Saxophonist Deon Yates is not new to the music scene, and 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 artist 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.
Deon grew up on the East Side of Detroit where he was introduced to jazz by teachers Donald Washington, founder of the cutting edge ensemble Bird-Trane-Sco-Now, and music educator Hosea Taylor, whom Deon credits as being his musical father. Deon quickly became an accomplished woodwind player proficient in both jazz and classical music. One of the first gigs Deon landed was with Jazz Drummer Leonard King (James Carter Organ Trio) ,at the age of sixteen, along with band mates Regina Carter: Violin and Rodney Whitaker: Bass.
Some of Deon's favorite career moments include being nominated for an Emmy Award for original music he produced for a PBS Television program in 2001, and performing as a special guest on concerts with Rick Braun, Richard Elliot, Alexander Zonjic, Rodney Whitaker, James Carter, Roy Brooks, Marcus Belgrave, Kem, Dwele, Clarence Carter, Kirk Whalum, The Floaters, The Contours and many others. Deon has toured nationally with the original number one Dave Matthews Tribute Band The Tripping Billies based out of Rochester, NY and seamlessly covered the style of Leroi Moore.