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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Pope County native Jimmy Evitts returns for SIC concert

  • A Pope County native will play songs from the “American songbook” 3 p.m. Sunday at the Southeastern Illinois College George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center Lobby.
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  • A Pope County native will play songs from the “American songbook” 3 p.m. Sunday at the Southeastern Illinois College George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center Lobby.
    Jimmy Evitts of Branson, Mo., will perform a primarily vocal concert with musical tracks and a few selections at the piano. Concertgoers can expect songs in the styles of Frank Sinatra and Buble with some gospel music.
    Evitts sings and works at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner in The Grand Village on Branson’s famous Highway 76, according to information from SIC. He performs in a trio with friends Stephanie Taylor Diaz and Matt Kester, both of whom also work at Mel’s. This year marks Evitts’ 14th season in the Branson, Mo., area.
    Evitts is returning to his roots with his Sunday concert, having first studied music at SIC while still a high school student in Pope County. He graduated PCHS in 1986 and enrolled at Murray State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a minor in voice. He graduated with a master’s degree in music from Oklahoma University in 1993.
    His early professional career included performing on the National Dinner Theater circuit with shows like “Brigadoon,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Smoke on the Mountain” and “Forever Plaid.”
    He sang on a cruise ship in the Bahamas and appeared in music videos for Ray Stevens and Neal McCoy.
    Evitts gained exposure on the TNN network program “Be A Star” in 1991, losing by one point.
    Evitts returned to Southern Illinois for an acting appearance in 1997 playing a state trooper in the move “U.S. Marshals” filmed in Pope County.
    In 1999 Evitts moved to Branson, Mo., and performed at Silver Dollar City in the famed Opera House in productions of “For the Glory” and “A Dicken’s Christmas Carol.” He also performed at Bobby Vinton’s former theater in the production “Broadway,” a musical revue of Broadway hits like “Les Miserables” and “Miss Saigon.”
    Tickets are $10.
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