Jason Yarde (b. 1970) lives and works in London. Jason Yarde started out with the Jazz Warriors at 16 and went on to MD this landmark orchestra, becoming one of its principal writers. He has a BA (Hons) in Performance Arts from Middlesex University incorporating study at William Paterson College, New Jersey. Jason was the leader of the award-winning group J-Life, has been twice-nominated for a BBC Jazz award for Innovation and the Bird Award of the North Sea Jazz Festival. As well as composing for his own projects such as the 10 piece; Acoutastic Bombastic, MY Duo and Trio WAH!, Jason has written for dance, music theatre, opera and TV. As a musical director, arranger and saxophonist, he has worked with various artists from 4hero to Hermeto Pascoal, Plan B to Sam Rivers, Gregory Issacs to IG Culture, Keziah Jones to Kronos Quartet, and Jonzi-D to Jack DeJohnette. As a record producer, he has worked extensively for the Dune label, completed Gwilym Simcock's debut and most recently the MOBO awarded, Empirical's second CD; Out 'n' In. Since working with the London Symphony Orchestra through the Panufnik Young Composers scheme, Jason was commissioned in 2007 to arrange the music for Hugh Masekela's first LSO concert, also writing a Flugel Horn concerto; All Souls Seek Joy. He's since become a UBS Soundscapes composer and Civitella Ranieri Fellow. Rhythm And Other Fascinations, commissioned for the BBC Concert Orchestra, received its world premiere at the 2008 Proms and went on to win the inaugural British Composer Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Composition 2009.
Jason Yarde | It is difficult to put into words just how ’BIG’ it is in every way to be nominated and then to receive a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Arts Award. Ultimately it is something that can translate into real action. It certainly means some of the big ideas (and some important small ones) that have since settled in the back of my mind have a real chance to fly out into the real world, going beyond the front of mind where they would often just manifest themselves as headaches and daydreams! I’m overjoyed and most grateful to receive this award and I greatly look forward to delving into the possibilities it will open up.