Everett Spells

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Jazz musician Everett Spells plays saxophone with a clear soulful sound. Born and raised in the Newport News, Virginia area, he began his music in school programs and continued on to get a degree from Norfolk State University concentrating on the marching band and of course jazz.

There he was part of the traveling concert band and worked with musicians that inspired him like Grammy winning artists like the Wooten Brothers, Billy Drummond, and Karen Briggs. After graduation Everett went on the road along the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas with a band called The Showmen and then The Staircase Band. He then returned to Virginia and began a gig with the band Power Play which included Jay Moore and Mike Irving. Their tour brought Everett to Delmarva.

Now Everett plays solo with prerecorded tracks of his own performances on other instruments. This allows him to showcase his saxophone playing and his singing. On the suggestion of his wife, several years ago, he approached Fager's Island about hiring him. He has been playing their jazz brunch ever since with many people returning over the years to hear him play.

Because of his stylistic interpretation Everett considers himself a jazz musician even though his play list spans many genres from the Big Band era to pop songs from the 50's through the 80's. Singing began when one of the groups he was touring with needed singers as well as horn players. His last CD "The Loveliness of You" has these and original compositions which he wrote and produced. He is getting ready to produce another CD collaborating with other musicians.

Everett has a few students who are learning both classical and jazz traditions from him. He says it helps to find a good teacher but the best way to learn is to simply listen.

Playing dinner music is a unique talent that takes getting used to for most musicians. It took some getting used to for Everett but he has mastered the technique and come to really appreciate the way it allows him to connect with his audience. They often come up to him to thank him for a performance that brings back memories and deep emotions. Everett loves playing saxophone and feels blessed to be able to do it. Being a saxophonist is a lifelong endeavor. Everett says his aim is to just keep getting better.

Everett Spells is based in Salisbury and is a featured performer for the Wicomico Yacht Club's jazz nights and at a number of popular beach restaurants and nightspots around Ocean City and southern Delaware. He is available to play for private engagements.

Find out more about Everett at

Listen to these clips to hear Everett's original songs and one holiday selection.