It’s a long story…
Evan Marien is a composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Decatur, Illinois and now living in Brooklyn, NY. Although Evan grew up playing trombone, piano, guitar, and drums, he is primarily known for his performances and recordings on the electric bass. Most recently he has been seen playing bass, keys and singing background vocals for electronic songwriter Elliot Moss, playing bass with Thundercat drummer Justin Brown's NYEUSI, and the last bassist to play in guitar legend Allan Holdsworth's band.
The story begins in Decatur, Illinois where he grew up studying under Jim Culbertson and Steve Schepper and attended MacArthur High School, where he played in the Downbeat award-winning MacArthur Jazz Band. Rehearsing every day after school, it was an intense high school band program led by Jim Culbertson, who is smooth-jazz giant Brian Culbertson's father. This band brought him many awards and opportunities, winning Best Soloist at multiple competitions, a full scholarship to study at Birch Creek in Wisconsin's beautiful Door County, sharing the stage with Maria Schneider's Orchestra/Big Band and Maynard Ferguson's band. Evan was also a part of the MacArthur Jazz Combo, which in his junior year won Best High School Combo in the nation by Downbeat Magazine.
After graduating from MacArthur High School, Marien briefly attended Millikin University studying commercial and classical music with Dr. Dave Burdick and Andy Burtschi. In 2006, Marien left Millikin to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. During his time at Berklee, Marien studied under Matthew Garrison, David "Fuze" Fiuczynski, Joe Lovano, Kenwood Dennard and Lincoln Goines to name a few. Goines also introduced Marien to Wayne Krantz and began making the occasional trip down to NYC to study rhythm and improvisation with Krantz.
While at Berklee, Marien honed his performance chops in the fusion, microtonal, and contemporary music scenes with Fiuczynski's "KiF" and "Microjam" bands, including the honor of playing and recording with the legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette on the album "Planet Microjam".
In 2009, Marien graduated Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music and the same year was voted in the Bass Player Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards, one of the top three "Most Exciting New Players".
His first album "Between Worlds" was released on Art of Life Records in 2009 and received critical acclaim by magazines including Bass Player (USA) and Bass Guitar Magazine (UK)
"...there's a new bass monster in town...armed with ridiculously fluid finger style chops and a strong sense of groove.... -Bryan Beller, Bass Player Magazine
"highly original harmonic approach to soloing....an emerging bass talent...one who backs up his stunning bass work with music of depth and subtlety" -Mike Flynn, Bass Guitar Magazine
The EP "Here We Are" released in 2011 featured fellow Berklee collegues Iakov Kremenskiy, Louis Cato and Dana Hawkins. The recordings with Hawkins would mark the beginnings of a new project called "Evan Marien x Dana Hawkins" which has been described as a "progressive collaboration of bold bass artistry, dynamic electronic production, and prodigious drumming". Their first album "Collection" was released in 2013 and was followed by the singles "The Eldridge" and "Sweatn". Hawkins appeared on "Finale" and " Encore" on the Marien solo album "We Are All You" in 2014.
"We Are All You" was released the same year to critical acclaim and received features on Bandcamp.com, Jay Scarlett's Sounds Supreme mix, a spot on Gilles Peterson's playlist on BBC Radio 6, and spins on radio stations like KCRW Los Angeles. Marien's music has also been featured on the popular radio show Coast to Coast AM and NPR's All Things Considered. Marien released a handful of short EP's in late 2014 and 2015 (Pillows/Coffee, Parallels and The Ten Thousand Things, W.U.T.F). In 2015 he released the album "Artifacts", and again received critical acclaim and was featured on Gilles Peterson on BBC Radio 6.
2016 and 2017 found Marien releasing new music under the moniker "EMAR", which led to a headline performance at the legendary video game music festival MAGFest 2017, held in Washington, DC featuring live band and digital live art.
2018 saw the release of a new Evan Marien x Dana Hawkins album 'Collection Vol. 2' and a new EMAR album simply called 'EMAR Vol. 2'. EvanxDana completed their first short Euro tour in May 2018, playing in Dublin, Ireland and Rome, Italy. EvanxDana continued their touring in May 2019 with a west coast run opening for Animals As Leaders and a Japan tour including Hida Takayama Jazz Festival, shows in Tokyo and Kyoto and as well as a sold out show in Kobe.
Marien can be seen touring with electronic singer-songwriter Elliot Moss and Thundercat drummer Justin Brown's NYEUSI. Marien also was honored with being the last bassist to play in guitar legend Allan Holdsworth's band.
Starting in 2020, he will be seen touring in Tigran Hamasyan’s new trio and featured on a new album.
Besides leading his project with drummer Dana Hawkins, He has recorded or performed with Virgil Donati, Wayne Krantz, Cory Wong (Vulfpeck), Zach Danziger, Nate Wood, Louis Cole, Fredrik Thordendal (Meshuggah), Mark Guiliana, Victor Wooten, Ian Chang (Son Lux), Morgan Agren, Sirintip, Jason Lindner, Mark Shim, Dennis Hamm, Seamus Blake, Oz Noy, Nir Felder, Alex Skolnick, Steve Hunt, David Fiuczynski, Tim Miller, Mike Slott, Mitski, A$AP Ferg producer Frankie P, Marko Djordjevic's Sveti, Ari Hoenig, Isamu McGregor, RedRightReturn, Sebastiaan Cornelissen and many other incredible music makers and instrumentalists.
Back in his studio in Brooklyn and in partnership with ManMadeMusic, Marien has composed for many brands and networks. Some of the companies he has written for include NPR, AT&T, The Dallas Cowboys, IMAX, HBO and Entertainment Tonight. His bass playing can be heard on tracks for FX Network, CBS This Morning, Ulta Beauty, AT&T, Spectrum, the Alzheimers Foundation, ProMax and OnMo Global.
Marien is a bass faculty member at The Collective and The New School in NYC, teaching modern music to all instrumentalists.
Marien is an Artist Endorser for GHS Strings, Markbass amplifiers, Pigtronix EFX pedals, Source Audio EFX pedals, Callowhill basses, Campbell American basses, Ken Smith basses, Nordstrand pickups, Guardian Pro Cables, Lehle Volume pedals and Gruv Gear straps.