Skip to main content

Yoron Israel


Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is one of the most gifted musicians of his generation. Yoron's exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional talents are spotlighted throughout his recordings; "Basic Traneing" (Ronja Music Company), "Chicago" (Double Time), "Live at the Blue Note" (Half Note) and "A Gift for You" (Ronja Music Company).

All of these fine works have received enthusiastic praise from journalists, musical peers and fans alike. They represent the extensive depth of Yoron Israel's musicianship as he continues to evolve as a leader. He brings his unique influences and experiences in the Jazz, World Styles, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Funk, R & B and Orchestral idioms full circle with his compositions, arrangements, repertoire and ensemble concepts. "Music to be enjoyed by all". As Jack DeJohnette quotes, 'A Gift for You' is a sparkling musical offering from a drummer who has good taste. He has a sense of direction and a feeling of joy in his drumming, compositions and arrangements. Yoron Israel is an important voice you should listen to."

"Basic Traneing", reached number three on the National Jazz chart in 2004. It features his current trio "Organic" with organist Kyle Koehler, guitarist Ed Cherry, along with special guests Jay Hoggard (vibraphone/ marimba) and Billy Pierce (tenor and soprano saxophone). Yoron's group, "Organic" performs original compositions associated with the soulful organ legacy of Jimmy Smith, Larry Young and Lonnie Smith as well as arrangements of "standards" that bridge the gap between musical styles, highlighting the versatility and virtuosity of the musicians.

The recording "Chicago", released in 2000 on the Double Time label, features saxophonist Joe Lovano, organist Larry Goldings and guitarist Marvin Sewell. Yoron pays tribute to his birthplace by performing original works and compositions by other influential Chicago natives such as Johnny Griffin, Maurice White, Jack DeJohnette, Clifford Jordan, Donny Hathaway and Julian Priester.

"Live from the Blue Note" is Yoron Israel's second recording, featuring his quintet, "Connection", with vibraphonist Bryan Carrott, guitarist Ed Cherry, and bassist Sean Conly, alongside special guests, trombonist Steve Turre and saxophonist Eric Alexander. "A Gift for You", Yoron's debut recording was produced by Ronja Music Company, originally released in 1996 and recently re-released in 2006. It includes performances by pianist James Williams, saxophonists Lance Bryant and Donald Harrison, trumpeter Phillip Harper and bassist John Lockwood along with regulars Carrott and Cherry. "Connection", a jazz quintet formed in 1994, featuring the unique and enticing instrumental blend of drums/percussion, vibraphone, guitar, tenor/soprano saxophone, and bass. Concert presentations are inspiring and joyful. The common musical vocabularies shared by the band members formulate a unified ensemble sound that connects the listener to their combined musical experiences that encompass a wide range of musical styles.

Yoron leads the 'Yoron Israel Septet, A Musical Tribute to David "Fathead" Newman', which features Bill Easley, Marcus Belgrave, Curtis Fuller, Howard Johnson, David Leonhardt and John Menegon, all of which share long associations with David Newman throughout various periods of his career, which inspires an richness in the Septet's sound. This seven piece, four - horn band is a special project and is reminiscent of Newman's 2007 "Cityscape" as well as earlier recordings, including those dating back to the Ray Charles era.

Mr. Israel also leads the Boston based quartet "High Standards", whose instrumentation and repertoire varies according the performance environment. This band is all about flexibility and outstanding musicianship, covering musical styles ranging from Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Fusion, R & B, Smooth Jazz and World Styles. "High Standards" is the right band for any occasion. George Russell, Jr., Steve Hunt, Leo Blanco, Jeff Lockhart, Stan Strickland, Lance Bryant, John Lockwood, Thomas Hebb, Ed Saindon, Patrice Williams, Ernesto Diaz are all among the talented musicians associated with this stellar group.

For select engagements, Yoron has showcased the talents of Tom Harrell, Houston Person, Cecil Bridgewater, Steve Turre, Miles Griffith, Antonio Hart, Eric Alexander, Amina Claudine Meyers and Joe Lovano, bringing even more diversity and impact to his performances.

In addition to leading his various projects as a bandleader. Yoron's brilliant musicality, intensity and versatility are appreciated worldwide, through consistent performances at prestigious concerts, notable festivals, and prominent clubs as well as on more than 100 major recordings as an accompanist. Otis Clay, Shirley Caesar, Kenny Burrell, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Abbey Lincoln, Ahmad Jamal, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Clark Terry, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Heath, Grover Washington, Freddie Cole, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Pharoah Sanders, Larry Coryell, Bennie Wallace, Joe Lovano, Tom Harrell, Vanessa Rubin, Kevin Mahogany, Roy Hargrove, Bill Mays, James Williams, Cyrus Chestnut and Joshua Redman are among the numerous artists that he has worked with. He currently tours with regularly with Italian saxophonists Marco Pignataro and vibraphonist Jay Hoggard.

Since 2000, he has maintained a busy schedule performing and recording with many outstanding Boston based artists, such as The Macanda Project, Laszlo Gardony, Stan Strickland, Donna McElroy, Gabrielle Goodman, Shawn Monterro and Lance Bryant to name a few. Additionally, he has become a first call accompanist for a wide range of artists appearing in the New England area; this list includes Abraham Laboriel, Eddie Gomez, Frank Morgan, Joanne Brackeen, Eliane Elias, Larry Goldings, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jane Ira Bloom, Greg Osby, Clark Terry and Joey DeFrancesco, among others. Yoron's upcoming musical projects include a new recording this year, his fifth as a leader. He is also authoring a new online course entitled "Drum Set Fundamentals" that will offered through beginning April 2011.

Yoron Israel is currently the Assistant Chair amd Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts. He received his Master of Music degree from Rutgers University '97 (New Brunswick, NJ) and Bachelor of Music degree from Roosevelt University '86 (Chicago IL). He is the author of the acclaimed educational DVD, "Creative Jazz Improvisation for Drum Set", published by Hal Leonard and Berklee Press. Mr. Israel was formerly on the faculty at Rutgers University, William Paterson University and Mannes New School. He continues to teach privately, conduct clinics, workshops, residencies and music camps throughout the world. These include the Hokkaido Groove Camp, Sapporo, Japan (2009, '08, '07), the Seminario & Encuentro Internacional de Jazz, Xalapa Mexico (2010, 2006 & 2004), Berklee Percussion Festivals (2003 - 2010), Taichung Jazz Festivals, Taiwan (2003 & 2004), The International Association of Jazz Educators Convention (2002), The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (2009, 2001), Young Audiences of New Jersey (1994 - 2006), The Vermont Jazz Camp (1990 - 1997) and The Litchfield Music School (1998 and 1999).