Eli Yamin is Artistic Director of The Jazz Drama Program and head of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy. He is a jazz and blues pianist, composer, singer, educator, broadcaster, and Steinway artist. After participating last spring in the first White House Jazz Studio hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, Eli was invited back three times to perform music from his latest CD, You Can’t Buy Swing, in the East Room.
Eli has also performed at top concert halls and festivals in Western Europe and the United States and in Brazil, Chile, Mali, India, China and the Balkans as a cultural ambassador touring on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Eli teaches jazz worldwide to business leaders, middle school students, K-12 teachers, college professors and performing artists. He is a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts, Fordham University Graduate School of Business and WBGO Radio.
In the early 1990′s, Eli Yamin was musical director for the 10th Anniversary tour of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies. Working with director/choreographer Mercedes Ellington sparked what has become a driving force in Eli’s work as a composer and educator – the marriage of jazz and theatre. Since 1998, Eli Yamin has co-written with
Clifford Carlson, five jazz musicals for children. This work led Yamin and Carlson to start The Jazz Drama Program.
Eli’s jazz musicals for children have been performed for thousands by hundreds of young people. They include Message From Saturn, a space odyssey about the healing power of the blues and Nora’s Ark, a modern retelling of the biblical tale. The CD of Nora’s Ark, the jazz musical, by Eli Yamin and Clifford Carlson, is a collaboration between The Jazz Drama Program and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy of New York City.
Eli has played and taught with Barry Harris, Walter Perkins, Illinois Jacquet, Wynton Marsalis, Perry Robinson, Kate McGarry, Claire Daly, Ari Roland, Chris Byars, Evan Christopher and Bob Stewart. Eli holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Lehman College, City University of New York, and lives (with his wife and young daughter) in New York City.