Dan Cassidy, brother of American singing star, Eva Cassidy, flew from Iceland to Barnsley on Sunday 18th June 2017 to an Arts and Music venue The Civic for a very special performance in his sister’s memory, Essence of Eva, an Eva Cassidy Tribute night!
Eva Cassidy, widely recognised for her incredible interpretations of ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, hit the top spot in the UK single charts three times and sold millions of records. Sharing the same number 1’s as Adele and Lady Gaga, but she died in 1996 following a battle with skin cancer, malignant melanoma. However, her death didn’t stop her voice from being heard as Terry Wogan made her music known, following her version of ‘Autumn Leaves’ during his radio show in 1998.
Dan had teamed up with Laura Claire Ridgway, a sensational singer and music teacher from Leeds to raise money for Melanoma UK.
Dan Cassidy commented on the event that himself and James Hickman his right-hand man, friend and guitarist was really looking forward to playing at the fundraising event for Melanoma UK and it would be great to hear Laura Claire´s renditions of my sister´s music in her tribute to Eva!
During the first half of the Essence of Eva, Eva Cassidy Tribute show were a soul moving performance by Laura Claire who revived Eva’s songs through her powerful story-telling vocals. Laura also presented visual imagery photographs of Eva, Eva’s artwork and facts about Eva’s career were displayed behind Laura as she told the heart-breaking story and life of the never forgotten and legend singer, Eva Cassidy.
Not only did Laura perform a tribute to her idol, Laura got the chance to share the stage and perform with Eva’s brother, a musician in his own right, violinist Dan Cassidy in their version of Eva Cassidy’s ‘Danny Boy.'
To finish off this extraordinary event James Hickman and Dan Cassidy performed during the second half of the night, performing their own original pieces of music, inspired by the traditions of America and Britain, their sound flowed from the connection between British and American folk whilst bursting with all the humor, heartbreak and excitement of these genres.
Dan Cassidy commented on Laura Claire’s performance by saying “Laura Claire’s vocals were very close to my sister Eva, it was a fabulous evening!”
Overall the event was a huge success, not only the shows production, Essence of Eva gained major press and media coverage including a live radio interview on the BBC Radio Sheffield breakfast show with Paulette Edwards on Friday 16th June 2017. Essence of Eva’s story was also revealed in the Yorkshire Post, Barnsley’s local newspaper Barnsley Chronicle, an interview with the original author of Eva Cassidy’s Behind the Rainbow biography, Johan Bakker from Rotterdam, Barnsley Today magazine, and many more media sources print and online including a mention on the official Eva Cassidy.org website managed by Eva’s cousin named Laura Claire Blige.