New release

IMG_9594.JPG

The Yao Smith Hughes Sextet brings a fresh, new set of original compositions following in the footsteps of the straight-ahead jazz tradition of Detroit.  Hard-bopping melodies, tight 3-horn arrangements, colorful voicings, driving swing feel and soulful grooves are all trademarks of "The Gates".   Trombonist John Yao, trumpeter Jimmy Smith and saxophonist James Hughes team up for a co-led sextet recording with each leader contributing original compositions.

. . a tuneful, epically-inclined, cinematic trombonist.
— New York Music Daily

Welcome to JOHNYAO.COM. Fueled by his passion, talent and relentlessly hard work, John Yao has spent more than a decade cementing his place on the New York City jazz scene as a trombonist, composer, arranger, and educator. This site provides information about his upcoming performances, both of his working bands, his album releases, and updates on current and future projects.

Enjoy the site. Enjoy the music. Stay tuned for more...

WATCH

TERRAZA 7 JAM SESSION by co-hosted JOHN YAO & PETER BRENDLER

Beginning in May, Yao will be co-hosting a monthly jam session with bassist Peter Brendler on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. The house band featuring NYC’s finest musicians, will play an opening set and then invite performers to play. The jam session is open to all performers, please join us and bring your horn!

 

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING PERFORMANCES:

AUGUST 1 - Dave Demotta Octet at Silvana

AUGUST 9-10 - Manuel Valera Big Band at Terraza 7

AUGUST 14 - TR7 Jam Session at Terraza 7

AUGUST 19 - John Yao & His 17-piece Instrument at Slope Lounge

AUGUST 28 - TR7 Jam Session at Terraza 7





 
JY3 @ Terraza Feb. 21, 2018_2.jpg

Listen

 

LATEST RECORDINGS

Below are recent recordings that I played on and composed and/or arranged in 2018. Hope you enjoy!

2017 ALBUM, PRESENCE, NOW AVAILABLE

“Yao’s most searching release to date, the album is marked by greater openness and ensemble elasticity” - Jeff Potter, Downbeat

"...it gives one hope in the face of tragedy, inspiring us to continue to move forward.” - Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

John Yao, Trombone & Compositions / Jon Irabagon, Soprano & Sopranino Saxes / Randy Ingram, Piano & Rhoades / Peter Brendler, Bass / Shawn Baltazor, Drums

BIG BAND WITH A MODERN SWING—THIS AIN’TCHUR GRANDPAPPY’S BIG BAND!

“Flip-Flop showcased Yao’s unpredictable compositions and inventive arrangements, which spring from tradition while pointing towards future portals.” - Jeff Potter, Downbeat

"While Yao’s style is not retro, he knows where the music has been and has a developing vision of where he wants to take it.” - Barry Bassis, Epoch Times

John Yao, Compositions, Conductor, Trombone | Saxes: John O'Gallager | Alejandro Aviles | Rich Perry | Jon Irabagon | Frank Basile | Trumpets: John Walsh | Jason Wiseman | David Smith | Andy Gravish | Trombones: Luis Bonilla | Matt McDonald | Tokunouri Kajiwara | Jennifer Wharton | Rhythm Section: Jesse Stacken | Robert Sabin | Vince Cherico

2012 DEBUT ALBUM IN THE NOW

"... In the Now (Innova) shows him to be a smart- composer bandleader besides.” - Nate Chinen, New York Times

John Yao, Trombone & Compositions / Jon Irabagon, Alto & Soprano Saxes / Randy Ingram, Piano & Rhoades / Leon Boykins, Bass / Will Clark, Drums


 

JOHN YAO FEATURED ON STRAIGHT, NO CHASER -  A Jazz Podcast

Winner of the 2017 Jazz Times Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, host Jeffrey Siegel speaks with John Yao about the role of the Trombone and his recent release Presence.

LEARN

PUBLISHED CHARTS

Much of the music John Yao has composed is readily available, including commissioned works.  This included original compositions and arrangements. Additional arrangements are also available for younger, developing ensembles intended to challenge and inspire them to new heights.  

CLINICS, MASTERCLASS, COMMISSIONS

John has two decades of experience as a professional performer, composer, arranger to pass on to a high-school or university- level music program.  Whether your big band needs help getting to the next skill level, a masterclass on improvisation or a chart composed for your big band, John is available to discuss and meet your program needs.  

LESSONS

Yao is available for private trombone lessons as well as composing and arranging lessons.  Whether you are located in the NYC Tristate area or you live on a different continent, Yao provides private instruction in-person or via Skype. Lessons will be tailored to inspire your growth as a performer or a composer. 

_MG_9212.jpg