Eli’s blues message in a State Department salute to Black History Month


I’m honored to be featured in this article on the blues on the US Embassy website…

American Blues Music Formed by Pain to Cure Pain
— by Stephen Kaufman

Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert and APAP Showcase

Join us this Saturday night January 12, 2013 in New York City for a great night of music and raising money for a great cause.

We are happy to participate in MOJO’S MARDIS GRAS CONCERT where profits will go to Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts via funds raised by Mecca Shriners and the Mariners Masonic Lodge No. 67 Operating Budget.

LaFrae’s Band 13th Amendment? goes on at 8pm, followed by Eli Yamin Blues Band from 8:40-9:10pm and Mojo and the Bayou Gypsies at 9:30.   We are going to play the blues to get rid of the blues. Please join us!
Tickets are $25 at the door.  APAP Badges gain free admission.  Additional donations are welcome.

Eli Yamin Blues Band Saturday, January 12 8pm

Connelly’s Klub
121 West 45th Street
New York City

Eli Yamin bandleader

Eli Yamin bandleader


Charenee Wade, voice
Charenee Wade, voice
Bob Stewart on tuba

Bob Stewart on tuba

LaFrae Sci

Eli Yamin Blues Band and Okra Dance Company at TriBeca Performing Arts Center

The Eli Yamin Blues Band in performance at TriBeca Performing Arts Center initiating a new partnership between The Jazz Drama Program and The Okra Dance Company. From L to R: Eli Yamin, Mazz Swift, Bob Stewart, LaFrae Sci, Shireen Dickson, Mitchell Wayne

What a gas it was performing with all these cats.  This is what I’m talking about–jazz arts for a better world!  We can do this when we coordinate our minds!  That phrase comes from Don Pullen’s tune, “Listen to the People.”  This is the 20th anniversary of that tune. Everyone needs to know it too…that’s why we play it and live it besides.  Thanks to everyone who came to the concert and thanks to everyone who is with us in spirit.  We need you now more then ever.  Let’s spread this message throughout the world!

Listen to the People by Don and Sandra Pullen


So if we listen to the people

As we go from day to day

Understanding so much better

Stop to see things more that way

Now the world’s losing something

With the will to try and find

All mankind

Come together today

And incorporate our mind


So if we listen to the people

As we try to find our way.

With a world of only sorrow

There must be a brighter day.

Yes the world’s losing something

With the will to try and find

All mankind

Come together today

Let’s incorporate our mind


Come together

Come together today

Two Pianos Two Minds One Message – FREEDOM

Eli Yamin and Damien Sneed

Great times presenting on the music of the Civil Rights Movement this week at Mesa Arts Center with maestro Damien Sneed.  What a pleasure and honor.  Looking forward to next week’s concert with Eli Yamin Blues Band and the Okra Dance Company at TriBeca Performing Arts Center in lower Manhattan, Friday, October 26 at 8pm.  Please do join us if you are in town. This event is co-produced by The Jazz Drama Program.

Eli in Arizona desert drinking the jazz nectar!

The Jazz Drama Program presents New Orleans Music and Culture Professional Development at National Dance Insitute Center for Learning & the Arts in Harlem, USA

Eli Yamin gives professional development to teaching artists at National Dance Institute in Harlem.

What a pleasure and honor it was giving this professional development workshop at National Dance Institute at their beautiful new center in Harlem.  Thanks to music director, Jerome Korman and Artistic Director, Ellen Weinstein for bringing me back to NDI after many years.  What a tremendous group of dancers and musicians ready to give their artistry, passion, devotion, talent and time to the young people of  New York City schools through NDI’s extensive outreach programs.  May your efforts reach all children waiting to breath the fresh air of the arts in their schools!

Jazz Quartet North Country Tour

The Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet with Eli Yamin, Ari Roland, Zaid Nasser and LaFrae Sci

Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet hits the North Country this weekend with Eli Yamin, piano, Zaid Nasser, alto saxophone, Ari Roland, bass, LaFrae Sci, drums

Click on “gigs” for all the details!

Here’s  a teaser from a Montenegro TV show we did a while ago…






Back in New York City

The Eli Yamin Trio and The Magic and Mechanics of Jazz at Intermediate School 291: Roland Hayes in Brooklyn

Back in New York City this week we performed at Intermediate School 291: Roland Hayes School in Brooklyn with the Eli Yamin Trio and The Magic and Mechanics of Jazz.  Drummer Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax and bassist Elias Bailey have been performing this show with me for ten years and this time it was different.  We visited an ELA program through a partnership with The Jazz Drama Program and the Center for Arts in Education.  About 40 of the students had prepared for the performance by doing workshops with CAE teaching artist Lynn Ligamari.  Another 100 students or so just came by for the show.  We performed for about an hour–longer than we usually do in schools.  Our program included:

  • “Swingin’ From the Family Tree” by Eli Yamin and Clifford Carlson from Nora’s Ark, the jazz musical.
  • “Charlie Parker Played Bebop by Chris Raschka” with improvised musical accompaniment.
  • “Ornithology” by Charlie Parker
  • “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin
  • “Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotten
  • “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” by Count Basie
  • “I Feel So Glad” by Hop Wilson
  • “A Healing Song” by Eli Yamin and Clifford Carlson from “Message From Saturn, the jazz musical.”

