Evan Gottfried

During his interactive shows, Evan takes everyone on a musical journey, as he recounts his adventures with slugs, alien wildlife, and his trip to a land where everything is upside-down. Evan's songs inhabit both a unique universe of imagination and the beautiful world that we all share every day. Evan aims to inspire everyone to be creative, have fun, learn cool things, and mostly, to just be themselves. He hopes the big people who hear his music will also find inspiration, and may even remember how it feels to be a kid.


Early Life

Evan has been making music since he was a kid growing up on Long Island. He and his younger brother, Adam, would perform epic rock concerts for their parents in Evan's room. For some reason their idea of a stage was a blanket hung up in front of them, so that that they could only be seen from the waist up, as if they were puppets. Their biggest hit was, "Bad Little Girl Wouldn't Drink Her Milk," which chronicled all the not-so-good things that happened to that girl as a result of her not drinking her milk. Nowadays Evan's lyrics are generally more upbeat, though no less entertaining.

The College Years

Evan’s passion for creating music would only grow as the years passed. When he wasn't playing music, he was often reading, and eventually decided to study English literature at NYU. Halfway through college, Evan had a moment in which he thought, "I'm tired of writing papers about books; I want to work with actual people and make a difference in their lives.” So he decided to become a special education teacher. Evan had spent a lot of time in his teenage years volunteering with kids and adults with special needs, and was well-aware of the many challenges and rewards that awaited him in this profession.


Evan has been teaching students with severe and multiple disabilities since 2004, and frequently uses music as a teaching tool, aiding his students in their exploration of the world around them. The connection that music fosters among people, regardless of ability or background, never ceases to amaze him. In 2005, Evan started writing songs again, primarily for "big people," a.k.a. grown-ups. His first song was called "Maggie," a birthday present to his future wife. In 2007, Evan, Maggie, and their three girls moved from Bergen County, NJ to the Hudson Valley—a refreshing change in lifestyle.

The Message

In 2010, finding himself with one very musical young daughter, and another one on the way, Evan got the idea to make an album for kids. Evan worked diligently to turn this idea into a reality, crafting a number of fun and touching songs over the next several months.

In the Spring of 2011, Evan met Matt Lamborn, the recording engineer who would help turn a collection of songs into an actual album. The album would be titled Reach Up! According to Evan, the title is meant to reflect both the spirit of imagination that the song describes, as well as a message of empowerment through determination.

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