Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is one of the most gifted and sought after musicians in the music industry today. Yoron’s exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional talents are spotlighted throughout his recordings; “VISIONS” – The Music of Stevie Wonder (Ronja Music), “Basic Traneing” (Ronja Music), “Chicago” (Double Time), “Live at the Blue Note” (Half Note) and “A Gift for You” (Ronja Music). All of these fine works have received enthusiastic praise from journalists, musical peers and fans alike. They represent the extensive depth of Yoron Israel’s musicianship as he continues to evolve as a leader. He brings his unique influences and experiences in Jazz, World Styles, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Funk, R & B and Orchestral idioms full circle with his compositions, arrangements, repertoire and ensemble concept: “Music to be enjoyed by all”. As Jack DeJohnette quotes, “A Gift for You” is a sparkling musical offering from a drummer who has good taste. He has a sense of direction and a feeling of joy in his drumming, compositions and arrangements. Yoron Israel is an important voice you should listen to.”
Yoron leads the Boston based quartet “High Standards”, which is featured on his latest release “VISIONS” – The Music of Stevie Wonder. The quartet currently features; Laszlo Gardony – piano/keyboard, Lance Bryant – tenor & soprano saxophones and Henry Lugo – bass, along with special guests Larry Roland – spoken word and Thaddeus Hagarth – harmonica and guitar. This core foursome represents a depth of virtuosity and musical cohesiveness that is infectious. This ensemble is committed to forging ahead “new standards” for the 21st century; adding a personalized perspective to familiar performance, compositional and arrangement references that will become common repertoire of choice for future generations of jazz musicians.
“Basic Traneing”, reached number three on the National Jazz chart in 2004. It features his organ trio “Organic” with organist Kyle Koehler, guitarist Ed Cherry, along with special guests Jay Hoggard (vibraphone/ marimba) and Billy Pierce (tenor and soprano saxophone). Yoron’s “Organic”, performs original compositions and works associated with the soulful musical legacies of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland and Dr. Lonnie Smith while highlighting the versatility and virtuosity of the trio.
The recording “Chicago”, released in 2000 on the Double Time label, features saxophonist Joe Lovano, organist Larry Goldings and guitarist Marvin Sewell. Yoron pays tribute to his birthplace by performing original works and compositions by other influential Chicago natives such as Johnny Griffin, Maurice White, Jack Dejohnette, Clifford Jordan, Donny Hathaway and Julian Priester.
“Live from the Blue Note” is Yoron Israel’s second recording, featuring his quintet “Connection”, with vibraphonist Bryan Carrott, guitarist Ed Cherry, and bassist Sean Conly, along side special guests, trombonist Steve Turre and saxophonist Eric Alexander. “A Gift for You”, Yoron’s debut recording was produced by Ronja Music Company, originally released in 1996 and recently re-released in 2006. It includes performances by pianist James Williams, saxophonists Lance Bryant and Donald Harrison, trumpeter Phillip Harper and bassist John Lockwood along with regulars Carrott and Cherry. “Connection”, a jazz quintet formed in 1994, featuring the unique and enticing instrumental blend of drums/percussion, vibraphone, guitar, tenor/soprano saxophone, and bass. Concert presentations are inspiring and joyful. The common musical vocabularies shared by the band members formulate a unified ensemble sound that connects the listener to their combined musical experiences that encompass a wide range of musical styles.
Yoron is currently working on a new recording with his group; “Key Players”, which is fundamentally a trio with drums, organ and piano, plus voice(s). An instrumentation that defined the musical sound in the black church of my youth. It is that sound, attitude and spirit that shapes the band by combining the secular and sacred in the most creative, meaningful manner.
Mr. Israel also leads the “Yoron Israel Septet, A Musical Tribute to David “Fathead” Newman”, features Bill Easley, Marcus Belgrave, Curtis Fuller, Howard Johnson, David Leonhardt and John Menegon, all of which share long associations with David Newman throughout various periods of his career, which inspires an richness in the Septet’s sound. This seven piece, four – horn band is a special project and is reminiscent of Newman’s 2007 “Cityscape” as well as earlier recordings, including those dating back to the Ray Charles era.
