Things to come in 2019

                              Photo taken in Tokyo by Toru Takashita

2018 was full of many great events including the release of my second album, Pictures at an African Exhibition, a short tour as a guest artist in Japan performing with Raymond McMorrin, another showing at the Philadelphia Museum of art and more.  Pictures at an African Exhibition continues to receive press nationally and internationally, and was even named one of the top 20 jazz albums of 2018 by UK Vibe as well as top 10 jazz albums of the year by Jazz2K.

      2019 will be starting off with Sound Reformation's first tour!  We will be doing a short tour of the Northeast starting in our Nations Capital on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the performing arts.  From there the band returns to familiar territory playing in Philly at a new venue, Exuberance.  The tour continues with a debut performance at the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT and ends with a special performance at the Hartford Library as part of their Baby Grand Jazz series!  Needless to say this is very exciting news and we shall see what else 2019 has in store for Darryl and Sound Reformation!!

Since the album's release, Pictures at an African Exhibition has continued to gain attention from fans and critics alike with the album most recently being recognized by the New York Times as well as Jazz Quarterly Magazine.  The album was also reviewed in the May issue of Downbeat where it received a 3 1/2 star rating as well as a favorable review following the editors pick it received in April.  

       Sound Reformation recently hosted their CD release party at Smoke Jazz and Supper Club on May 3rd and they had a wonderful time sharing the music from this album to a very enthusiastic audience asking when they would be back.  With the album having this much success with just a little over two weeks since the official release, the future is looking very bright for Sound Reformation and the new album!

Pictures at an African Exhibition receives accolades from Downbeat magazine.

With the album set to release on April 20th, the album has started to garner a bit of attention from various media outlets including one of jazz's most recognized magazine Downbeat.  Pictures at an African Exhibition was an editors pick for the April issue, and received a favorable review and 3.5 star rating.  Be sure to get your copy of Downbeats April and May issues.  Below is the editors pick write up and be sure to check back after the album is released to read the downbeat review.



Recent interviews about Pictures at an African Exhibition

It's now less than a month away from the release of Pictures at an African Exhibition and things are really going well leading up to the big day!  The album is getting more and more radio play, we're getting more shows lined up, and I've sat down and done a few interviews.  I've had the pleasure of talking with Trish Hennessey, host of Hybrid Jazz, my friend and fellow bandmate Zaccai Curtis from Truth Revolution Records, and Ruth Fisher from Jazz FM in the U.K.  To check out the podcast with Zaccai and the interview with Ruth Fisher about the album check out the links below and be sure not to miss my interview with LA Emenari from WHPK 88.5 FM University of Chicago on April 7th and 8Pm EST/7PMCST!!

Truth Revolution Records Podcast

Interview with Ruth Fisher from Jazz FM

Check out this latest interview about the upcoming album, Pictures at an African Exhibition!

                                        Photo by Adrian Montanez

Interview about the upcoming album, Pictures  at an African Exhibition!!!

It's finally around the corner...the release of my second album, first for Truth Revolution Recording Collective .  To read more about the upcoming album read here

 Pictures from left to right: Jonathan Powell (tpt), David Gibson (tbn), Marshall Sealy (f. horn), Brent White (b. tbn), Darryl Yokley, Marie Trudeau (oboe/e. horn), Zachary Feingold (bsn), Dena Orkin (cl) Back row from left to right: Josh Lawrence (tpt), Ellen Fisher Deerberg (fl), Gregory Riley (b. cl), Kevin Willois (fl), Kenneth Ellison (cl)  
     Darryl has finished up the music to his second album after an amazing recording session with some amazing musicians, which was recorded at Turtle Studios in Philadelphia on September 1st, 2016.  With this the final component to the recording process has come to a close.  Now Darryl is in the process of putting the finishing touches on this project before presenting it to the world.  Stay tuned for more news and developments!


From left to right:Nasheet Waits, Zaccai Curtis, Darryl Yokley, Luques Curtis, Wayne Smith Jr.  Photo courtesy of Truth Revolution Records at Trading 8's studio on September 8th, 2015.

     Darryl and Sound Reformation have recorded their second album just last month.  The thirteen track work is the culmination of over four years of work which saw the group and the music undergo many changes to bring it to this point.  The project, based off the famous orchestral work by Modest Moussorgsky entitled "Pictures at an exhibition" has been entitled "Pictures at an African Exhibition." Borrowing from the model of the great Russian composer, the project combines original art work with the original compositions of Yokley's. 

     The album will feature special guest Nasheet Waits on drums along with the core members of the band which include Zaccai Curtis on piano, Luques Curtis on bass, and  Wayne Smith Jr on drums.  In addition to the five piece double drum quintet, the band will be accompanied by a twelve piece wind ensemble, and as mentioned before, each of the compositions will be accompanied by an original work of art.  One of the artists who will be joining in this venture is London based artist David Emmanuel Noel, who currently enjoys a successful international career displaying his works through out the United States and Europe.

                                                          David Emmanuel Noel.  Photograph by Elizabeth James.
       With this being a multidimensional project it is no surprise that Yokley is still in the process of working on the project, but the finished product will be released sometime on Truth Revolution Records  coming soon! The first part of this project has been completed and there will be more updates as they develop so be sure to check back.  


