The story behind Steamboat’s resident piano player
January 25, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Every Thursday and Friday night at Cugino's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, there's a piano player who shows up to play. Same time. Same day. Each week.
He goes by the name of Evan Sokol.
Hailing from Raleigh, North Carolina, the 27-year-old pianist is also a painter and a writer, and he creates his own music videos for 15 albums, soon to be 16, he’s recorded., His newest release is entitled "Peasant Dreams."
Connected to the restaurant through a friend who worked there, he's been the resident piano player for the past year.
"I feel like a part of the community playing there," Sokol said. "I also like when parents share in the music with their kids, and they dance together and give them a dollar to give me. It's always really cute when they shyly come up to the piano. It always reminds me of being that age and doing the same thing."
To get to know Sokol more, Explore Steamboat delves a little deeper.
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Explore Steamboat: How did you become a musician?
Evan Sokol: I've been playing music my whole life. I grew up with a piano in my house and would sit and pick out notes and create melodies when I was 4 and 5 years old. My dad even says that everything I played then was never off-key. He says I would really intently listen and pick out the notes, even if it wasn't anything complicated.
He says that I would often be by myself, when I was that little, and just work with blocks and play on the piano, very focused for long periods of time. He said that normally you'd have to check on a kid that age frequently, but he could leave me alone for longer lengths of time, because I would always be in the same place that he left me, creating something.
Explore Steamboat: Did you learn to play any other instruments?
ES: I started playing the drums when I was 10, after begging my dad for a drum set for years. My parents gave me little toy one when I was like 5, and I would play it all the time and pretend to have parades and stuff.
Then I got an upgrade when I was in third grade to a better electronic toy drum, that I would play along to The Beastie Boys and the radio on. Then, finally in sixth grade, I got a full on kit. After that, I began learning guitar at 15, and then recording my own music a couple years after that, when I was 17.
Explore Steamboat: How and when did you get to recording so many albums?
ES: When I moved back to the city, one of my friends, attending film school, gave me a microphone, when he heard some of the music I had been creating, under the name Doseis XXVI (pronounced Twenty-Six Doses), which was mostly created through sampling.
Him giving me that microphone basically spawned my whole endeavor to record my own music, playing all of the instruments and singing lyrics I had written.
The name of my band was initially called the Ugly PJ's and then later Uglyvision, and then, just to let people know that it's just me playing everything, I called it Evan Geoffrey's Uglyvision. My full name being Evan Geoffrey Hughes Sokol.
Last year, I was contacted by a publishing company, and since then, I've had my album, "Degenerate Orphans" released onto most digital outlets, including Spotify, Amazon Music and iTunes Music.
I've also had my single, "Some Way To Survive," from that album, play on radio stations around the world and on Internet stations, as well.
Give him a listen …