John Yao > Jazz Trombone
Asian-American trombonist, composer, and arranger, John S. Yao, is quickly becoming an integral member of New York City’s Jazz and Latin music scenes. Hungry for greater knowledge and a bigger stage, the Chicago-native moved to New York City in 2005 to attend Queens College where he earned his Master’s degree in Jazz Performance.
Under the guidance of Michael Mossman, Director of Jazz Studies, John grew immensely as a composer and arranger, and was recognized with the Aaron Copeland School of Music Jazz Award. In addition, John has further expanded the breadth of his trombone technique and jazz improvisation skills under the direction of Luis Bonilla, Professor of Trombone, who has become a strong influence in John’s post-graduate musical career.
As a performer, John has played at many well-renowned venues, such as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, Birdland, Minton’s Playhouse, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has also performed with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra directed by Arturo O’Farrill, Paquito D’Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, Danilo Perez, Kurt Elling, Teo Macero, Diego Urcola, Ismael Miranda, Buddy DeFranco, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Lou Rawls, Brooklyn Big Band, Josh Shneider Orchestra, and Bright Eyes. Internationally, he has performed in Japan, Italy, Austria, Peru, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
As an up-and-coming composer and arranger, John has been commissioned to write many arrangements for educational performance ensembles, including the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, CA. These commissions include arrangements of standard jazz repertoire, as well as original compositions for big band ensembles. John has also been commissioned to write arrangements for several international big band clinics, which were later performed abroad by an elite group of students.
Currently, John lives in Astoria, Queens where he is focused on writing original compositions, writing for commission, and writing for his newly formed big band, the Yaozeki Big Band. He also works with the Third Street Music School Settlement, teaching music to inner-city school children. John’s passion for music fuels his motivation to continue exploring new heights as a composer, arranger, and performer.