Jazz Beat: Remembering Everette DeVan, Kansas City jazz legend


Everette DeVan, who died at the age of 71

Hammond B-3 organist, pianist, and bandleader Everette DeVan died July 3 at age 71 after a long battle with health complications. DeVan was a long-standing pillar of the Kansas City jazz community. His death is a blow to the community, but the local legend leaves behind a strong legacy.

DeVan’s legacy transcends music. His passion, friendship, and generosity permeate generations. As a longtime instructor at the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz Camp, DeVan made a lasting impact on many former students in a short time, a common theme throughout his life. In 2000, he was inducted as an Elder Statesman of Kansas City Jazz and won the Frank Smith Spirit of Kansas City Award, two highly distinguished honors. 

He was also a mentor to many prominent Kansas City jazz musicians, including Eboni Fondren, Matt Carrillo, Chris Hazelton, Matt Hopper, and Danny Rojas, who saw him as their “musical papa.” The DeVan University Alumni Band will celebrate and honor DeVan’s memory Friday, July 30 at 8 p.m. at The Blue Room. 

Listen to DeVan’s hard-swinging, soulful style: 

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, July 18 from 1-3 p.m. at The Gem Theater, followed by an open jam session at Soireée Steak & Oyster House starting at 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to help establish the Everette DeVan Scholarship Fund. For more information, email Eboni Fondren at jzzylady@gmail.com. 

Everette DeVan’s Celebration of Life, 1-3 p.m. Sunday, July 18 at The Gem Theatre, 1615 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108. Followed by a jam session at 4 p.m. across the street at Soirée Steak & Oyster House, 1512 E. 18th Street.

DeVan University Alumni Band, 8 p.m. Friday, July 30 at The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.

Categories: Music