John Yao

For over a decade, John Yao’s adept talent as a trombonist, composer and arranger has helped cement his place on the New York City jazz scene. Yao’s lyrical soloing and expressive, round tone combined with his creative hunger for exploring the boundaries of harmony and rhythm in his compositions/arrangements have established him as a unique musical talent. All About Jazz says Yao is “an evolving artist who continues to grow at a rapid pace.”

As a trombonist, he has worked extensively as a sideman for Grammy-award winning ensembles, such as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and has also performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, Danilo Perez, Chris Potter and Kurt Elling, among others. Yao is the leader of two working bands: John Yao Quintet and John Yao & His 17-piece Instrument. Both projects feature his adventurous, boundary-pushing compositions. Downbeat called his most recent Quintet release Presence (See Tao Recordings, 2017) “Yao’s most searching release to date, the album is marked by greater openness and ensemble elasticity.” Midwest Record says Flip-Flop (See Tao Recordings), the 2015release by John Yao & His 17-piece Instrument(“JY-17”), is“a must set for big band fans that want to hear something that takes the form into the future, this blows the ears open in a mighty way.”

In 2015, Yao pioneered a crowdsourcing campaign and founded the “Big Band & Beyond Concert Series.” The goal of the series was two-fold: to challenge himself to produce new big band works and perform them with JY-17 at each concert, and to expose audiences to new ideas of what big band is and what it sounds like today. As Elliot Simon put it, “This ain’t your granddaddy’s big band.”

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New York City

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Manhattan School of Music, Guest Lecturer of Private Trombone Lessons, 2011-present Temple University, Guest Lecturer of Jazz Combos, Latin Ensemble and Private Trombone Lessons, 2007 - 2009 Boston University, Online Facilitator for Jazz and Pop Arranging Class, 2007 York College, York College Big Band, Blue Notes Jazz Ensemble, Summer Jazz Workshop, Adjunct Faculty – Private Trombone Lessons, 2008- present Jazz Project at Kupferberg Center Performances, Clinician for New York High Schools in Queens, 2007 – present Third Street Music Settlement, Teaching Artist, Beginning Band and Brass Instructor, New York Public Schools PS190, PS 99, TASS MS301, Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn, PS 142, 2008 – present The Dwight School, Private Trombone Lessons – 2011 - present New York Summer Music Festival, Private Trombone Lessons, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Combos – 2010 - present Available for private lessons by appointment, $65 per hour, one hour minimum.

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Volume II: To Call...

Biophilia Records


How We Do

See Tao Recordings



See Tao Recordings



See Tao Recordings


In The Now

Innova Recordings


Three Parts As One

From: How We Do
By John Yao


From: Presence
By John Yao


From: Flip-Flop
By John Yao


From: In The Now
By John Yao

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