For select engagements and recordings, Yoron has showcased the talents of Tom Harrell, Houston Person, Cecil Bridgewater, Steve Turre, Miles Griffith, Antonio Hart, Eric Alexander, Amina Claudine Meyers, Joe Lovano, Thaddeus Hogarth, George Russell, Jr., Steve Hunt, Leo Blanco, Jeff Lockhart, Stan Strickland, John Lockwood, Ron Mahdi and Ernesto Diaz among others, bringing even more diversity and impact to his performances.
In addition to leading his various projects as a bandleader. Yoron’s brilliant musicality, intensity and versatility are appreciated worldwide, through consistent performances at prestigious concerts, notable festivals, and prominent clubs as well as on more than 100 major recordings as an accompanist. Otis Clay, Shirley Caesar, Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Ahmad Jamal, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutchinson, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Cedar Walton, Grover Washington, Freddie Cole, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Pharoah Sanders, David “Fathead” Newman, Red Holloway, Larry Coryell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Bennie Wallace, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Vanessa Rubin, Kevin Mahogany, Roy Hargrove, Bill Mays, James Williams, Cyrus Chestnut and Joshua Redman are among the numerous artists that he has worked with. He currently tours regularly with bassist Avery Sharpe, saxophonists Marco Pignataro and vibraphonist Jay Hoggard.
Since 2000, he has maintained a busy schedule performing and recording with many outstanding Boston based artists, such as Laszlo Gardony, The Makanda Project, Donna McElroy, Gabrielle Goodman, Stan Strickland and Lance Bryant to name a few. Additionally, he has become a first call accompanist for a wide range of artists appearing in the New England area; this list includes Abraham Laboriel, Eddie Gomez, Frank Morgan, Joanne Brackeen, Eliane Elias, Larry Goldings, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jane Ira Bloom, Greg Osby, Clark Terry and Joey DeFrancesco, among others.
Additionally, Yoron Israel is currently the Assistant Chair and Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music, Boston Massachusetts and Music Director at Victory World Outreach Church, Randolph, MA.
He received his Master of Music degree from Rutgers University ’97 (New Brunswick, NJ) and Bachelor of Music degree from Roosevelt University ’86 (Chicago IL).
As an educator, he is the author of the acclaimed educational DVD, “Creative Jazz Improvisation for Drum Set”, published by Hal Leonard and Berklee Press. He has also author of the online course “Drum Set Fundamentals”, which is offered through Berkleemusic.com.
Mr. Israel was formerly on the faculty at Rutgers University, William Paterson University and Mannes College -The New School For Music, he continues to teach privately, conduct clinics, workshops, residencies and music camps throughout the world. These include the Havana (Cuba) Jazz Festival, Hokkaido Groove Camp, Sapporo, Japan (2009, ’08, ’07), the Seminario & Encuentro Internacional de Jazz, Xalapa Mexico (2010, 2006 & 2004), Berklee Percussion Festivals (2003 – 2010), Taichung Jazz Festivals, Taiwan (2003 & 2004), The International Association of Jazz Educators Convention (2002), The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (2009, 2001), Young Audiences of New Jersey (1994 – 2006), The Vermont Jazz Camp (1990 – 1997) and The Litchfield Music School (1998 and 1999).
Yoron’s varied credits have earned recognition in such publications as The Patriot Ledger, The Enterprise, Jazz.com, Variety, The Royal Gazette, Bermuda, Jazz Improv Magazine, Rocky Mount (NC) Telegraph, Outstanding Young Men of America, Down Beat, Jazz Times, Modern Drummer, Stick It, Percussive Notes, New York Times, Boston Globe and Boston Herald, among others. He is an endorser of Sonor Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Evans Drum Heads, Axis Percussion, Westone In Ear Monitiors, Vater; Drumsticks, Mallets, Brushes and Hamilton Stands.
Yoron is thankful for the loving support of his wife A. Gail Moore–Israel and daughters; Gavriel, Amaylah and Jaline. He is proud to say all are extremely talented in their own rights.
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