Composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist Jason Yarde writes music that has been described as powerful, spiritual, evocative, rhapsodic, hair- raising and formidable. He composes across various styles (progressive jazz, classical, hip-hop, fusion, free improvisation, broken beats, R&B, reggae, soul, song writing) and for a variety of media (orchestras, chamber ensembles, big band, dance, film, electro-acoustic and midi) and his potential and originality is such that he was nominated for the Bird Award at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival and for the Jazz on 3 Innovation Award for the 2005 and 2006 BBC Jazz Awards. In 2006 Jason participated in the LSO’s Discovery Panufnik Young Composers Scheme and has since progressed to be a LSO, UBS Sound Adventures Artist. Most recently his Proms compositional debut ‘Rhythm and Other Fascinations’ won the inaugural BASCA award for ‘Contemporary Jazz Composition’ in 2010.
Yarde began playing alto and soprano saxophones with the Jazz Warriors while still a teenager and then went on to MD this landmark orchestra also becoming one of its principal writers. He has a BA (Hons) in Performance Arts from Middlesex University - a degree incorporating a year at William Paterson College in New Jersey where he studied orchestration, studio engineering, jazz performance and saxophone under Joe Lovano, Gary Smulyan and Steve Wilson. Since then he’s been a key member of award winning groups Quite Sane, J-Life and a longtime sideman of Louis Moholo.