mike yates

mike yates

BandPopAdult Contemporary

“Don’t look away! You don’t want to miss a sound!” One part Cellist, one part Singer-Songwriter, and one part String Orchestra Director, Mike Yates delivers his music with conviction and honesty. He inspires musicians and music lovers alike, turning his newest audiences into instant fans.


"A great cellist with an incredible sound who just happens to be a sweet songwriter. Mike Yates is one of Ottawa's best kept musical secrets. It's not too often you see a great cellist performing pop music on cello while singing"  

Emm Gryner (singer/songwriter/Juno Nominee)

"One part classically trained cellist, one part singer-songwriter, and one part string orchestra director. Mike Yates is one of Ottawa's best-kept musical secrets. It's not too often you see a singer performing rock music on cello.There is nothing artificial or trendy about his sound. He performs music that the audience can easily relate to. He has a collection of great songs, written from an honest and often heartbreaking perspective, delivered every performance with a musician whose passion for music is clearly evident. With influences ranging from Bach to U2 to Gordon Lightfoot, you can’t help but be drawn into his music, no matter what your musical tastes are."

"Whether Mike is playing a solo show or performing with a full band, his music never loses its energy. There is something captivating and soothing about his sound. When Mike is not singing, his melodies are expressed through the cello."

Mike’s new record “songs for tomorrow” demonstrates that a cellist can write some great songs. It’s the culmination of two years of writing and recording, and stands as his best songwriting to date. It’s an album filled with simple-yet clever lyrics, catchy choruses, and solid musicianship.

Mike has spent the last few years honing his skills as both a singer/songwriter and cellist. Mike spent years as an orchestral cellist performing with the Sudbury Symphony, the North Bay Symphony, the Sault St Marie Symphony, and the Ottawa Symphony. Mike has also performed at numerous festivals across Ontario. Some have included The Ottawa Tulip Festival, The Ottawa Folk Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest, The Ottawa Fringe Festival, and The Niagara Folk Arts Festival.

He also remains a much in demand cellist, performing regularly as the cellist for Emm Gryner (Danny Michel) and Ken Tizzard (The Watchmen, Thornley), and has also performed with the likes of Ron Sexsmith, Rob Szabo, Cara Luft (The Wailin' Jennys), Great lake Swimmers, Cuff the Duke, and has recorded cello for some of Canada's top performers and recording artists.

Considered one of the hardest working musicians in Ottawa, Mike Yates has a very determined ethic of "write great songs - play great songs - meet great people - and foremost - have a great time doing it".




13 STORIES (2004) MY01-CD

Set List

My sets include most of the songs from the new record "songs for tomorrow". I usually throw in a few songs from my previous records along with a few cover songs from Ron Sexsmith, Gordon Lightfoot, Crowded House, and Bruce Cockburn and numerous other great musicians.