Pictures Part Four


A publicity shot for the band “Method Actor”

Eva with curls
PREPARING FOR A PUBLICITY PHOTO SESSION: The person who gave me this photo said “I don’t think the poufy-hair thing worked for Eva.”

Nobody remembers who made these posters, or what the gig was on June 26th… of what year?

WAMA The “Wammies” (Washington Area Music Association awards) are an important part of musical life in the Washington DC area. It is an often-repeated part of the “Eva Cassidy story” that she was ignored by the “music industry” during her lifetime, but it is less widely-known that the LOCAL music organization was extremely supportive and was fully aware of Eva’s marvelous talent. I have written more about Eva and the “Wammies” in my article about “Over the Rainbow”, and I encourage you to learn more about the Washington Area Music Association by visiting their website.

Maria Villafana went to a lot of trouble to track down some photos of Eva which were taken at several WAMA events, which I am delighted to share with you now. Here are the first two, showing Eva Cassidy receiving her first “Wammie” award in November 1993. Eva hadn’t expected to win and wasn’t planning to attend the ceremony, but WAMA President Mike Schreibman urged her to come! The award shown in the photo was for “Female Vocalist Roots/Traditional R&B,” according to Maria, who adds, “She also received a Wammie that night for ‘Vocalist Jazz/Traditional’ but that Wammie was not given from the stage that year and therefore there isn’t a photo of that acceptance.”



Wondering what Eva said in her acceptance speech? “Uh, uh…” (laughs nervously) “Thank God, and I want to thank my mom and dad, and …” (she finds them with her glance) “Al Dale, Chris Biondo and Chuck Brown. Thank you very much.” (Radiant smile)

EVARETHA: On some of her songs, Eva’s voice has been compared with that of Aretha Franklin. Eva was a big fan of the famous soul diva, and included a number of Aretha Franklin songs in her live repertoire. Some of Eva’s friends from “Method Actor” days would jokingly call her “Evaretha.” She occasionally signed her name that way, just for fun

Eva at Tower Records
Eva at Tower Records in Washington DC, 1996, promoting the Blues Alley album

Here’s a wonderful quote from Eva. It’s her introduction to “Tall Trees in Georgia,” after the Blues Alley album came out.

“How’s everybody? …Good.” (Strums the guitar.) “This tune is on the CD, and I’m real embarrassed because when I” (laughs) “introduced the song I kept saying ‘Um, Uh, Um.’ I probably said it about seven times.” (Pause.) “I don’t like talking. I’d rather sing, so maybe you can like turn the volume down when I’m talking or something… I don’t know…” (strums the guitar) “…it’s pretty bad.” (Strums.) “This is ‘Tall Trees in Georgia.’ “

HIKING in the Virgin Islands

MORE HIKING: Eva seems to be saying, “Don’t take my picture!” All I know about this one is that it was taken on a hiking trip in the springtime.


Lenny and Chris 1999
WILLIAMS-BIONDO IN 1999: Two of the members of Eva’s band, bassist Chris Biondo (right) and pianist Lenny Williams. Today Lenny and Chris work together composing soundtracks for television documentaries, and have won several Emmy awards for their work. This photo was taken at Lenny’s wedding in 1999.

Band in 2002
December 2002: The members of the Eva Cassidy Band, appearing in the same photograph for the first time! From left to right, Raice McLeod, Keith Grimes, Chris Biondo, Lenny Williams. A formal photo of the Eva Cassidy Band was never taken, apparently because Keith had a superstition that as soon as a band portrait was made, someone would leave the group.

Celia Murphy with Mike Dove and Raice McLeod
December 2002: From left to right, Mike Dove (guitar technician to the stars), Eva’s friend Celia Murphy, and drummer Raice McLeod

Eileen, Chris, and Ruth
December 2002: Eileen White, Chris Biondo, and Ruth Murphy

Lenny Williams
Lenny Williams. A graduate of Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Lenny is a busy composer and pianist, and is best known as one of the accompanists for the comedy group “The Capitol Steps.”

Note: Because photos take longer to load, I have broken the collection into five parts. For more pictures, visit: