(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Singers Danielia Cotton and Samirah Evans bring their blend of jazz, soul, gospel, New Orleans music and rock to the Stockbridge campus of Berkshire Theatre Group for back-to-back concerts under the tent outside the Unicorn Theatre on Saturday, September 19, at 2pm, and Sunday, September 20, at 2pm, respectively.
Danielia Cotton is a New York City-based singer-songwriter originally from Hopewell, N.J., whose style is rooted in gospel with an emphasis on jazz, soul, and rock. In 2010, Cotton was named Lilith Fair’s Ourstage Local Talent Winner for New York City. Since then she has shared the stage with the likes of Robert Cray, Bon Jovi, and Gregg Allman.
Cotton’s 2014 album, The Real Book, was a covers album, including songs by Eurythmics, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Traffic, and Simon & Garfunkel. Her 2017 follow-up, The Mystery of Me, introduced Cotton the songwriter, ranging from the roots-rock of “Set Me Free” to the folk-gospel ballad “You” to the poppy, Motown-ish “4 Ur Life.”
Cotton is also a mean guitar player who has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy, Derek Trucks and Bon Jovi.
The New York Times says of Cotton, “She’s a belter who can hold back or work her way up to a gospelly blues-rock shout, and in the songs she writes with her band’s brawny guitar riffs, she grapples with the road, salvation, holding on and letting go.”
Samirah Evans is known for her dynamic, soulful approach to jazz and blues, among other genres. Her style is heavily influenced by the New Orleans sound where she was one of the city’s most in-demand singers.
Samirah Evans is an artist associate in jazz voice at Williams College. Her 1990 debut at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival began a stint of 15 consecutive years performing there as a leader or featured vocalist, and she was a fixture in both clubs and concert venues throughout the Crescent City, including Snug Harbor, Tipitina’s and the House of Blues.
During her career, she has toured North and South America, Europe and Asia, sharing stages with a multitude of New Orleans notables and legendary artists, including James Brown, B.B. King, Sheila Jordan, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Jr., Poncho Sanchez, Charles Neville, Bob Dorough, Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins, Trombone Shorty, and Sam Kininger.
Hurricane Katrina caused Samirah to relocate to her husband’s hometown of Brattleboro, Vt. She has since been performing in venues and festivals throughout the northeast with her band, Samirah Evans and Her Handsome Devils, as well as with Jamoie and His Jasssz Band, among other projects.