Jazz from around the world will be presented Aug. 25 when the Coastal Jazz Association presents the Jackson Evans Quintet.
In addition to bassist/vocalist Maggie Evans and guitarist/vocalist Jackson Evans, the quintet will feature Stuart White on drums and Swedish musicians Joel Lindberg on piano and Linus Enoksson on bass.
"These are really good friends of ours," Jackson says. "We spent most of the last two years in China in a city called Hangzhou. Joel and Linus both live permanently there.
"They played nearby to the club where we were playing," he says. "They had Monday off, so they'd come and sit in with us."
The Evans' pianist had to leave after three months.
"Joel would come to play with us and that's sort of how it began," Jackson says.
"That's how we decided to put something together to bring these guys out.
"We're already having a lot of fun. We set up a little music corner in the house and there's an open invitation to play tunes. And we're showing them what Savannah's all about."
A visual artist as well as a musician, Maggie was awarded a position as a visiting scholar at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, in 2011-12.
In China, Jackson worked as the musical director for the house band at Friends Jazz Club. The Evans met the Swedish musicians at a jam session at the JZ Club in Hangzhou.
"We ended up finding a pretty steady job at a club across the street from the art school," Maggie says. "While we were over there, we made some connections and the club brought us back for the second trip."
Jackson calls Hangzhou "the Savannah of China."
"It's a very picturesque place, centered around a lake," he says. "It has scenic natural features and lots of trees and pathways and trails where you can find Buddhist monasteries and things like that.
"It's rare to see something like that in China. Like Savannah, tourism is a major industry in Hangzhou.
"Where we have people from the North who have retired here, they have the same deal going on in Hangzhou," Jackson says. "It makes it good for jazz."
The club where the Evans play is high-end, Jackson says.
"It's like a wine bar with a really nice stage with lights and a second-floor balcony," he says.
"We really like it there. There aren't a lot of places like it in China. Most people are there because they love jazz and know the music is good."
A songwriter, Jackson loves to play original music.
"Another benefit of the club is that the owner is a big jazz lover, so we're not restricted in any way," he says. "We're able to play our original material."
At times, Maggie's art and music intertwine.
"There was some direct influence when I was in graduate school," she says.
"My artwork was taken directly from playing in blues bars in Savannah. I started doing big charcoal drawings based on what I was seeing from the stage. After that, I moved into some different series, with artwork influenced more on the philosophical level."
The couple moved to Savannah in 2004 so Maggie could attend graduate school at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
"After she graduated, we decided to stick around," Jackson says.
"There was enough work for us to stick around and be happy. She teaches part-time in SCAD Foundations. Savannah has treated us well, and now that we have the China connection, it's a good place to come home to."
The concert in Savannah will offer varied material.
"It's going to be a lot of fun with a mix of a lot of different styles," Jackson says.
"In Sweden, they take jazz very seriously and hold it as a very high art form, which is a huge compliment to American music," he says. "There's a lot of depth they're bringing to the music.
"Maggie's obsessed with Latin styles, especially Brazilian music, so we'll be mixing that in there. I can't help but be bluesy."
Songs will be sung in different languages.
"Both guys not only speak Swedish and English, they're also fluent in Chinese," Jackson says. "The multiple languages that we'll be performing with will reflect the band quite accurately."
"We will be playing some traditional jazz songs," Maggie says. "They're going to be handled in a different way with a different energy.
"I think it will have a global feel to it. All the musicians have their own unique way of playing Jackson's guitars.
"Putting it all together is going to be exciting to see what comes out," she says. "I'm excited for it personally because I'm usually playing bass and singing at the same time. I'm going to be able to relax and have fun."
IF YOU GO
What: Coastal Jazz Association presents the Jackson Evans Quintet
When: 5 p.m. Aug. 25
Where: Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, 1 Resort Drive, Hutchinson Island