Essence of Eva

Sunday 18 June 2017 Laura Claire, James Hickman and Dan Cassidy will perform in an Eva Cassidy Tribute: Essence of Eva at Barnsley Civic in Yorkshire. Laura Claire tells us about this special event.

What do you admire in Eva Cassidy?

What I admire the most in Eva Cassidy is her voice, style and who she was as a person. The way she took a known song and completely made it her own. When I first heard Eva’s voice singing ‘Over the Rainbow’ when I was 13, I immediately wanted to know who she was and I have studied and listened to Eva ever since.

With Dan's Swing Quartet

With Dan’s Swing Quartet

Did you make an acoustic song selection? 

For my Essence of Eva shows I have selected a mixture of Eva’s songs, not only the popular one’s but other songs from her albums too. On the night with Dan Cassidy and James Hickman, Sunday 18th June 2017 at Barnsley Civic in Yorkshire, I will be reviving Eva not only a selection of her songs but revealing her life story, family, career and how she was tragically taken by Melanoma skin cancer. I believe each song will be personal to the audience in one way or another. For example ‘Danny Boy’ was popular to the miners in Yorkshire. I also want people to know that ‘Autumn Leaves’ was the first song of Eva’s that Terry Wogan played on BBC Radio in 1996. I will be performing along side some other musicians who are friends of mine when I was studying at university.

Laura Claire

Laura Claire

How did you meet Dan Cassidy? 

This is a great story for me: it all started during my time at university where I was studying a degree in Music Promotion at the University Campus in Barnsley. It was through a university project where I had to create a digital portfolio for an artist, which I took up the opportunity to create something for myself. This included a website, social media pages, artist imagery etc. I created a Twitter page @EssenceOfEva that I am still using now, and took it upon myself to contact members of Eva’s family. I knew she had a brother who played the violin, which I started doing some research and found that Dan was apart of a Swing Quartet and toured in the UK. I simple decided to send a tweet to Dan, which of course being the great person he is, Dan replied. It went on from there really. We spoke through Twitter and emails and I asked if he was to play in Leeds. I then went to one of his gigs at Otley Playhouse in November 2013. I met him in person during the interval, where he signed one of his albums for me and I told him about playing tribute to his sister Eva. I can remember my legs was shaking, I could not hardly speak as I kept thinking this is ‘Dan Cassidy’ and the brother to my favourite singer and inspiration for my singing career Eva Cassidy. Dan also got me to stand up during the 2nd half of his show and told people to watch out for my tribute to his sister. I couldn’t believe he did that for me, it was one of the best moments of my entire life.

Essence of Eva

Essence of Eva

What visual imagery will you use in the show? 

I will be projecting visual imagery to express Eva’s life, facts, text, photographs of Eva, her family, Eva’s Art work, Blues Alley and I plan to use moving images (videos) as special effects to set the scene during songs, such as a moving field of barley, during Fields of Gold. I am liaising with Dan and James to make them aware of the show’s structure and getting permission from Dan to use materials of Eva.I feel this will give the show something different and unique and gives the audience a bigger picture into the life of a legend singer. I feel her story should be heard more as well as her music as everything about Eva Cassidy is very moving. I will be talking myself to the audience in between the songs, linking the songs chosen to times and events in Eva’s life. I am playing the role of a storyteller using my passion and voice through this intimate experience.



Is this a one-time-event? 

Yes this event with Dan Cassidy and James Hickman is a one night only show as we come together for the general public to get an exclusive ‘Cassidy’ experience with Eva’s music and a performance from Dan and James themselves. I also want to get help and support others suffering and been taken from Melanoma cancer, which is why I found a charity specific to Melanoma cancer to raise awareness and money for the charity.

The dreams you dared to dream, really do come true!

Essence of Eva is something I have worked on for 10 years now which this event is just the start of something great! I plan to make this event very well known throughout the UK and overseas as I have plans to take my tribute to areas of Spain due to having contacts there. Finally my ultimate dream is to stand on the same stage as Eva did herself at ‘Blues Alley’ in Washington America, and visit the town where Eva grew up which I plan on making this dream a reality.


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