Born: August 6 Primary Instrument: Vocal
An original retro-jazz-vocalist with a unique “new-old” approach, Julian Yeo blends old school soul with celebrated qualities of today (and sometimes with a twist). Following Julian's critically acclaimed debut CD album 'Old, New, Borrowed, Blue', Julian's latest CD 'Unusual Passage' is an experience that’s quaint but highly addictive.
It has been an uncommon musical path for international jazz/cabaret vocalist Julian Yeo. His path to singing in the nightclubs of New York City began many miles away. An Australian of Asian descent, Julian was a shy kid decades away from his own personal musical heroes like dapper Fred Astaire. “When I hear Fred Astaire singing Irving Berlin songs; no matter what mood I’m in, these songs always bring a smile to my face,” he says.
It’s not surprising that a retro sound comes so naturally to him. Singers from the 1920s and 30s are what he most likes listening to: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Rudy Vallee, Arthur Tracy (“The Street Singer”), early Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, vocalists from the “sweet bands”. But Julian Yeo is not satisfied to just do a copycat re-creation. “I am a throwback, I guess,” Julian explains. “It’s a very intentional homage, but to do so slavishly is rather pointless. People can still listen to those old records any time. I want to bring the essence of that innocent, timeless sound with a slightly hipper, knowing quality of today and sometimes even with a darker twist.” Julian brings a contemporary sensibility to the old songs that works. Today meets yesterday, melding instead of colliding.
A real sense of joy and playfulness is clear in his singing. Julian is a guy who’d be very comfortable with a big fedora, a megaphone, and totally at ease in a time warp! The smile comes through and is contagious. Quaint, perhaps, but also disarming and worth giving into.
Julian Yeo and his band 'Elixir de Jazz' are currently performing at various venues in NYC (Iridium, The Reprise Room at Dillon's, Triad NYC, Banjo Jim's, the Underground Lounge, etc). The band members are Kevin Dorn (Drums), Jesse Gelber (Piano), Alan Grubner (Violin), Doug Largent (Bass), Nick Russo (Guitar) and Dennis Lichtman (Clarinet). The band is often joined by special guests.
wonderfully talented... such warmth, passion, and sincerity... Bob Collins, Jazz Cafe, WRHU 88.7FM, NY, USA.
This young man and this 'old music' are one beautiful pair! Jean-Pierre Savouyaud, Virus de Jazz, France.
I can't remember the last time I encountered such a thoroughly original artist as Julian Yeo... Jeff Rossen - Cabaret Scenes Magazine, US
It's so refreshing to be wrapped in the so right combination of early 20th century vocal styles with clean, melodic early 21st century instrumental arrangements. Eddie O'Strange, Town & Country Radio Show, Access Radio 783AM, New Zealand
...really like his style and vocal skills, a very new experience I must say..., Joost for Jazz & Blues Tour with ASFM 105.4, Netherlands
Julian Yeo - Vocals/ Band Leader
Tracks: 1. C'est Si Bon; 2. Too Close for Comfort; 3. Quando, Quando, Quando; 4. Mack the Knife; 5. Nature Boy; 6. Hernando's Hideaway; 7. I'm Putting All my Eggs in One Basket; 8. You're Getting to be a Habit with Me; 9. It's a Good Day; 10. Speak Low; 11. Charade; 12. I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan; 13. Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart; 14. What'll I do; 15. Isn't This a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)
Personnel: Jesse Gelber - Pianno/Music Director Nick Russo - Guitar/ Banjo Doug Largent - Bass Kevin Dorn - Drums Dennis Lichtman - Clarinet/Mandolin/Violin Aaron Weinstein - Mandolin/Violin Alan Grubner - Violin
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