B i o g r a p h y
Multi-instrumentalist composer, arranger and educator Neil Yates studied music at Salford University and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
He stepped out into the professional music business in 1991, as a London-based jazz trumpeter working most notably for the BBC Big Band and Johnny Dankworth Orchestra. He moved on to higher profile session musician work in 1994, performing and recording with The Brand New Heavies, Supergrass, Black Grape, Lighthouse Family, Alison Moyet, Will Young, Raw Stylus, Suggs, Matt Bianco and Robbie Williams.
To address his own creative urges in 1999 Neil moved out of London and travelled the festivals of UK and Ireland for a year in a caravan, eventually settling in a North Wales beauty spot to write and record his award winning first solo jazz album "New Origins" and second album "Five Countries", released on Edition Records November 2011. He also became much involved in Celtic music, performing, writing and arranging for traditional music legends Michael McGoldrick and Kate Rusby.
As an educator Neil lectures in music at Salford University, Leeds College of Music, and previously taught at Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
He has also receives large scale commissions as composer, including an hour long suite for brass called "Sketches of a Northern Town" and an antiphonal suite for jazz orchestra entitled "Surroundings"*nominated for British Composers Award 2011. He also created "Undivided"** - a suite for jazz orchestra and ceilidh band which premiered at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections 2015
Recently Neil returned to some commercial session work, including performances with Elbow, Katie Meluah and Rumer.
He has just completed a four year PHD in Musical Artistry, is the winner of Arts Council Wales' Creative Wales Award 2012 and is Artistic Director of Llandudno Jazz Festival.
* (commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival 2010 with funds from ACE, Foyle Foundation, Granada Foundation and PRS for Music Foundation)
**(funded by PRSF Foundation's Beyond Borders Scheme)