kids at Pathways in music & movement classes. “I was very fortunate growing up to have lots of exposure to music, starting at a young age,” she says, “and I wanted to give these kids a chance to have that special kind of creativity and freedom of expression that comes with music and dance.”

Marina is honored to have been invited to speak and perform at Pathways’ annual Volunteer & Donor Appreciation event, held this year in Gloucester, MA. “When they asked me to perform, I thought, what better song to express the unique strength & character of the hardworking, dedicated people who built this organization, than my own love song to Cape Ann? Music and community, a sense of place and a sense of meaning, are all closely tied — and this song expresses that better than any words could (I hope!).”

Click below & watch Marina’s live performance of her original piece “Cape Ann Song.” Lyrics are posted below. Many thanks to Gloucester’s illustrious Mayor Sefatia for the video!

 

Cape Ann Song, by Marina Evans

In a little town at the end of the earth

Full of scent and sound of the water

Hangs a history, deep and oh so long

Wild as the sea and pretty as her songs

 

This is more than an island

More than sea and shore, more than tide and wind

 

The harbor birds are crying, swooping low and fast

O’er fishermen arriving, hulls heavy with their catch

From a granite ledge with panoramic view

The painter tilts his head to glimpse that golden blue

From salty saloons to the riverside

Poets sway and singers swoon, drunk on love of light

 

This is more than an island

More than sea and shore, more than tide and wind

You see it in silver scales shining in the sun

In spindrift and great white sails

Mysteries and tall tales…

 

Generations, living and breathing the ocean, the ocean

Four hundred years of devotion, devotion

Oh a legacy that can’t be sold

Oh and we — we can’t let go

 

Now it’s in our hands, in our hearts and minds

To live and love this land

By the sea defined

By the sea defined

Live in Italia!

 

marina berna livorno 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in Italy! I’m excited to return to the continent and kick things off with a concert at Ex Cinema Aurora, an independent folk venue in Livorno, Italy. As its name indicates, this abandoned cinema has been recently converted to a funky concert space. Relics of old Hollywood, including enormous old cameras, stage lights, and film reels dot the walls. And the acoustics are incredible!

I’ll be joined by my husband, producer, and killer guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Bernardo Baglioni as we perform an intimate, all-original set. We are looking forward to debuting some brand new music — some of which I *just* finished on the plane on my way to Europe! — that will make its way onto my 2016 album, Tide & Stars. Free entry. Spero di vedervi, amici italiani – mi mancate, e non vedo l’ora di condividere qualche pezzo nuovo con voi!

 

On the Road: ME, CT, NYC!

This week, I’m so excited to be hitting the road again in acoustic duo with Bernardo. In the coming days we’ll hit Maine, Connecticut, and New York City – and on Saturday, we’ll be opening for none other than incredible troubadour, artist, and author Ellis Paul! Check the list below for dates & details. Hope to see some old & new faces along the way!

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