Darryl has just returned from his first tour of Japan where he performed in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka.  He had the pleasure of starting off the tour reuniting with some long lost friends from the states in Tokyo performing with fellow tenor saxophonist Raymond McMorrin at Bar Mugen.  The band also included the phenomenalGene Jackson on drums, also a native of the U.S., Koichi Sato on the piano, and Takumi Awaya on bass.  The group played originals of McMorrin's as well as Yokley's, and the audience in attendance was very receptive to the program that was put together by the two saxophonists.  


After the debut performance in Tokyo, Darryl headed to the Kansai area for a three date engagement in Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka.  Darryl started off performing in Kyoto at the Blue Note where he lead a group consisting of Keiko Tanaka on piano, Hiroshi Funato on bass, and Eric Wiegmann on drums.  Yokley performed many selections from his album The Void including "Mt. Fuji" the opening track on the CD and Yokley's tribute to the country that he has admire for many years.  Following the performance at Kyoto he performed at Yorozuyasoubeiin Kobe with the same band except with the change to Thomas Posner on bass.  The tour finally ended in Osaka at Club Azul where Yokley performed with Shingo Kano on piano, Thomas Posner on bass, and Eric Wiegmann on the drums.  He ended the tour in Kansai as he started it- performing to a packed house of supporters and the music was so well received, Yokley was requested to give two encores at this performance as well as the earlier shows in Kobe and Kyoto.

This first tour of Japan was very successful and Darryl is currently planning on returning there later this year for another tour that will concentrate more on Tokyo and the eastern part of the country, although he will still make his way to the Kansai area to perform as well.  Plans are in the making to perform with fellows statesmenRaymond McMorrin and Gene Jackson again, as well as other musicians around the country and maybe even the possibility of Sound Reformation going on tour.  Please check back for more developments on the second Japan tour, and please check out Darryl's itinerary now that he is back in the states as there are many exciting performances coming up with Sound Reformation, Rhonda Ross and more!


Darryl Yokley and Sound Reformation have wasted no time in taking things to the next level in 2015 as Sound Reformation have given two monumental performances, with two more upcoming performances on January 24th.  Sound Reformation performed after the turn of the new year at Chris' Jazz Cafe, premiering part one of their newest project "Pictures at an African Exhibition" as a double drum ensemble with special Guest Nasheet Waits joining the band.  The project and music was well received, and the band is looking forward to recording this project later this year in 2015.  

     Two weeks later Sound Reformation premiered part two their project, entitled "Pictures at an African-American Exhibition" as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's 200 Years of African-American Art exhibition.  At this exhibit Yokley and Sound Reformation performed all new original music composed by Yokley with images of the works of art that inspired him being projected in the background.  Both performances in the city of brotherly love received a great write up inThe City Paper
which discusses the inspiration for the projects in greater detail as well as plans for recording and performing them in the near future.  

       This Saturday Sound Reformation will pay homage to the tradition of jazz and push the music forward all in one day as they perform standards at the candlelight lounge in Trenton, New Jersey by day, followed by another performance of "Pictures at an African Exhibition" for a private concert in Princeton by night.

       From there Darryl will be leaving for a three week engagement in Japan where he will be performing in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka.  2015 has many great things happening for Darryl and Sound Reformation with many more upcoming performances as well as the upcoming recording of their second album.  Stay tuned for more news to come.


A native of California, Yokley went to school in Southern California where he first started to learn the saxophone from 1993-1996.  Eighteen years later he returns to perform in front of friends and family and give back by talking to the nextt generation of up and coming young musicians. Yokley first performed for the closing night of the 17th annual Arpa International Film Festival at the prestigious Egyptian theater in Hollywood, California.  At the festival Darryl performed music from his debut album The Void, which was well received by the Hollywood crowd, and left them wanting more.  The festival embraced the music so much that they used "The Coming of Shiva," the fourth track on The Void, as the soundtrack to the festival's main trailer. 

     Yokley's aspirations may not be too far away from being a reality as the partnership between him and the ARPA film festival was so successful that there is talk of creating a more intimate collaboration for the 2015 festival.  Currently Darryl is partnering with filmmaker and close friend Vanja Srdic to create a film where Darryl will be writing the music for the film, which will be performed by Yokley and Sound Reformation.  Whether this will be Yokley's ticket to a Hollywood film scoring career remains to be seen, but for now this new project is a new venture Yokley looks forward to in addition to including his second album with Sound Reformation in 2015.

       A few days after his performance at the ARPA International Film Festival, Yokley traveled to Victorville to visit the school of his first band director Mr. Bettger to talk to his students in an assembly meeting.  The reunion between Yokley and his first music teacher was a momentous occasion on many levels, but nothing felt better  for Darryl than being able to repay a small bit of the gift that was given to him by Mr. Bettger all those years ago by speaking to his students about his journey through life as a musician.  Four assemblies were organized and each one of them was a special occasion for Darryl as he spoke to the crowd of elementary school students, many of whom raised their hands eagerly with questions, which marked an end to a very successful visit to his native land of California.