The differing of Evan Ryan from the average drummer begins at his perception of the drums. Rather than view drumming as simply a foundation upon which to set other instrumentation, Evan sees a palette from which to pull colors, tones and textures that, beyond simply supporting melody and harmony, can live and interact with the other music being played and help change others perceptions of what drumming is and can be.
Evan hadn't lived long before he found himself sitting behind a drum kit. He began at the age of 4 and over the following years steeped himself in the fundaments and discipline of drumming. During his early schooling in the suburbs of Chicago, IL, Evan found himself under the tutelage of several teachers and playing in a wide array of musical groups and outfits of the mid west that helped to advance his understanding of drumming technique and craft.
It was after a European tour with his high school jazz group that Evan made his way to Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he met two of his greatest mentors, Rob Parton and Paul Wertico. In the hands of these giants, Evans skills were refined and tempered, carrying him to prominence at the CCPA in the top big band, combo, and percussion ensemble. Evan's enthusiasm for music and warm demeanor made him a leading candidate for his mentors to offer new opportunities to, as Paul Wertico remarked, "In addition to his innate musical talent, Evan truly enjoys the process of learning and practicing new things and this gives him the ability and advantage to make any musical challenges to him seem like fun." Over the course of his time at the CCPA, Evan performed shows and played festivals alongside a wealth of jazz heavy hitters including, Bob Mintzer, Tim Hagens, Orbert Davis, Jim McNeely and had the privilege to spend time with Jeff Hamilton.
Evan began working in California in 2006 as the drummer for the Disneyland All-American College Band which opened the door to him doing studio and session work along with a film credit as the drummer for Diana Krall's Big Band in Michael Mann's 2009 Public Enemies. However a full time move to the west coast would have to wait as Evan became involved with the Illinois based bands JoBu, The Wick, and The Sami Grisafe Band, which performed extensively and seasoned Evan to the life of a touring musician.
There is something restless that resides at Evan Ryan's core. An energy that resists stagnation, and compels him to advance his understanding of the drums and their capacity in the greater musical dimension. It is a hunger for the new, a respect for the old, and a love for the now. The canvass of music is ever changing and evolving, and drums are so often treated as a primer but to be painted over and marginalized. But although based on fundamentals, discipline, technique and craft, the differing of Evan Ryan from the average drummer is that he perceives and embodies drumming as an art unto itself.