Vocalist Sybil Evans Stages Jazz Comeback at Age 90 with the Sybil Evans Trio

NEW YORK, N.Y. — While some industrious individuals are busy looking for their second act, 90-year-old Sybil Evans, longtime resident of Manhattan’s Murray Hill section is still going strong, forging ahead into her third with the Sybil Evans Trio. The dynamic, Brooklyn-born and raised nonagenarian singer was inspired by her 90th birthday to return to her love of bringing her pop-jazz stylings before a live audience.

Evans, who began entertaining at the tender age of five, belting out “I Only Have Eyes for You,” at a family wedding, left her aunts wanting for more and a lot more followed in the years ahead. Starring in college musicals while attending Syracuse University, singing in the late 1960s up through the early 1980s, Sybil would go on to a lengthy, successful 32-year high school teaching career while simultaneously juggling jazz gigs as a member of Musicians Union Local 802.

Retiring in 1989 from New York City’s public school system where she taught high school social studies and rose to the role of assistant principal and social studies chair, the then 55-year-old went on to her second act, as a conflict coach, building a business where she trained Fortune 500 managers skills in negotiation, conflict resolution, and diversity. Despite a busy schedule as a sought-after speaker at national conferences and corporate events, Ms. Evans always carved out time to seek out local jazz clubs and perform a few numbers at open mic nights.

After penning “HOT BUTTONS: How to Resolve Conflict and Cool Everyone Down” (Harper-Collins, 2000), she spent two years delighting audiences on TV, radio, and national book tours – and every now and then, because music was so dear to her, she offered listeners snippets of a song.

In 2008, at 74, an age where many are winding down into retirement, Sybil released her debut CD, “Can’t Get Out of this Mood,” creating a sensuous, playful and deeply romantic aura with her unique stamp on the six memorable pop-jazz tunes featured on the extended play disc.

Through the years, the engaging and outspoken songstress — hailed by legendary night club proprietor Jan Wallman for her “class and sophistication” — performed in an array of notable New York City jazz clubs including Wallman’s famed club on Cornelia Street, Johnny’s Pub, Horn of Plenty, the Lenox Lounge, Porter’s, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Trudi Mann’s Butterfield 8. While many iconic nightclubs came and went with the city’s changing landscape, nothing had so great an effect on music and nightlife like the Covid-19 pandemic, which left Evans without an audience for the past several years.

Spurred on by her monumental birthday in March 2024, Sybil knew it was time to return to publicly performing the music that had meant so much to her in years past. While her trademark bob hairstyle is now grey, her glamorous flair and passion for performing pop-jazz standards remains.

On April 24, the nonagenarian chanteuse performed in the piano lounge of Murray Hill’s NH Collection Hotel to an invited audience of friends and locals, including members of the Murray Hill Neighborhood Association, which she has belonged to for over a decade. The evening included such classics as The Thrill is Gone, Almost Like Being in Love, and Without a Song with entertaining stories of her life and musical career peppered in between.

“Sybil has such a vibrant presence and is an inspiration to us all, really, anyone at any age. Her passion and love of entertaining is so evident, it really makes you think about anything you’ve procrastinated doing a little differently,” said Linda Levine, longtime neighbor and fellow Murray Hill Neighborhood Association member.

“It felt so great to be back, so natural, as if I never took a break,” explained Ms. Evans. “It was an amazing, exhilarating evening performing some of my favorite songs. I can’t wait for our next performance,” she added.

Sybil’s next engagement will be on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the annual Park Avenue Day celebration featuring a street festival. Admission is free and the Sybil Evans Trio (with Grant Richards on piano and John Sims on bass) is slated to perform from 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Park Avenue at East 36th Street. The outdoor festival runs along Park Avenue from 34th to 40th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the inspiring 90-year-old singer, upcoming performances, and booking the Sybil Evans Trio, visit https://www.sybilevanstrio.com/.


The Sybil Evans Trio forges an enduring musical collaboration in which they breath fresh and imaginative new life into timeless pop and jazz classics. The trio features Ms. Evans on vocals, Grant Richards (piano), and John Sims (bass), as well as alternating guest musicians. Ms. Evans began singing in the late 1960s and continued to do so through the years while juggling careers in education, corporate training as the Conflict Coach(tm), and while making media appearances as author of a well-regarded book on conflict resolution, published by Harper Collins in 2000 and sold nationally and internationally. The pandemic halted Evans’s singing engagements and open mics. Inspired by her 90th birthday in March 2024, she returns to pop-jazz music with the Sybil Evans Trio. Learn more at: SybilEvansTrio.com.


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