Eli Yamin Blues Band
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Eli Yamin Blues Band

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Jazz


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"The Blues in Inwood's Backyard all Along"

Pianist Eli Yamin of Jazz at Lincoln
Center had been looking for a place to play
in his neighborhood of 14 years. When
the storefront on the corner of W. 218th
Street and Indian Road began undergoing
renovations several years ago, Yamin and
many others in the neighborhood started
dreaming of what it might be.
Indian Road Café has become just the
venue to entice internationally acclaimed
musicians and performers, like Yamin,
to perform in the neighborhood’s
northwestern-most corner.
Yamin plays blues and bop the last
Tuesday of every month at the Café, each
month with different guest musicians,
often stars in their own right. The
atmosphere is warm and intimate. Local
regulars mingle with those who may have
travelled a bit farther to enjoy the music.
In an unexpected combination, Yamin
began the set Tue., July 27 playing piano
with Bob Stewart on tuba. The piano
spoke, and the tuba answered. The tuba
quipped with its own question, and the
piano responded in grandiose style. Piano
and tuba continued in conversation,
lighthearted and casual at first, later
speaking to a somber mood.
In the second set, Curtis Stewart joined
in on violin, turning the conversation
from back and forth banter to a more
complicated weaving of expressions.
Pressure, spirit and force built until the
music reached a raucous tipping point.
Yamin was up on the floor, exhorting the
crowd to clap and sing, then back at the
piano, all sway, swagger and movement.
Yamin said he thinks of different
emotions and stories when he plays. A
Eli Yamin
the blues, in inwood’s backyard all along
song in the first set called “Rwandan
Child” is based on the story of a child
wise beyond her years because of what
she has seen. However, the story does not
stop there.
“You play the blues to heal the blues,”
said Yamin. “The purpose of the music is
to heal.”
Yamin said he seeks to introduce jazz
and blues music to people who may
not have been exposed to it. Yamin has
played throughout the world, serving
as a cultural ambassador for the U.S.
Department of State. Throughout
his travels, he has seen music bring
people together from a variety of
“I like to think it’s our small way
of making peace in the world,” said
Yamin. “It’s a celebration of life. It’s our
diversity, our creativity, our imagination,
and our funk.”
Yamin is the Artistic Director of The
Jazz Drama Program and Director of Jazz
at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz
Academy. Yamin performs at the Indian
Road Café the last Tuesday of each
month. For more information on Yamin,
visit his Web site at http://www.eliyamin.
- Manhattan Times, Aug. 2010

"Piano Chops and More"

There is no question that Eli Yamin has great piano chops, but the most exceptional thing about his performances is simply the pure joy he conveys. And he’s equally passionate about ensuring that the audience shares in the fun. - Scott Barretta is the former editor of Living Blues magazine, and a writer/researcher for the Missis

"Musician 2"

“I have to congratulate you…for your creative approach.”

- Dave Brubeck, pianist/composer


“Eli reminds me of Pete Seeger. He’s a musician playing for a better world. As talent scout, opportunity-finder, generation-binder, justice-seeker and audience-builder, Eli Yamin doesn’t want to just play for you. He wants the essence of his jazz to infiltrate your community.”

- Becca Pulliam, producer of NPR’s Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater


“I learn from Eli every time I see him work.”

- Wynton Marsalis, Trumpeter/Composer

"Lincoln Center"

“Eli has an amazing talent for translating his passion for the music to his audience. He also has the teaching skills that equal his musicianship skills, and that’s a rare find.”

- Erika Floreska, Director of Education, Jazz At Lincoln Center

"Eli Yamin"

“Solid and swinging.” Scott Yanow - L.A. Jazz Scene


“We are all blown away. The Eli Yamin Quartet represents the best of what America stands for.” - Goli Ameri, Assistant Secretary of State


"I Feel So Glad" (2011) Eli Yamin Blues Band, available now on CD Baby, Itunes, Amazon and other outlets, airing internationally on radio from New York, New Jersey and Michigan to Pakistan, Poland and Montenegro.

"You Can't Buy Swing" (2008) by the Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet aired internationally on Sirius XM and WBGO, Jazz 88.



The Eli Yamin Blues Band plays the blues to dispel the blues. Celebrating the release of their debut recording, I FEEL SO GLAD, this ensemble welcomes audiences of all ages into the varied and rich world of America’s primary musical art form—the blues. I FEEL SO GLAD features the band’s anthem “A Healing Song,” about the healing power of the blues as well as a startling new arrangement of “Hound Dog,” originally made famous by Elvis Presley and Big Mama Thornton and the Billy Taylor classic, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” made famous by Nina Simone. The group explores the blues’ unique capacity to bring people together of all different backgrounds. The band sings to its audiences:

“It’s not just a song for me
Take a breath and you will see
Why the blues has the power to be
A healing song
A healing song.”

The Eli Yamin Blues Band has performed and taught at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center Institute in New York City, the Guatemala International Jazz Festival and as U.S. cultural ambassadors in the Balkans and in Brazil and Chile, part of an Earthquake Relief Tour on the Rhythm Road, a program co-sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. Department of State. Performances ranged from the most highly watched TV shows to neighborhood schools and castle ruins. “It’s a amazing to hear ‘A Healing Song in all languages,’” says band leader Yamin. “Seems like people know the blues wherever we go. What a joy and privilege to see people jumping in with hands and feet and relating their own personal experiences to this ancient and modern music.”

In addition to being spirited performers, members of Eli Yamin Blues Band are also skilled educators. During their workshops, audiences gain insights into the cultural and spiritual origins of the blues and get involved with the music by singing, stomping and clapping along.