Take Five With Deon Yates


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Meet Deon Yates:
Saxophonist Deon Yates is not new to the music scene, but for the last few years he has been gaining popularity worldwide as a solo performer. Since being named runner up in the 2009 Capital Jazz Challenge in Maryland, Deon has continued to make strides in his music career. Being chosen as one of only 10 artists nationwide to be featured on the first U.S. Smooth Jazz compilation CD, Jazz Infusion Vol. 1, released in 2010 and receiving endorsements from Sax Dakota brand Saxophones and Applied Microphone Technology Inc, Deon is on his way to establishing himself as a serious solo artist.


Teachers and/or influences?
Teachers: Hosea Taylor, Donald Washington, Herbie Williams, Edward Quicke, Harold McKinney.

Influences: Richard Elliot, Kirk Whalum, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Grover Washington Jr..

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I saw this little kid, Cassius Richmond, playing jazz on his flute. I was in the third grade.

Your sound and approach to music:
I like to think that my sound is my own, but you can hear the influence of the elders as well as some contemporary players peak through. I approach music like I do life. I am open to the many flows of positive and creative energy that all forms of music have to offer, and I try to let that come out in my performance.

Your teaching approach:
Patience, Patience, Patience! I was taught a long time ago to find a player with a sound that I like, try to emulate then expand and ultimately create.

Your dream band:
I have had my eye on a spot with Rick Braun. When Richard Elliot is not doing the R&R thing I'm the go to guy!

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Deon Yates

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