An Australian of Asian descent, Julian was a shy kid decades away from his own personal musical heroes like dapper Fred Astaire. “When I hear Fred Astaire singing Irving Berlin songs; no matter what mood I’m in, these songs always bring a smile to my face,” he says. It’s not surprising that a retro sound comes so naturally to him. Singers from the 1920s and 30s are what he most likes listening to: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Rudy Vallee, Arthur Tracy (“The Street Singer”), early Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, vocalists from the “sweet bands”. But Julian Yeo is not satisfied to just do a copycat re-creation.
“I am a throwback, I guess,” Julian explains. “It’s a very intentional homage, but to do so slavishly is rather pointless. People can still listen to those old records any time. I want to bring the essence of that innocent, timeless sound with a slightly hipper, knowing quality of today and sometimes even with a darker twist.” Julian brings a contemporary sensibility to the old songs that works.
Today meets yesterday, melding instead of colliding. A real sense of joy and playfulness is clear in his singing. Julian is a guy who’d be very comfortable with a big fedora, a megaphone, and totally at ease in a time warp! The smile comes through and is contagious. Quaint, perhaps, but also disarming and worth giving into. Julian Yeo and his Retro Jazz Band are currently performing at various venues in NYC (Iridium, The Reprise Room at Dillon's, Triad NYC, Banjo Jim's, the Underground Lounge, etc). The band members are Kevin Dorn (Drums), Jesse Gelber (Piano), Alan Grubner (Violin), Doug Largent (Bass), Nick Russo (Guitar) and Dennis Lichtman (Clarinet).
The band is often joined by special guests. Sites: www.julianyeo.com www.youtube.com/julianyeojazz Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more