Born: August 6, 1967 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
Paul Yoder grew up in Monterey Park, CA in a home filled with musical influence. His Mother had been a concert violinist with various symphony orchestras, including working under the direction of Conductor Carmen Dragon. I can remember taking up the violin at around age 4, although I only stuck with it for about a month. That was mainly for my mom's sake, aIthough the sounds emanating out of that fiddle must have been heinous. Paul then switched to piano, but just couldn't seem to get the hang of that instrument either. After learning that his older brother, Mark, had studied trumpet for a short stint, he immediately knew that this was THE instrument for him. I used to watch the Lawrence Welk Show with my parents, and was always mesmerized by the trumpet playing of Johnny Zell. He was just incredible. I wanted to sound like THAT! And with that inspiration, the journey began. His first trumpet teacher, Marie Oliva, would also be the longest lasting and most influential of his many teachers. She was this short, but tough, ex- Maj. from the Air Force. I mean, you couldn't get anything past her. It was hard learning, but also very rewarding. She was solely responsible for shaping my sound and helping me develop my range. I always get compliments on my tone. A friend of mine once told me that I had a tone that could cut right through drywall! Thanks Marie!!! His other teachers and influences would include Uan Rasey, Roy Poper, John Papenbrook, Jerome Callet, Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Chuck Mangione, Chet Baker, John Faddis, Allen Vizzuti, Rick Braun, Greg Adams, and of course, Miles. I have always been drawn towards trumpet players that had an edge, either in their aggressiveness or their range or their sound...or even their lifestyle. That's always where it's been at for me...on the edge.
Some of Paul's experience and accomplishments growing up include over 100 1st place medals from the SCSBOA (Southern California School Band and Orchestra Assoc.), the Bank of America award in the field of music (High School), Principle trumpet in the Pasadena Junior Symphony, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Herald Trumpets, playing in the 1984 Olympics, touring with the Continental Orchestra (at age 15!), Paramount Studios Jazz Band, recording work in the Gosple arena, co-founder & principal trumpet of the Agape Orchestra, Ashley Williams Big Band, Eric Byak Project, etc.
Paul still works as a Unix Engineer for the Cassini Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. It gives me an opportunity to stretch my mental muscles as well as providing funding for my musical endeavors. I can't think of a better combination of mixing my logical side with my artistic side.