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MUSIC : Holiday Hit Parade : Pianist and singer Yve Evans returns to Chadney's in Burbank, bringing a special flair to the annual costume contest.

October 30, 1992|ZAN STEWART | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Zan Stewart writes regularly about music for The Times.

Energetic, enthusiastic Yve Evans treasures her Halloweens at Chadney's.

"It's an adventure. I get to be Ms. Wild," said the ebullient pianist and singer, who makes her third Allhallows' Eve appearance at the Burbank nightclub Saturday. She also performs tonight.

Though crowd-pleaser Evans will offer her share of songs on Saturday at Chadney's, the main feature of Halloween is the establishment's costume contest and parade, now in its 11th year. "I announce everybody as they pass by the piano, so they can be in the limelight for a minute," she said, adding that some of the costumes are amazingly elaborate.

"Two years ago, someone came in looking just like Moses. He'd obviously had someone make him up at the studios," Evans said in a phone conversation from her home in San Bernardino. "Then there was a cowboy who rode in on a horse. Yes, the horse was part of the costume."

Dennis Duke, who books the acts that play Chadney's, said that he's delighted to have Evans back this Halloween. "She's so creative the way she emcees the parade," he said. "She has something different and sharp to say about everyone, and without being redundant or repetitious. She's got quite a wit to go along with her musical ability."

The first-prize winner in the contest will receive $50. Additional awards include dinner for two at Chadney's, as well as at other area restaurants.

But just to make sure that nobody gets left out, Evans brings along what she calls "a trunkload of white-elephant prizes."

"Two years ago, I gave away a pair of black and white polka dot formal dress socks, and some ties, which are all from the '40s and '50s, so they're gross," said Evans, who has been a jazz entertainer since 1971. "Just some fun things so people can say, 'I was there and I had a great time.' By the end of the night, we're all singing.

"It's a private party in a public place," said Evans, adding that the slogan is her trademark.

In addition to the contest, Chadney's is also sponsoring a Halloween canned food drive to benefit the Haven Heart Shelters of Los Angeles, a refuge for battered women. Attendees are invited to bring any kind of canned goods, Evans said.

Tonight, Evans will be all business, in a musical sense. She'll offer her regular show, which she described as a "cross-section of material that people enjoy and respond to."

'I pay attention to my audience," she said. "I think music is therapeutic and healing, that's why I do so many types. Behind the piano, everybody's whim is my command. I take the old and put new shoes on it, and vice versa. So that people who thought they didn't like jazz will say, 'Oh, that's what jazz is!' "

The artist's repertoire is built around tunes from the '30s and '40s, including such numbers as "Good Morning, Heartache" and "Them There Eyes," both numbers associated with Billie Holiday, and "Your Feets Too Big," a well-known composition by pianist-singer Fats Waller.

Tonight, Evans will also present selections from her upcoming CD, "Yve N' Blu," which will be released in January on her own Noteworthy label. Her first release, "4 Jaz C Me" is still available by mail from Noteworthy Records, P.O. Box 3957, Los Angeles 90051-1957. CDs are $15, CD-length cassettes are $12.

Evans, who was born in El Paso and in 1973 earned bachelor of arts degrees in music and drama from UC Irvine, relishes the emotional release she gets from performing.

"I use my fingers and voice to create something tangible that you want to keep but you know you have to give away," she said.

The artist, who spent many years studying the classics, said that an accident when she was 9 years old really thrust her toward a career in music, and gave her a strong spirit.

"I was hit by a truck when my family was living in England--my father was a soldier--and sitting at the piano was one of the few things I could do. I was told I would never walk and couldn't have children. Well, I have a beautiful 10-year-old daughter and I can outrun most men. I'm glad to be alive."

Where and When

Location: Yve Evans appears at Chadney's, 3000 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, across from the NBC Studios.

Hours: 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight and Saturday.

Price: No cover; two-drink minimum.

Call: (818) 843-5333.

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