Official Biography (courtesy of Deon Yates)
A little history on Deon - Deon Yates has been entertaining audiences all over the United States and the world all of his life. Deon started playing music at the age of eight at Guyton elementary school on the east side of Detroit. From there he went on to Remus Robinson middle school where he was introduced to jazz by teachers Donald Washington and Hosea Taylor whom Deon credits as being his musical father. Taylor took Deon under his wing and the rest is history.
While at Robinson middle school he met and quickly became best friends with a young Rodney Whitaker (World renowned Jazz Bassist). Deon and Rodney Joined the critically acclaimed, cutting edge performance ensemble: Bird~Trane~Sco~Now, where they later met, a then unknown, James Carter. Deon was a part of the Interlochen summer program as well as the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Blue Lake in Bavaria program. Deon along with James Carter are among the only teens to have ever performed with the camps faculty jazz band The Blue Lake Monsters.
Deon has performed professionally with some of Detroit's top jazz musicians by the age of 14 including Marcus Belgrave, Donald Walden, Harold McKinney, Regina Carter, Roy Brooks and Kenny Cox just to name a few.
Deon has been a favorite performer at Detroit's Ribs-N-Soul Festival, Arts Beats and Eats, The Trenton Jazz Festival, Jazzin on Jefferson, The Capital Jazz Fest in Maryland, Detroit's Winter Blast, Chicago B.L.U.E.S., Fire Keepers Casino, Motor City Casino, Greektown Casino, MGM Casino, Turtle Creek Casino, Bakers Keyboard Lounge, Cornelia Street Cafe in NYC and several other events, clubs and venues across the United States. In 2001 Deon was nominated for an Emmy Award for original music he produced for a Detroit Public Television program. He has also performed as a special guest on concerts with Kem, Dwele, Clarence Carter, Kirk Whalum, The Floaters, The Contours and many others.
As a saxophone player, Deon is one of the few instrumentalists to master the circular breathing technique that allows him to hold one single note without stopping for longer than 5 minutes, it is a show stopper you must see and hear to believe. Deon has toured nationally with the original number one Dave Matthews Band Tribute "The Tripping Billies" based out of Rochester, NY and seamlessly covered the style of Leroi Moore. And with the release of his new CD "In Time" and is a current artist on the upcoming compilation cd from U S Smooth Jazz. He can be heard on local area radio and several Internet radio sites.