Eva Cassidy was born on the 2nd February 1963 in Washington DC, Eva grow up from a musical family background as her father Huge Cassidy a teacher for disability children and musician started teaching her to play the acoustic guitar when she was only 9 years old. Her inspirations were major soul/blues singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles & Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and Cher. In Eva’s early years up to being in her 20’s she spent most of her time singing with the family, Huge (father), Barbara (mother), brother (Dan who played the violin and performed as a duo) and two sisters Margret & Annette where they would go on family outings and sing as a group, Eva from a very young age has been gifted with perfect harmony where she would sing along to the songs on the radio and she would harmonize perfectly.
Eva also had another talent and a passion for art, paintings and drawings; Eva would go out into the woods and countryside of the town Bowie and Maryland where she lived most of her life, to sit and draw and to watch the beautiful scenery, listening to birds singing and the wind whistling through the sky, Eva much appreciated the countryside and wildlife, she preferred that to people.
Through Eva’s young and teenage life she began singing and playing the guitar in a Washington band called ‘Easy Street’ where they performed at weddings, parties & pubs but due to her shyness she struggled to perform in front of strangers. Eva also sang in the well known band called ‘Stonehenge’ and during the summer in 1983 Eva Cassidy sang and played the guitar 6 days a week at a theme park called Wild World in Maryland. Throughout the 1980s Eva worked with many other bands and in her spare time she explored other artistic expressions including painting, sculpting and fashion design.
When Eva was aged 24 -27yrs she was introduced to her lover and music mentor Chris Biondo a sound engineer who helped her become a session musician where she sang backing vocals and was a guest singer on many recorded tracks with popular bands in Washington where she had built enough confidence and experience to concentrate on her solo career which by 1990 the Eva Cassidy band was formed with musicians Lenny Williams, Raice Mcleod, Keith Grimes and of course Chris, this was when Eva Cassidy entered the music industry and started to become more noticed as a talented soulful singer, she was offered a few recording contracts with different record companies but they tried to sway her into a style of music and singing she didn’t like, they covered her in makeup and tried to turn her into a pop singer, Eva wouldn’t compromise so her success in that sense didn’t take off.
Eva Cassidy was not stopped as a artist and she made her name and fame performing with her band in many other venues and bars around Washington and played many times in the popular blues bar ‘Blues Alley’ in Georgetown where she performed with jazz singer ‘Chuck Brown’.
Between 1993 Eva started to become ill from numerous amount of colds and sore throats stopping her performing and she had a strange looking mole which got removed from her back. 3yrs later in 1996 during a promotional event ‘Live at the Blues Alley,’ Eva started getting pains in her hips, and as she was in and out of hospital, X-rays showed that Eva Cassidy had started with skin cancer Melanoma which after a few weeks had spread to her lungs and bones, she was told by her doctor she had 3 – 5 months left to live, this horrible experience put her friends & family in deep shock and sadness knowing that their beloved Eva Cassidy was not going to be with us for much longer, as time went on with aggressive treatment her health never got better and in her early fall at a benefit concert she made her final public appearance closing the set with the song ‘What a Wonderful World,’ in just 6 weeks later Eva Cassidy passed away on the 2nd November 1996, when she was only 33.