Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is one of the most gifted and sought-after musicians of his generation. Yoron’s exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional and arranging talents are spotlighted on his most recent release “This Moment“ (Ronja Music) as well as the 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). As co-leader of the Frank Walton/Yoron Israel Sextet, the recordings “Live in Chicago” and “The Back Step” (Han-Wal Productions) are noteworthy. 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 bandleader. 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 dynamic trio “New Dreams”, featuring the artistry of pianist/keyboardist Kevin Harris and bassist Will Slater. “New Dreams” presents original compositions, personalized arrangements by influential composers, as well as their own open improvisations. Stay tuned for Yoron’s upcoming recording later this year, which will prominently highlight the special musicality of this trio.
As well as the Boston based quartet “High Standards”, which is featured on both of his most recent projects, “This Moment” and “Visions”. 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 Hogarth – 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 and beyond, while adding a personalized perspective to familiar performance, compositional and arrangement references, by which future generations of listeners and musicians will be inspired by.
“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.
“Live in Chicago” and “The Back Step” represents Yoron’s work with his long time friend and mentor, trumpeter Frank Walton. Their sextet also features Allan Chase or Jaleel Shaw – alto saxophone, Lance Bryant –tenor & soprano saxophone, Kevin Harris – piano and Avery Sharpe – bass. This ensemble is firmly rooted in the classic be-bop and hard bop traditions reminiscent of such giants as Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Miles Davis, with renewed fire and urgency. Also featured are original works and arrangements by all the members of the sextet.
He co-leads the “Yoron Israel / Bill Pierce – ICU Revisited”, with Miles Griffith – vocals, John Lockwood – bass and Kevin Harris – piano, all except Kevin were original members of the James Williams “Intensive Care Unit” band. This group pays tribute to the magnificent compositional and artistic legacy of the late James Williams while extending the possibilities of “Gospel Jazz”.
Additionally, Mr. Israel 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 a 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, the above listed groups are sometimes augmented with such artists as Hendrik Meurkins, 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, 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 200 recordings as an accompanist. Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Ahmad Jamal, Horace Silver, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Gloria Lynne, Dakota Staton, Grover Washington, Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutchinson, Art Farmer, Clifford Jordan, Jerome Richardson, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Cedar Walton, Freddie Cole, Pharoah Sanders, George Adams, Charles Mingus Dynasty Big Band, David “Fathead” Newman, Red Holloway, Larry Coryell, Henry Butler, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Benny Golson, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Curtis Fuller, Bennie Wallace, Vanessa Rubin, Kevin Mahogany, Bill Mays, James Williams, Danilo Perez, Cyrus Chestnut, Otis Clay and Shirley Caesar are among the numerous artists that he has worked with. Yoron currently tours regularly with bassist Avery Sharpe, vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, and saxophonist Marco Pignataro.
Since 2000, he has maintained a busy schedule of performing and recording with many outstanding Boston based artists, such as Laszlo Gardony, The Makanda Project, Donna McElroy, Gabrielle Goodman 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 Mary Wilson, 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 Assistant Chair and Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music, Boston Massachusetts and Music Director at Destiny Life Center International with locations in Randolph and Boston 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 Modern Music Camp, Shanghai China (2017), Jiong Summer Drum Camps Beijing & Wuhan China (2017), Berklee at Umbria Clinics (2017, 2018), Berklee in San Domingo (2017,’14), Art Music, Conservatory of Pescara (2014), Art Music Center Bologna, Italy (2014), Havana (Cuba) Jazz Festival, Hokkaido Groove Camp, Sapporo, Japan (2009, 2008, 2007), 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 (2012, 2013,1998 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, 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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