After enthusiastic participation and response to the show, the kids said, “play another one.”  So we played “On the Foot of Canal Street” by John Boutte and Paul Sanchez from “Treme” the HBO Series set in New Orleans.  And then they asked for another, so we obliged with “Mambo Inn” by Mario Bauza.  They still wanted more, but at that point we had to move on with the question and answer period.  The 100 guest students reluctantly had to move on, while we stayed and took questions from the 40 students engaged in a unit of study around the work of art.  The first question came from a 10 year old new immigrant from Burkino Faso who wanted to know “What was the role of Africans in the creation of jazz?”  This gave us a great opportunity to describe the phenomenon of African American culture and how the music created by these heroic people became a tool to survive the horror of American slavery.  The resulting artistic treasure contains great healing properties that speak to people of all background and we think this is why so many people enjoy it all over the world.  The discussion continued with more thoughtful questions.  Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax gave a spirited demonstration of the different sounds and beats of the drums and Elias Bailey introduced everyone to the acoustic bass.  Afterwards some students came forward to try the instruments.  What a relaxed and beautiful atmosphere.  Who knew that summer is an ideal time for substantive, relaxed and meaningful learning in New York City Schools?  Believe me, we never get this kind of time with students at a performance during the school year.  What a magnificent program this is.  Hats off to the Center for Arts Education, Holly Fairbank, Jonathan Greenbe and Jerry James and all their partner schools.  We are happy to play our part.  Also, special thanks to Lynn Ligamari for running to get her keyboard when we found the schools piano under repair!  Hopefully they will get the piano fixed so these kids can continue to play!!!

Bassist Elias Bailey and drummer Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax interacting with students at Intermediate School 291: Roland Hayes in Brooklyn

Abakan, Siberia

Eli Yamin Blues Band workshop in Abakan, Siberia

Dlya menya ehto ne prosto pesnya

Sdelai vdoch ee ti poymesh

Ya ee bleus vso vremya vmeste

Dushevny blues

Dushevy blues

Russian translation by Ludmila Borisova

A Healing Song by Eli Yamin and Clifford Carlson from the jazz musical “Message From Saturn”




We had the good fortune to visit the music school in Abakan, Siberia and get to work with many talented musicians.  Big thanks to Alex, the jazz saxophone teacher and Natalie, the vocal instructor.  What a pleasure it was to work with you and your students.  Check out young drummer, 18-year old Lena.  Her shuffle was so good in the workshop, we invited her to play the encore with us on the concert.  LaFrae picked up the harp and little sister held it down!

Thanks to Irina, Igor, Elena and all the organizers and volunteers of the Abakan International Festival.  We were so honored to take part in such a fine celebration of world culture!

Bob Stewart, deeply engaged with bass student at Abakan music school



U.S. Embassy in Moscow

Eli Yamin at Spaso House, Moscow, Russia

We returned to Moscow to perform at the Independence Day Celebration at Spaso House, where U.S. Ambassador McFaul resides with his family.  We enjoyed our conversation with the Ambassador and hearing from him first hand what it’s like to work closely with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.  He was incredibly generous with his time and appreciative of our contribution to the festivities where we performed the blues for over 2000 guests.

U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, Eli Yamin, Inyang Bassey, Bob Stewart, LaFrae Sci, Donna Norton



Visiting the sites of Moscow was dreamlike.  To be in these places that were once totally off limits to us as enemy territory felt like a milestone.  May our countries continue to develop trust and mutual cooperation.  May our friendships endure and increase.

Krasnoyarsk, Siberia

Drummer LaFrae Sci arrives in Krasnoyarsk

We arrived in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia early in the morning on July 1, drummer LaFrae Sci’s Birthday. She was the first of the band off the plane and immediately received the warmth and welcome of the local people.

When we got to the hotel, we found the International Music Festival in full swing with musicians from around the world performing across the street in the plaza.

















































In the evening we joined in the celebration of world culture with our offering of blues from the U.S. and had a ball.  What an honor it was for us to participate in this festival.  Big thanks to the Minister of Culture of Krasnoyarsk and the wonderful and spirited organizing of Ludmila Borisova.  The next day, we gave our concert and immediately connected with the warm-hearted people of Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.  Our concert included our blues interpretation of the Russian Folk song Volga Boatmen, which I learned as a child from listening to Paul Robeson recordings, as well as our original song, A Healing Song, with the chorus sung by everyone in Russian and English, translation by Lumila and her friend Eva.  Yes, that IS LaFrae Sci in the background playing harmonica–it’s a new highlight of our show for our “back porch” rendition of Sweet Home Chicago.  Also, check out Bob Stewart as he gave an impromtu tuba workshop to the local players who hunted him down.  You can also see Inyang in her first tour with the band owning the music.